"White=Love. Black=Love. The declaration comes from Terence Koh, contemporary art's brightest supernova. An ubiquitous socialite, always prone to cryptic teasing, Koh is the perfect example, in a time when the music world, with a few notable and self-destructive exceptions, succumbed gentrification, that artists are the new rockstars: he is renowned for his work, of course, but even more for the always sparkling and eccentric public exploits. Artist, work and public persona all come together in the uncompromising and memorable choice of non-colors white (the sum of all colors) and black (no color), which represent Koh's trademark both for his personal look, suspended between minimal sanctification and dark damnation, and his oeuvre, a mixture of performance, rituality, pornography and sculpture, favorite materials being semen, dust, chocolate, feces, ashes and plaster. Period.
Flashback on a ghost designer, averse to classifications just as black and white are: Martin Margiela, nowadays passed to a better expressive life. In the Summer of 1993 our hero went as far as creating two almost identical collections, the first entirely black, the other entirely white, which he presented simultaneously in two different locations, creating an effect of absolute displacement. Period.
Back to the future: Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester created a men's collection for Summer of 2011 that is split on two. Inspired by fencing, looks are presented first in total white, then, without variations of any kind, in total black. Period.
The sequence we have just described follows a rhythm: a light bulb is switched on, revealing the empty and total white of an hypothetical room, then is switched off, making the room sink into dimensionless black.
Stone Island's Ghost Project fits into this radical practice, taking the concept of monochrome to the extreme consequences of canceling camouflage. It's the camouflage of details within the garment itself, not of the garment within the surrounding environment. Be it positive or negative, it's all about annihilation: the aesthetic impact is so strong it produces an alienation. Reverted back to its blank state, fabric becomes a canvas on which a new, and perhaps more personal story, can be written.