Leaving The Suit.  Done… but not Over

We have now been back from Iceland just over a month.  It was illuminating, inspiring and physically exhausting.    We have been working on a proposal for the next (possible) version of the project  and that work has taken me away from posting here on this blog.   In that interim I have received emails and a few FB messages asking questions about how the project ended, what’s next etc.  I thought I would post responses to the most common questions here.

Did you end with the fancy dinner?

Yes.  We went to arguably the nicest restaurant in Reykjavik.  The idea was to place to suit in a context where, after all of the adventure and outlandish contexts, it was finally in its environment.

The reality however is that we found ourselves camped alongside visitors wearing the ubiquitous North Face, REI, and Jack Wolfskin attire.    There is much to say about this phenomenon - the “casualisation” of our world - and how every traveler now wears an adventure uniform.   For the most part I applaud the shift towards specialty gear and freedom of choice to wear what one wants.  On the other hand this project has caused me to lament the loss of “occasion” and ceremony,  the donning of clothes to signify a moment… that territory seems to have been reduced to weddings, funerals and perhaps job interviews.

How did the suit hold up?

All in all the suit held up beautifully.   It kept me warm for the most part - even in snow - and the padding and linings are all still robust.   It hid dirt and wear admirably and suffered nothing that a good dry-cleaner cannot undo.  I think the fabric weight and pattern were ideally suited to the Icelandic “summer” climate.  If the itinerary were to expand across warmer climes I would need to reconsider but the suit was made for Iceland and it did its job well.

What was hardest on the suit?

The horse.  Followed by kayaking (I was soaked).   Working on the farm held the most potential for damage but luckily I didn’t fall into the mud.

Did it feel strange to take the suit off?

Oddly no.  I love the suit and it feels like a comrade but taking it off wasn’t difficult at all.    It was harder to acclimate to  the onset of our first dark night after 28 straight days of constant sunlight.   

Yvette and I made it home Sunday evening after a full month away from home.    We had routed through London in order to attend a surprise birthday party for a friend…  The invitation read, “gentlemen in suits, women in dresses.”   Thus it was that I finally took the suit off on day 29 (June 27) in order to climb into a fitted, aubergine, tonic mohair suit.  

What would you do differently?

My overcoat was a small disaster (not really water resistant and aesthetically it dragged the outfit down) but my socks were the worst.  They didn’t hold their shape and often slipped down into the boot.   Terrible.

What is next?

We are done with the journey to Iceland but The Suitable World is not over.   

  • Yvette and I are  refining the material we gathered into a book 
  • The Suit will be taken to a cleaner and made ready for its next outing in October… This won’t be as extreme as 30 days in Iceland but we will continue to extend the premise and blog about it.
  • There is a proposal in the works to do The Suitable World on a grander scale.  The chances are small but we shall see.
  • We will update the web site with work shown for the exhibit at Mengi in Reykjavik

We wanted to thank everyone for the engagement (on this blog, via email and on Facebook). More to come!

Josh and Yvette