The concept for The Suitable World began during a holiday in Morocco.
Yvette and I were in the middle of a rugged trip through desert, icy gorges, sunny seaside towns and crowded souks when my boss sent me an email inviting us to “the best restaurant in Paris”. It was to be a reward before heading back to work in California. After some research on “best restaurant in Paris" at an Internet cafe in Marakech we chose L’Arpege on the Rue de Varenne.
The problem was - we had no clothing to suit the occasion. We had packed a small amount of clothing for hard-wear and fast drying times. We were not fit for a table at L’Arpege.
So the Suitable World began as a question; what would it mean to have a beautiful suit designed for the extremes that would take us from Morocco to Paris - from hot to cold, from camel to car to hiking, from scenes of relative poverty to extreme luxury? At first it was a bit of a running joke, conjuring visuals of a man-in-tuxedo astride a camel in the desert.
But the idea stuck. And it deepened into the themes I am now exploring: unorthodox travel, seeking economy and beauty in the objects we have around us, the notion of “suitability” and what our clothing says about us and our “place” in the world and finally the act of “preservation” and self-care amidst the inevitable wear of time.
When I started TSW (and this blog) again I wasn’t sure where the first location might be. Today it is official. Iceland.
We have decided that Iceland is the ideal place for a number of reasons:
- Iceland sits at the convergence of the North American and European tectonic plates. These plates are slowly pulling apart - with Europe (our home for the past 5 years) pulling away from America. There is a personal symbolism for me as our nomadic lifestyle has moved us further away from a fixed concept of home.
- It is geographically the youngest country on our planet. It is still being formed by glacier and volcano; providing a kind of physical drama that will be hard to match elsewhere.
- It is a land with many of the extremes that will lend aesthetic beauty to the documentation and integrity to the essays and themes I want to explore.
The timing of the project is also now fixed. We will depart on May 29 for four weeks.
We will be looking to connect with as many people who have experienced Iceland as we plan an itinerary. All suggestions and references for things to do are welcome. Onward!