One of the biggest problems with fashion is how the very essence of what is relatable about it is diminished with a veil of exclusivity, consumerism and elitism. What is so frustrating about these issues is that everyone wears clothes and consciously or unconsciously everyone has to make a decision about fashion on a regular basis. The process of dressing is probably the most creative things that most individuals go through in our world on a daily basis. Colours, textures, silhouette or clothing with strong references all come into contact in the western world and the choice of creating a personal identity through clothing is endless. Even the very people who dismiss fashion still make a conscience choice of how they want to be approached and judged by rejecting it. The capitalistic power that destroys fashions credentials into the designer handbag or perfume-consuming components throw it right down to the bottom of the hierarchy of the arts. How often is fashion taken seriously for its intellectual properties outside of the fashion industry?
This introduction may seem a little extended but it seems necessary to approach in regards to Rick Owen’s Spring Summer 14 collection presented yesterday in Paris. Most prominently the show tackled the endless problems of the modeling industry by using real people, being used for their talent and lifestyle rather that the mathematic dimensions of their facial structure and body. This immediately makes what Owens has created more accessible and human. The designer created a new woman who was fierce and in control. (and not just fierce in ‘fashion’ kind of way) Not only were the people chosen unusual because of these issues but their behaviour was completely unexpected on the podium of the catwalk. Select from an American group of women performing the exceptional stepping, Owens recently cited it as an American art and thinks of it as a kind of “brutalist’”. Dance has been used as a way for designers to exhibit their clothing since the turn of the century but it is rare, no designer after six months hard work wants all of the attention to be on the dance rather than the designs. It seems so frustrating that designers biannually have the opportunity to create a space for performance and rarely is this ever taken up. Unfortunately the desire or need of selling garments takes over the will to create anything bigger than the clothing.
However this catwalk surpassed these problems, organisation of the choreography meant that every detail could be concentrated upon. As a designer he has already established himself more than many could dream for. No one quite does ‘lifestyle’ like Owens and his designs are distinctively recognisable, many of his collections could surpass through time never looking in or out of fashion. Was this show a way to grow the brand beyond the notions of design? But to celebrate the name and expand on what already exists? To really create something beyond an image of a woman but perform it through these dancers? The photographs from the catwalk do not show the women looking vacantly into space but ferociously right into the camera as they march into view. It almost felt like the clothes had been designed for the dancers specifically rather than for the general public which is a brave but commendable move. Owens can afford to make this kind of spectacle because no matter what his fan base will carry on feeding into him. His customer is not the kind of human to be detracted from the unorthodox nature of these women’s bodies which is such a exhaustingly boring problem within fashion and deters so many but also attracts so many for the wrong reasons. He is established enough to do almost anything he wants which is why we should celebrate what he is doing now. For a designer in his fifties this show is tightly on point and visionary. It gave a platform for these dancers to show the world stepping, broadcasting it to completely new audiences. It celebrates fashion for the right reasons; it magnifies clothing’s abilities to create new, powerful identities rather than conforming into banal stereotypes of unattainable women and it expands on the enjoyment of wearing clothes and shows fashion as an inherently creative process that can integrate between the arts and situate itself in different cultures apart from haute couture. Besides from all these comments it was more than anything really enjoyable to watch, and shouldn’t that be the case of all catwalks?
You can watch the video which Diane Pernet made on the front row here
photographs taken from style.com
London sportswear designer Nasir Mazhar’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection was presented on Monday at London Fashion Week. Curated as a presentation rather than a catwalk, Mazhar’s carefully selected models consisted of his female friends, hardly any of which were professional models. This presentation was refreshing in a number of ways, predominately and most obviously through the spectrum of different body shapes and ethnicity’s cast which is endlessly important to celebrate when any designer choses to display their clothing like that. Other than that, the behaviour of the girls while being photographed added a layer of contemporary narcissism, the feel of being inside a reality television program as they took selfies and danced around for the guests and photographers. Mazhar’s clothing is inherently street wear, and like all sports based fashion its through attitude which turns the clothing into having a stronger identity. The likes of Yoon of Ambush, Mademosille Yulia, Grace Ladoja, Arabella Drummond and Isamaya Ffrench were transformed into Mazhar’s women through the confidence that beamed out of them throughout the presentation. Ranging from the ultra sexy fringed suspenders to perfectly comfortable tracksuits, the clothing seemed to excel a kind of boldness which made his models look proud to own their own bodies and be themselves.
Mazhar’s use of branding was predictably predominant throughout the collection and found its way warped around the girls bodies, but extra details like the corkscrew fake nails and make-up artist Daniel Sallstrom’s slashed eyebrow’s really completed the collection. Mazhar chose women to represent his already well known brand who are all successful young creatives in their own right and ultimately this escalated the collection into one higher vision which completely detracted from the mainstream fashion weeks.
There was none of the anonyminity of the under-whelmingly uniformed models in constrictive and elitist garments which has sadly become more than beyond a stereotype of the fashion world. The designer showed us a group of women enjoying themselves in clothes that they actually wanted to wear and that is exactly what fashion should be about.
You can see the whole collection here
Sang Bleu friends Komakino presented their latest collection at the concept shop Void last week.
Some nice detail photos from Thom Browne’s fantastic and aggressively gender-fuck collection, paring together feminine embroidery, abruptly shiny PVC, harlot-esque red lipstick, platformed boots accessorised with frilly white socks, leather gloves, resilient mirrored aviator glasses and all topped with a super soviet silhouette with the stiffness to the A-line jackets, rigid ties and bright white shirts.
All photos taken by Maxime.
Tisci’s unrestrained new menswear collection displayed his models in Moari-esque make-up and layers upon layers of sci-fi patterns. His models were transformed into futuristic warriors in their sandals and masculine physiques.
Kris Van Asche presented his Dior Homme collection to us with patch-worked panels in hues of blue reminiscent to Mondrian paintings over lapping one another through a selection of elegant jackets in varying lengths. Maroons and blacks were also used in this smart collection accessorised with steel toe capped brogues and flawlessly groomed hair. The distinction used between the formality of much of the tailoring and perfectly thought out layers of squares was also very satisfyingly contrasted with soft leathers and PVC macs. The runway had been designed as a prism of cubed mirrors exaggerating the preciseness to the over all aesthetic and also acted as away for the designs to be manipulated into various different images and details.