Lately I’ve been making turtlenecks.

Ah, the oft-mocked garment of the 1980s.

But it’s so practical, so utilitarian, so comfortable under a wool sweater!

The turtlenecks I’ve been making have extra long sleeves (always) and some random darts in the back, to add shape.  They are from a lightweight fabric, the same one we use for the jersey slip.

I first encountered the art movement Gesamtkunstwerk a couple of years ago, and was immediately intrigued.  Long German name?  YES. (i.e. total art work, all together art work.) Applies to all aspects of life? YES.  The idea being that of one unifying aesthetic message or theme that is applied to an entire place, structure, or being.

Ultimately, depending on the level of effort and care we apply, each of us ends up creating a Gesamtkunstwerk out of our own lives. We manipulate the texture and fabric, apply colors and coatings, and choose accessories.  This is meant both literally and metaphorically.

New Year is a nice time to set up some thinkings about the gesamtkunstwerk of your life.  Here’s some prompts that I’ve been using.

  1. What are the ways I want to work on and improve my thought life?
  2. What are the material and aesthetic bits and pieces (clothing, etc) that will help me better embody the persona of this year?
  3. Which skills and toolsets do I need to improve or learn to express this gesamtkunstwerk more fully?


What questions are you asking yourself this new year?






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