The second season of the Mugler revival brought slits, slashes and jutting shoulders. Violently swooping asymmetry, aggressive post-apocalyptic elegance.
Wednesday I broke from a booked work schedule and ran to Trocadero with Bimbo and Panchita to an already heated entranceway to Dries Van Noten’s spring summer 2012 defilé where we were exposed to a photographic onslaught and an over zealous French woman (presumably some aspca secret agent) who felt it necessary to express how detestable it is to expose the canines to such a potentially dangerous level of audible damage.
Upon further insistence, it was, in fact, security that determined the dogs would be left behind if I were to find myself seated amongst Catherine Baba and Anna Wintour.
The dogs waited at the door as a lesson in exposure unfolded from Dries to a soothing ambient remix of the KLF’s justified and ancient. Dries’s latent fascination with colonialist truths is, no doubt, a powerful motivation which is frequently and sublimely delivered with a technique that comfortably figures into his entire picture as a romanticized subscript. This time around, he not only found a way of seamlessly folding in his recent symbolism, such as military detailing combined with soft full forms reminiscent of African dress, he also mirrored his clear and circular creative clarity with a barely propelled telling of day to night. Safe to say, on this day, Dries was bi coastin’.
The runway, this time, was cleared and barren and taken down to a simplistic black and white providing a spare backdrop for a pictorial telling dwelling literally in the photographic realm and subliminally in the topographical. The images collaged onto the collection recalled rain forests and contractual/constitutional script which slipped into mid afternoon refractions of green ocean tops. The message was exacted as smoothly as an exhale around the cocktail hour when the dresses, remaining in shape, similar to the day looks, assumed new purpose in black. This propulsion was exacted with images of lit bridges. This message came very personal for me, someone who frequently journeys across the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan for darker pursuits. Finally, the function of the photo montage flipped the collection, as if thru a filter, upon passage into a hilarious whisper on a dress which depicted “Circus Circus”. Furthermore, the evening wear finale was punctuated with rainbow crystal embellishment. It all passed masterfully without once freezing a frame. This is the magic that makes the name Dries Van Noten still, with all its infamy, tragically under rated still. Yet, it is no wonder that such refrain and irony shall remain its most valid just barely within reach of the radar.
Whether teasing the throngs on the wrongs of world history using beautiful imaginings of what the Banana Republic aesthetic gone by could have been, as a distant star in the night, or in between as an infra red visions of the evening horizon line at sea it is clear to see the strength of Dries that travels, without pause, in the sublime.
Backstage photos: Schohaja Staffler
Street photo: Zana Bayne
What is left to say about a Rick Owens show? The designer has developed his own visual language to a point where his creations do not have to make sense within the general realm of fashion – his work simply coexists, and happily thrives on its own. The show began smoke emerging behind a “wall” of horizontal lights which illuminated the models in a flash as they passed through it. There was an intense beauty to that moment – an effect created by a simple gesture (walking through light), made possible by an endlessly complex set up. Perhaps a similar sentiment could be used in regards to Rick Owens’ clothing: From afar, his long silhouettes are stoic & column-like, but the addition of a fold along the neckline, the exaggerated lantern sleeves, and the effortless movement of his wrapped & draped dresses are anything but simple, technically complex without looking overworked.
And then there were the flashes of burnt orange looks, and silver shoes, creating energy within the black, white & grey collection. The final looks indulged the technical craftsmanship, collaging different tones & textiles together in the front and small rectangular cut outs in the back to form sharp graphic lines & shapes, completely disregarding any natural lines of the body, continuing in the tradition of Owens’ work to look at the human form in a different way.
With every season since FW10 when Damir Doma first debuted his women’s collection, there has been a steady refinement of structure and level of luxury. Today’s show featured a number of his signature androgynous draped silhouettes, reminiscent of his earlier menswear collections. The other half consisted of what can only be described as subtle opulence; tailored jackets accented by reflective metal panels, dresses cascading from wide golden chokers, and the return to citrine yellow which he always renders so elegantly.
I was eagerly anticipating Josephus Thimister’s offerings for Spring, after falling for his FW collection of twisted shrouded greyscaled silhouettes. What was presented for SS12 was a vision of both strength and ephemeral deterioration. Thick unraveling open-knit ribbon sweaters, suits of both asymmetry and exaggerated volume rendered in undyed linen, semi-translucent pleated dresses reminiscent of the disintegrating sculptures of Eva Hesse. The collection was bound by leather holsters, and belts so wide they almost became armor. For each aspect of lightness there was an equal balance of power.
Just received these very nice shot of Boris’ show! Thank you Nabil Azadi for the images and JayJay for the connection!
each season, Paris menswear FW attendees wonder, “what the hell will Adam Kimmel’s presentation look like this time?”. f/w 2011–2012 was something between Twin Peaks, My Own Private Idaho and The Brown Bunny. With guest participation of Oscar Tuazon.
and here is something that has nothing to do with Adam Kimmel. Only Oscar Tuazon