You cannot deconstruct unless you know how to construct. - Alexander McQueen

Aitor Throup - Part I: When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods, a 3-D Comic permalink

The structural elements in the products that we use, the buildings we live in, the clothes that we wear and even the art that we create have a life cycle. Structural origins are functional and relevant but throughout time become deconstructed and nonfunctional. Eventually rooms in a house or construction details in a garment become nothing more than empty gesture. On the other hand, there are fully functional traditions that have been buried by empty gesture, like storytelling. Aitor Throup’s MA collection, “When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods”, is a three-dimensional comic that communicates the story of redemption and transcendence told through fabric structures that are based on a platform of football casual.

aitor hooligan to hindu god cover image.jpg
Throup’s wearable transformation from football hooligan to Hindu god

I was so excited to come across Throup’s work because he combines two of my main interests: comics and garment design. “One of the main elements of my work is what I call ‘branding through construction’. I have developed ‘blocks’ and ‘patterns’ based on my anatomical and sculptural studies, which have seams, construction lines and darts in totally unique places. These are all justified by my over-all aim to create three-dimensional, physical, wearable versions of my drawings/characters.” Here he introduces us to the collection:

    After years of mixing with the wrong crowds on the terraces of most british football grounds, a group of hooligans (sometimes known as ‘casuals’) are beginning to doubt their deep rooted beliefs in the organised-violence underworld of football club loyalty.
    the last THUD heard from yet another broken knuckle was enough to materialise the negative reality of a violent lifestyle to a group of eight soon-to-be hooligan ‘outcasts’…the pain of the fractured knuckle was overshadowed by the hardly audible pleas of the bloody faced indian boy.
    a racist attack.
    a sudden desperate need for forgiveness overcomes them.
    the helpless victim looks up at them through his one dieing eye:

    turns out the boy was a hindu.

aitor transformation of shiva.jpg
Throup’s “transformation of Shiva”

aitor shiva drawing.jpg
Throup’s Shiva drawing

aitor shiva runway pic.jpg
Throup’s Shiva

aitor skanda drawing.jpg
Throup’s Skanda drawing

aitor skanda runway pic.jpg
Throup’s Skanda

aitor narasimha drawing.jpg
Throup’s Narasimha drawing

aitor narasimha lineup pic.jpg
Throup’s Narasimha

aitor hanuman drawing.jpg
Throup’s Hanuman drawing

aitor hanuman runway pic.jpg
Throup’s Hanuman

aitor ganesh drawing.jpg
Throup’s Ganesh drawing

aitor ganesh runway pic.jpg
Throup’s Ganesh

aitor airavat drawing.jpg
Throup’s Airavat drawing

aitor airavat lineup pic.jpg
Throup’s Airavat

aitor varaha drawing.jpg
Throup’s Varaha drawing

aitor varaha lineup pic.jpg
Throup’s Varaha

Throup’s use of Harris Tweed in this collection goes to show that applications of the cloth have not been exhausted, and that it is still a relevant aspect of British heritage. “I am really interested in the significance of contrast – even to the extent of contradiction - within general visual culture. For me, fabrics are really important in creating a visual dialogue of contrasts and contradictions within my work, all of which are justified and informed by the concept or story behind it. Harris Tweed, like the other traditional wools I use extensively in my work, communicate a real sense of ‘Britishness’, of an almost old-fashioned nature. This creates a real contrast when seen next to the directional and future-focused man-made fibres used in the collection.”

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Throup’s skulls

“The more technical fabrics also provide a sense of British culture, but more specifically of the C.P. Company and Stone Island – led ‘CASUAL’ or ‘FOOTBALL HOOLIGAN’ sub-culture, specifically of the late 80s and the 90s (On which the over-all aesthetic of the collection is based). My work is generally very structured and technical (in terms of construction), to the extent of being sculptural. Using traditional wools, such as Harris Tweed, not only creates yet another unexpected contrast against the structural aspects of the pieces, it also facilitates the moulding and distortion of the fabric by using traditional (tailoring) heat application techniques.”

aitor airavat construction front.jpg
Throup’s Airavat, front detail

aitor airavat construction back.jpg
Throup’s Airavat, back detail

Speaking to Throup it became clear to me that his unique approach to design, backed by great imagination and common sense, will reset fashion’s life cycle, returning elements that are functional and relevant to our life. “We are becoming more ethical. It almost feels unethical to have trends ruthlessly dictated to us every six months. For me, that’s an already old–fashioned and irrelevant concept. I believe that the currency of tomorrow will be creativity, and the ability to successfully communicate it to others. Such creativity will be utilized and nurtured through story-telling, creating a platform around which both the designer/creator and user/consumer can interact with the product, in order to eventually UNDERSTAND it.”

