OAK Presents: Pleasure Principle

Strange. Reductive. Forward. Original. Since 2003, Pleasure Principle founders Diva Pittala and Adrian Cowen have been creating deconstructed sportswear that satisfies the minimalist’s wardrobe needs for moody nights. Think Blade Runner hero Rick Deckard on an afterhours quest for debauchery.

Diva combines a conceptual approach to design with small explorations and frequently draws ideas from their previous work – a cocoon coat constructed from over-dyed quilts one season may appear re-imagined in fur the next. “It’s a mix of looking and trying to reinterpret some things from the past or everyday things without plagiarism but with the intention of reconstructing with a personal sense of style, and a personal technique of cutting and construction,” she says.

Though rigidly geometric in origin (patterns are often structured on a simple square), Pleasure Principle’s collections maintain a unique sense of movement and fluidity with transformable pieces that can be worn in multiple ways.  The end result is garments that exist as singular objects that are personal to the wearer and unconfined by language or gender. “Once you call it something, you’re stuck with that definition,” says Adrian. His sentiment echoes the maxim – Perverted by Language – which is cut by laser into a ream of paper, a sculpture by C.R.E.E.,P that sits in the studio. (C.R.E.E.,P is the acronym Adrian and Diva use for their sculpture performance and installations. They are also responsible for the culture fashion line, People Used to Dream About the Future).

Fitting with its founders’ roots, Pleasure Principle remains close to the art community with a line of graphic tee collaborations with New York artists, including Agathe Snow, Olaf Breuning, and a forthcoming with Marianne Vitale for the Fall collection.  If not artistic, graphics skew towards the subversive side of New York nightlife and drug culture. Some of the first tees produced featured vintage bondage magazines and new iterations illustrate the effect of various intoxicants on the eyes. When asked where Rick Deckard could find fellow Pleasure Principle fans, Diva replies, “Any party where there are people with a sense of humor, an inclination for the subversive, and a taste for scotch.”

Which is exactly what we’d expect from a line named for the Freudian force of that drives the id – the seedy underbelly of the human psyche that Sigmund called “a cauldron full of seething excitations.” Follow your urges and visit us in person for your Pleasure Principle fix, or shop online.

Photo credit: Francois Hugon

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