20 June 2009

A Fashionable Distress


Whilst the shredded t-shirt trend seems to have grown exponentially in popularity, I have never really been won over by its look. Although I admittedly experimented on an old white t-shirt of my own, it felt more like a costume than something I would actually wear. I appreciate the concept, and when styled correctly it can look very interesting, however my personal tastes for that specific technique lies in its employment for other garments.

My intrigue with the concept of distressed looks, in particular, the employment of distressed fabrics, has always been great regardless of contemporary fashion trends. I have always found the juxtaposition of using purposely aged/faded/worn fabrics in a decidedly more elegant fashion a very interesting art.

Fashion is by its very nature an inherently cyclical notion - that which was in fashion, will inevitably return in the future in a contemporary reimagining. That which was years, or even mere months, after seen as ludicrous will regain its mainstream favour. From the continual highs and lows of leopard print, to the return of acid wash, to the ever changing fit of denim jeans - fashion recycles and reuses trends and aesthetics.

There can never truly be an original idea, for our personal tastes and design aesthetics are shaped and formed by our experiences, memories and lives. Although the end product may be far removed from the source material, wherever that or they may lie, fashion will always draw from the past as a way of interpreting and reinterpreting the present, and indeed future.

However, this recycling lies not only in the form of design and concept, but also in the physical practicalities of fashion. Using traditional, or old if you will, fabrics in a new way, or distressed fabrics to create something new, follows much the same reasoning and thought processes. I am fascinated by the process due to my fascination with fashion as a whole, the constantly evolving, changing and living idea that it is.

My love for distressed and faded fabrics, preferably done by myself, as opposed to having been done in a factory, lies in the fact that I love clothing with a story to tell. All humans, regardless of age, race, sex, location, interests or personalities interact with fashion and clothing. We spend the majority of our lives clothed, and even in cases where clothing may not be so greatly used, at least beautified and adorned (for body art, and therefore fashion, has existed since the dawn of humanity). As such, all of our clothing has a story to tell, regardless of whether we wear a garment only for a day or a decade before retiring it.

Yet there has always been a specific type of distressed clothing that I do enjoy buying new. Indeed, the latest Fall 09 collection by Lina Österman fits that bill. The distressed looks presented by Österman provided a beautiful balance between fragility and strength, a balance that is often hard to achieve lest the looks fall short of either category. The looks were not so much distressed by virtue of their washes or fading, but rather by the more visually apparent methods of shredding and teased tears within the fabric.

Whilst I was still not won over by the shredded t-shirt looks, I was however fully intrigued by the employment of the technique with regards to the knitwear pieces. It was not a finish I had ever really thought about, and I must say I was rather taken by the effect. The first piece, in terms of shredding, that particularly took my fancy was the knitted long hooded cardigan. The very contained and carefully blocked teasing of the knitwear at the front of the garment, to effectively provide somewhat of a striped finish, was in my eyes, perfectly restrained in its efforts. As such, I was fascinated by the more stylised use of the technique, which I think looked fantastic.

However, it was not only the more stylised shredding that I found interesting, but also the shredded knitwear in the form of the washed sweater. Although it came off as far less deliberate, and more random in its shredding, with the uneven strands and indeed a large gape, I was still fascinated by the look. Whilst I enjoyed the idea of exposed skin providing a fragility, especially when opposed to the fact of the piece being warm knitwear, I was also intrigued by the idea of using the piece for layering. It would indeed provide a wonderful visual depth, and the possibilities for layering would certainly be an area I would love to see explored with the piece by those who chose to purchase it.

The idea of exposure was most apparent in the lace shirt piece. My fascination with lace shirts was first ignited by the Givenchy collection, and whilst the bright pink was not a look I would shy away from, I was certainly interested in seeing the other possibilities of such a piece. As such, I was particularly taken by the styling of the black lace shirt with the numerous metal chains and black trousers. The play between femininity and masculinity of the lace shirt, along with the play between strength and fragility with the styling of the chains alongside the exposure of the lace, was done with a beautiful care. I shall admit that given the opportunity and resources, it is a look I would love to try.

The collection as a whole was beautifully crafted with its use of distressed and torn fabrics. I enjoyed the fine balance employed by Österman between such factors as femininity and masculinity, or the more apparent play between strength and fragility. The collection truly did make me think about the idea of distressed looks, and indeed the concept of using torn and teased fabrics in a far more elegant manner. There was a wonderful juxtaposition of ideas and thoughts, which I must say I appreciated, if not simply from a fashion perspective, also from a conceptual standpoint.

Thank you all so very much for the number of comments on my last post, I truly was taken by surprise! I shall endeavour to visit each and every one of your wonderful blogs as soon as I possibly can.

Currently playing: I'm Good ft. Pharrell Williams - Clipse

xxxx

50 comments:

  1. whenever something does get 'revived' it'll never be exactly the same. i mean there was that whole 'retro' 80's crap not long ago (in sydney at least) and it was horrible. for a while, every single tween was wearing only flouro. i'm sure the 80's was cooler when it was the 80's.

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  2. well ive been won over by the shredded tshirt and i can honestly say that Id wear just about all of these pieces shown.

