Bodies that Smell

A white collar is the collar that’s hardest to keep. 

Somebody’s scrubbing and sweat maintains the white collar. Some one whose collar is now not white. 

A white collar is durational. It cannot last without careful attention and regular, continuous care. Soap. Water. Agitation. Each moment the white collar is on the body it is becoming less white than it was the moment before.

The white collar is the collar we want to represent. Photograph, share widely, fetishize its purity, gaze furtively toward our own. The collar of capital. The collar of status.

Muted autumnal shades tinted brown: raspberry, mustard, puce, brown itself - these are the collars of the bodies that smell. The brown tone collar is that of the craftsperson but infrequently the collars of the client. Our clients aspire, not perspire. 

A brown collar becomes so by the inhabiting of craft which is to inhabit dust, and labour’s processes; to be inhabited by dirt of whatever material. 

I had lazily believed the world was made up of two kinds of collars: blue collars and white collars. It’s not.  A full spectrum of collars exist, as I might have guessed had my mind roamed more freely to the end of that thought. Collar - mood ring, aura. I believe my own to be brown.

I have been advised RE: the general look and feel, that my marketing isn’t ‘aspirational’ enough - that polish and beautiful old machines, not labour or quality craft, will sell my product to the buyer who can afford the price tag. Perhaps this is true. It still feels weird to build an immaterial dream in which to house a functional, material object. Is every sale predicated on the exact same fantasies which maintain locomotion by never delivering?  

A collar is  literally ‘that on which the head turns’; on which we turn. We wear our lives on our collars like Iago once wore his heart on his sleeve. A brown collar is a collar full of labour, a collar full of scent and olfaction’s telling about the wearer. In the case of craft, the maker of your goods. 

Labour smells. 

Smells are informants; the only sensory route to the limbic brain: emotion, behaviour, memory. Aspirational marketing is the spray of flowers on the funeral box, perfume misted upon the unwashed, the bridge from brown collar to white collar - status of the scentless.