There was an interesting line from an in-depth New Yorker piece on Apple’s chief designer, Jony Ive, where he referenced the evolution of pocket design,
“When Ive, in discussing this work with me, referred to such topics as the evolution of sewn pockets, it was easy to detect his pleasure in being answerable to history”
Our use pockets as “signs” applied as decorations to black racerback “shed” is based on post-modern design theories of Robert Venturi. This is just an evolutions of pockets in the 17th and 18th century as internal, secure purses to pocket as external storage in the 19th and mid-20th century to absen e of pockets on women’s garments lately.
Here is a picture of a Courreges dress from the Mod 60s which feature prominently external pockets. The pockets are intended to be decorative and stand out. But they are part of the overall design rather seen separately as a sign.
Here are a couple of pictures of our Post-Mod and Modpunk racerbacks with pocket as signs after Venturi.