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26 Responses to “Aitor Throup - Part I: When Football Hooligans Become Hindu Gods, a 3-D Comic” 

  1. tin cagayat Says:

    i really enjoyed all your designs. best of luck inthe future.

  2. Rohith Jeebodh Says:

    I am a South African Hindu and I am not pleased to see my the names of my revered Hindu Gods used by you for commercial purposes. This is very disrespectful to my religion and I request that you please change the name of your clothing line-up.

  3. Lazarus Says:

    Amazing design, great ideas and drawings. The hindhu Gods are probably flattered

  4. christ Says:

    I am Christ. I am advising whites not to abuse my name and stop eating the values and life on this planet. whites are becoming daemons.

    i am christ, i am sad. i learnt all my knowledge in india.

    amen (!!!)

  5. vasudha gupta Says:

    hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i was looking for hanuman pictures on google…. when i hapened to see your collection……… i am a proud indian and a hindu …… and i really liked your creations………….probably even more because i am a fashion student, so keep going, and all the best!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Ian Joddrell Says:

    To all you doubting thomas-asses. This man is fantastic he does not sell these designs for money, this is his dream he is dedicated and would never disrespect anyone. Take the designs and names with a pinch of salt, Art and fashion are supposed to be controversial. Nobody ever says lowry was disrespectful for painting povertty stricken working men and women. Nobody ever said dali was disrespectful for painting our Lords images! I am catholic open minded and think Aitor throup is the most talented person on this planet. Give this man some credit because it is thoroughly deserved! love peace and chicken grease from a brother from another mother, also my love to mama rita for giving birth to such a star. IJ

  7. AndrewH (an art teacher!) Says:

    I freligion is about anything it’s about inspiring us to think and to question, nice to see students who can still manage to produce thoughprovoking work without being told what to do!

  8. Mansi Says:

    Excellllent n Outstanding !

    U are God for me !

  9. universalhindu Says:

    Hindu Gods are worshiped by millions. They are not for making fun. Kindly withdraw the designs immediately. If the artistic talent is so compelling make drawings on Christ, Virgin Mary, Pope etc. etc.

  10. Roos Says:

    i am in love with you

  11. Thor Says:

    Why can’t an image be used because it is “religious”? Why is it that we place so much unchallenged faith and respect in what is essentially an idea a group of people believe in? Truth does not come in numbers, if every being on the planet was Hindu, it doesn’t make it real, yet if I alone believed Harris Tweed controlled the universe, you wouldn’t think twice about removing it from the collection.

    I’m missing the point though, aren’t I. I am very impressed by the collection, I think it is a product of many innovative ideas and an obviously intelligent foundation in design. I look forward to the next collection, whenever that may be.

  12. matias Says:

    aitor is an amazing designer ….amaaazing
    i love her job !

  13. The HJGHER Journal » Blog Archive » All hail the new scientist Says:

    […] Imagine personifying the Hindu man/lion god Narasimha by shaping the hood of a jacket like a lions head or the Hindu god of death Shiva by adorning a jacket with skulls that double up as bags. Do see and read more about this impressively authentic collection from Katie’s well researched write-up here. […]

  14. Perio Says:

    Yes very easy to use the Hindu gods … I’m sure he wouldn’t be that brave to do the same with that other religion , the ISLAM ! Big Hypocrite !

