Karl Mullen’s Spice Paintings Meet Midnight Swimming

It’s been a while since I’ve worn anything on the internet, if you know what I mean, so I thought that I’d simultaneously pop in and prove that I still exist and am not a 47 year old man sifting through Lucky magazine in his underwear, pretending to be a 20-something girl from Seattle. At the same time, I want to show off my new favorite shirt because it’s my blog and I do what I want. Also, also, it’s a very cool shirt that pays tribute to an under-appreciated art form: book covers.

I recently picked up a daily diary/planner from Barnes & Noble called The Golden Era of Book Design and it features so many classic books with unique, beautiful styles to accompany them – it makes it hard to look over current book covers with their paper wraps and their 3D graphics. The first book I fell in love with was admittedly The Neverending Story, but it ignited a bigtime interest in old books, and I never stopped loving the now-antiquated simplicity of vintage styles. You know, they didn’t always put movie stars from the film on the covers of the original books!

Rambling-about-books aside, learning about Karl Mullen’s art, and the collaboration with t-shirt company Midnight Swimming, was like throwing hairspray into a fireplace of awesome. When they offered to send me one of the limited number available, I am proud to say that I snatched that opportunity up within minutes. No shame.

Karl Mullen x Midnight Swimming Shirt

Karl Mullen x Midnight Swimming Chase Shirt, $86

There are four of these shirts in the collection, each one depicting another detective novel that has been translated into German and coupled with Karl Mullen’s paintings. This might have sounded boring to me until I read about the materials that Mullen used to create the images: red wine and spices. It shows through in the organic shapes and textures in the print. Cool.

Karl Mullen x Midnight Swimming

Karl Mullen x Midnight Swimming T-Shirt

The prints really look original, as if they’ve been painted directly onto the shirt, and the fabric feels like 30 years of wear have been put into it. Judging by the smell when I got it, I’m safely deciding that isn’t the case. They must just viciously punch the crap out of reams of fabric to get it to the perfect softness. That’s probably what happens.

Karl Mullen x Midnight Swimming Shirts

I am starting to document how easy it is to throw key items – like jackets, mini-skirts, boots, and scarves – over things that are basically pajamas. I’m not kidding when I say this has been my favorite shirt lately, and subsequently I’ve been living in it. It’s long enough to wear with leggings and be mostly-decent in the house, and it’s easy to throw an H&M skirt (starting to hoard these) over it, and it’s cool enough to be paired with simple basics to create an outfit that won’t make your friends wonder if you’re depressed because of the weather.

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Check it out: add blazer, add mini-skirt, add scarf = look like you haven’t been sitting around watching Frasier on Netflix all day! Fashion is magic, guys.

Fall Layering

Check out the rest of the Karl Mullen x Midnight Swimming collaboration!