The Post Card
I was one of those kids who had a thing for letters, i.e. snail mail. In my elementary school days, I had a couple of pen pals, my favorite teacher and I exchanged letters when she moved away, and my favorite auntie and I regularly wrote each other. This letter-obsession continued even onto junior high and high school. When I left my friends behind at the school I had been at for 8 grades, we stuffed envelopes to their capacity to send each other, even if the sheets only had our juvenile signatures and doodles all over them. And though it was common place at the time, chances are that if it arrived in an envelope, even if 2 decades ago, I still have it.
What is strange though is that I never cared about postcards. I mean, I bought them in tourist shops (especially if they had a wolf on the front), but only to tape up on my closet door. And I was always slightly disappointed when I got a postcard from someone saying ‘Hey, wish you were here!’ instead of a bona fide letter with multiple paragraphs. You just couldn’t ever write enough on a tiny card, and sometimes the stamps would even cover the already sparse writing. I also always assumed both that multiple people would read the card before it got to its intended receiver (knowing nothing of Derrida at the time), and that the risk of a postcard getting lost in the mail was roughly 115% higher than something in a sealed envelope.
Having said that, British knitwear and textile designer Carrie-Ann Stein (found via NJAL) has tipped the scales in the letter vs. postcard debate with her (Central Saint Martins) graduate collection, ‘Postcards from Blackpool’. I can definitely get behind the idea of a postcard as a dress, and pretty digital prints work with the conceptual/nostalgia factor far better than a dress inspired by an envelope or letter would (though I do wish the default colour of the back of a postcard wasn’t white). Also, I’d be much happier with a postcard showing up in my mailbox if it was a woven knit. The question is, however, how much would the postage be?
(Photos via NJAL)