  15. Yokko Says:

    I want a tweed skull…

  16. a poor Hindu Says:

    Dear Brother,

    i am sorry, if you know hindu religion totally?, plz come to india and learn hindusim and plz understand first, then u have draw badly,

    are you know Vedas, eethikass, sidtharkal, etc.,

    your religion is created by one man … just man,

    but we are the real god’s creatures,
    ur are live in forest (Your Stone age),, we are arrange the KINGDOMS,
    so dont irredate any religion? plz plz plz,

    If you want money, many ways in this world, plz dont irredate other religion,


    we have welcome to u


    thanz again

  17. aretheoldgodsdead? Says:

    Those that condemn this as heretical and disrespectful have not paid any attention to the genesis behind the creation.
    As clearly noted these deesigns have a back story.
    One of intolerance and racism.
    The story is that a dying boy asks his killers to become his gods in order to know him and to know his remorse.
    These fashions are designed to sell clothing rather to challenge ideas of clothing and of ourselves.
    The designs are only symbolic and are not meant to insult but rather to inform.
    All religions are based on ideas and concepts, icons and mythology whose intent is to teach.
    I think these designs can onlybring more attention to Hindu gods which are obviously well known in India but not so much in the West.
    In the West we well know of “The Big 3″ Judaism, Christianity and Islam”
    which are intertwined and based on monotheist ideas.
    The Pantheism of the East is less well know, shadows in the minds of those who may have seen pulp adventure films.
    To fear these designs and to be insulted by them is to fear change and fear of change can only bring pain and suffering… look what fears of “the Big 3″ have brought us lately, war and suffering.
    I guess what I am trying to say is if you want us to see your gods, they may require a new face… new faces for old gods.

  18. yaz pistachio Says:

    to the devout and sincere Hindus that are distressed by this work - please consider this:

    other religions don’t offer a pantheon of God images that represent so many thoughts and spiritual considerations. Hinduism is rich with representative images, most of which aren’t really understood by non-Hindu people. for instance, I’d always seen Shiva represented with a lot of skulls, which made me think that the image was all about death and destruction (and not a nice, easy death, either) == later on, I learned that Shiva represented death *and* creation, and that one is not possible without the other.

    the suit with the skulls is, in my point of view, a good representation of that thought — the suit itself is new, but carries the images of destruction. however, those images (the skulls) are, in themselves, creative and, by becoming useful as bags, also represent the pathway through life — from something new, fashionable, and useful (therefore, birth and life) that will eventually become old, out of fashion, and worn out (therefore, death)

    – people make fun of the Christian God, Jesus, and Mary a lot. a friend of mine frequently wears a t-shirt that reads “I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa all along.” God and Mary show up in similar satirical/irrelevant pieces. some Christians create shrines to the Virgin Mary that involve half a bathtub (set up to form an arch), a statue of Mary and other bright decorations, and candles and flowers. this is not meant to be irreligious — in their culture, it’s a sincere representation. to my branch of Christianity, it’s practically idol-worship (not good if you’re a Protestant), and the fact that *any* part of *any* bathroom furniture is involved is just Not Right. however, that does not define the world’s view of Christianity, nor does it affect the way any devout Christian worships, or their regard of God. and as far as angels are concerned, have you *seen* the Victoria’s Secret fashion show?

    – although i’m not familiar with Judaism, I know that there have been satirical/irrelevant representations (recently, on a cartoon show, one of the majo characters was shown as — for some reason — dressed as a Hassidic Jew & attending services. he proceeded to make nearly every tacky, potentially offensive stereotypical joke that he could.) i’m certain some Jews didn’t like it, but that doesn’t stop them from going to the synagogue and worshipping God.

    as far as Islam is concerned, well — you don’t exactly get a lot of material to work with. there’s Allah, who is indefineable, and there’s Mohammad, who’s a man, like any other man of his time. although i *did* see a one-panel cartoon recently that showed a man (presumably Muslim) entering Heaven and asking a person (presumably Allah) “what do you mean these are *my* 72 virgins?’ while looking at a bunch of clouds, each holding a male computer geek, laptop and all (the joke being that all computer nerds are virgins.

    this artist has taken legitimate, strong, highly illustrative God-images and shown them in a different light. is there only one way to represent Shiva? if so, why have I seen so many statues that differ in that representation? ditto for other Hindu images.

    the representative image of a God does not define or limit that God — the fact that a God cannot be limited or defined (given boundaries) by any human skill is part of the Divine. whether the drawing of Mary, or Moses is good or bad doesn’t really matter, does it? the important thing is that the people who want to worship that representation of the Divine spirit can do so.

