Florence

TYPONOTES, JUST SAY IT WITH A T-SHIRT

By Elisa Cecchi

TYPONOTES, JUST SAY IT WITH A T-SHIRT

(ANSA) - Florence, August 29 - Can you wear an idea? A concept can fit fashion and become a trendy item, according to two graphic designers, Bianca Borri and Alessio Piccini. Together, they have just created Typonotes, a project on 'visual poetry and wearable music'. 'Typonotes is about the emotions created by our most powerful set of symbols, the alphabet', Piccini told ANSA. The duo have transferred their passion for graphics and music into a capsule collection of T-shirts which attracted a great deal of attention as one of the most original debuts at the 82nd edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence last June. 'Typonotes turns fashion into a media giving graphic design a wider public', said Borri, who attended a typography course at London's Central Saint Martins, incidentally the college which has produced some of the most respected contemporary fashion talents. The white T-shirts are minimalistic, with beautiful graphic designs in black, and every item has a music video describing the emotions of the characters it bears. Each font represented has a musical reef composed by Piero Borri, 'creating a liaison between the sounds of the alphabet and drums'. The collection tells the story of fonts, from Romanic characters, to the logogram Ampersand all the way to the experimental shapes of Bauhaus and modern designs. The original choice to mix fashion and graphic design was inspired by the words of top German typographer and designer Erick Spiekermann according to whom 'type, landscape and music are all about emotion'. Yet the idea of turning a concept into a trendy T-shirt isn't new and has a much more frivolous beginning. The phenomenon made its mass debut in the United States after celebrities and their fans started using T-shirts to let everybody know exactly what was on their mind. The 'Aniston Team' and 'Jolie Team' T-shirts first sported by the Hilton sisters were among the first say-it-with-your-daywear item to make a splash on the other side of the ocean. The trend has evolved since, with the industry of 'conceptual' T-shirts gaining ground. Among the trendiest items in the past year were vintage-looking T-shirts of rock bands or iconic Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe as well as T-shirts inspired by literature classics - a trend which has spread to accessories with the sophisticated and increasingly coveted bags of Olympia Le-Tan. The market has boomed in stores and online where customers can now also design their own personalized T-shirts on a number of e-stores - a cheap road at a time of financial crisis to an original take on trendiness. Typonotes brings the niche passion for fonts to the world of fashion, giving the T-shirt mania a cool, cross-cultural edge. 'Though typography has a major influence on all of us, it is still appreciated only by a few', said Piccini. 'We want to give the concept and history behind it wider resonance through a mass media like fashion'.

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