  19. Aitor Throup Says:

    […] En este sitio pueden ver la colección completa y las comparaciones entre las ilustraciónes y las piezas terminadas. Y en esta entrevista comenta cosas muy interesantes  sobre la colección y sus influencias. […]

  20. 3-D Comics: Aitor Throup | Jessica Floeh Says:

    […] […]

  21. nat Says:

    ive been following him for ages u are my inspiration for everything! sydney fashion student

  22. great new designers | genieface Says:

    […]   Aimee McWilliams spent her early years in Metropolitan Glasgow before moving to London.  Graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2004 with a first class BA Honours in fashion womenswear, Aimee is considered one of the UK’s most successful rising designers.  February 07 saw the presentation of her AW07/08 collection at OnIOff – her fifth catwalk presentation during LFW.  The latter attracted the eye of the stylists for The Rolling Stones who commissioned showpieces for their recent world tour.     Designer Quote: “There is a great calibre of talent that is emerging out of Glasgow and Scotland”   “The Glasgow: Scotland with style Design Collective is a phenomenal support in helping us achieve our dreams and goals.”   “It is a pleasure to be recognized amongst this generation of designers who are now achieving international acclaim.”           Aitor Throup     […]

  23. Richa Aggarwal Says:

    I am a fashion design student and currently pursuing my MA in london.
    I am an Indian, and working on my final year design collection pieces.

    I was working on the same lines and was looking up for images on google about hindu gods and goddesses, I must say you have put up a great show. I love your work and the direction you have moved it to.

    I can understand the sentiments of people who are not very happy with this kind of inspirational work and the religious beliefs attatched with it. But you have done it with greatt and good intentions and there is no harm in creating something which excites and inspires zillions of other who belong to the fashion world.
    I am sure even all the gods are happy with your greatt creative effort.
    I am really proud of being an Indian and fortunate that you have chosen this area to work your collection. You must visit India to get more inspired, it had lot more to give to the world!!!
    I wish you all the luck and love in life.

  24. Thomas Says:

    Stupid westerners

  25. maya Says:

    I’m really impressed !Good works ,especially your minimalism in drawings !! a special the Throup’s Varaha it’s really amazing! and Animal motifs in this embodiment are unusual.. but I dont understand only the Christian gibberish ..

  26. Becoming A.T. | SAME SAME Says:

    […] Im vollen Eifer alle Jackets, Gloves, Skull Bags und Rucksacks vollenden zu können kam der Tag der Tage, der Tag des letzten Shippings näher und näher. Die Zeit hatte schon lange aufgehört normal zu ticken, alles was zählte war das letzte Klebeband auf den Karton zu kleben, in dem die für den Verkauf produzierte M.A. Kollektion des Designers Aitor Throup war. So startete die letzte November Woche mit einem „Round Table“ gespräch um 9 a.m. Uns wurde mitgeteilt, wie nicht anders zu erwarten, dass wir diese Woche Montag bis Sonntag arbeiten sollten. Natürlich nahm es jeder ohne mit der Wimper zu zucken hin. Es hatte fast den Anschein als fließe selbst in unserem Blut A.T. Doch dann auf einmal, aus dem Nichts heraus, bekamen wir die beste Neuigkeit seit langem. Die Hiobsbotschaft im positiven Sinne: Eine komplette Woche FREI, 7 Tage lang Ausschlafen, ausruhen, HAVING A REST! Mit unseren letzten Energiereserven starteten wir voller Eifer die Garments zu vollenden und zu perfektionieren. Was zu Beginn meines Einstiegs in das Praktikum noch einzelne Interns und Mitarbeiter waren, war zu diesem Zeitpunkt ein Team – das A.T. Studio Team. Jeder half mit die Produktion so schnell wie möglich und bestmöglich zu vollenden. So kam es unter Anderem, dass ich als eigentlicher Greenhorn langjährigen Mitarbeitern Basics beibringen durfte. Die Zeit flog nur so dahin und auf einmal war es Sonntag beziehungsweise Montag früh, 1.30 a.m. …. Punkt. Es war 1.30 a.m. und es ware getan. Mehr als 3 Monate harte Arbeit war bereit weltweit verschifft zu werden in exklusive Design Shops wie H. Lorenzo in L.A. oder Dover Street Market im Herzen Londons. Owning DSM London – Unsere ‘Mash Sculptures’ im Eingangsbereich des DSM […]

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