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  3. I suppose there are some things that we just can't wear, eh? Or, we can, but just aren't in our comfort zone. It happens :D

    What I find interesting with the recycling of styles is that when they come back they really aren't exactly the same. As the years pass the newer generations have a newer spin on the older styles, even if it's just in a very subtle way.

    xo,
    hk

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  4. I'm soo bored of the shredded t hype, but that a side these pictures and some of the pieces r simply beautiful!

    XX

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  5. Great, I'm bored with shredded tees to, but this collection is a drem

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  6. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9WP1azXfKng/SjzGRTvTCPI/AAAAAAAAFmU/SZWzFwdtiIo/s1600-h/ostermanaw099.jpg AWESOME!

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  7. that first photo really shows you how artful shredding can be - I really love this collection. It doesn't look like costumes for a deserted island film.

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  8. i do like the distressed look on others but it is something i never wear myself, i think you need to have a certain look.
    also, i tagged you, not sure if you're into these or not (check my blog!)

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  9. the distressed look def has a crafted look to it rather than all the mass produced items

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  10. I like how you described how we can interact with fashion and our clothing, it seems like a strange notion, but I can remember as a young punk using a razor to tear and fade certain sections of my jeans until they were perfect. Nice article.

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  11. distressed and shredded shirts are amazing but i find them hard to make

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  12. i too am a fan of distressed and purposely worn in sort of look .

    i never did the shredded shirt thing but i think itsvery interesting and looks niceif its doneright

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  13. i love that sheer lacy top! so gorgeous!

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  14. I totally love this trend! It seems so cool, especially when you do it yourself from old clothes or secondhand goods, only then recycling takes place;D I don't think I'd buy sth from a shop that's already ripped or torn;)) ALthough a ripped sweater from topshop looks so appealing;))

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  15. Hello again, DK. I largely share your motives for liking distressed clothes, barring that I'm not the biggest fan of the technique, because there's a lovely sense of life and documentation in old, worn-in clothes. Funnily enough, a similar effect can be created by certain modern clothes, specifically those from collections with one eye on the past

    Incidentally, I also like Georgia O'Keefe's work. I can actually still recall (most of) a saying of hers about a flower becoming one's world for the moment it's closely observed in relation to one of her pieces. Good times

    B

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  16. I love the distressed look too.

    Is that your photo in the previous post? It's amazing! and i also passed the lovely blog award to you.

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  17. I enjoyed every single line of your post once again! Totally agree with you!

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  18. Thanks for the note. I'm glad I could make you laugh.

    Oh..I think of these ripped jeans this guy had on at a concert in the dead of winter. Thankfully, he had some sort of spandex under them. He looked like Jamie Bell.

    Some very cool pics in the post. Hope you are having a good weekend.

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  19. Great post. I really enjoyed it. I've never tried to do anything like that to jeans. Tie dye is about as good as I get...and I haven't done that in ages.

    Thanks so much for the note. Yeah, I do like a sweet side to Newt..yet still remaing the anti-hero.

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  20. This was one of those post that was so informative. I really loved reading about this concept.

    Oh..as for "Jamie" well, I thought I'd try something a little different with his character..as in um..well, I'd like to think it more wicca that witchcraft and yet there is a craft to it...yet to make it rather a "natural" ability than anything else. Not sure if it'll work..but lets say he gets around to various one such as even Kelsy as in this entry...

    http://lalehnlauren.blogspot.com/2009/06/energies-about.html

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  21. amazing!

    *
    por cierto tienes una invitación en mi blog!
    A/N - Resort colección.

    xx

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  22. dapper i love the clothes. i am a proponent of older is better, the story makes it valid. the leather slouchy jacket is my fav...

    xo s

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  23. So, so true. I love when clothes of mine get worn by being worn...but intentionally shredding things that are brand new--it's like faux vintage shirts, inauthentic.

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  24. Thank uu :)
    I'm the same ! I want it small and more intimate with people I know, and just do something fun :P that's the best ! :)
    Hope ur having a great weekend!

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  25. Oh my, me...I adore the first top! YUMMY!

    XoXo

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  26. A great post and what a fabulous collection, thanks for sharing!

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  27. Oh,,,
    BLACK is always adorable,,,
    nice post u have

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  28. Loving these distressed looks, especially that chain detail top! Tis true that there is nothing new under the sun, but I rather adore fashion's tendency to recycle and reinvent... Lovely piece, DK!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  29. like you i was taken with this collection, but i think the only reason why i didn't want to post about it is because the shredded tee look is so '15 year old diy style' especially if you spend any time reading blogs, i'm sure the shredded tee look is something every blogger has done. however in real life, i've not seen it on one person... so i guess it's just a matter of context.

    at the same time, i really love how cotton jersey has become such a versatile and artistic medium in fashion, people are really pushing it to the next level and i really like that because i enjoy wearing cotton jersey on a day to day basis.

    last but not least.. i really love that picture of michael kane you have on your side bar. wow. i mean, i don't normally like pictures with cigarettes, but it's unlit, and it's probably taken in the 60's.

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  30. I really enjoyed reading this post, mainly because ever since the whole shredded & distressed trend reappeared, I couldn't quite decide whether I like it or not. I've had somewhat mixed feelings towards it, mainly because like you, I prefer to own clothing that has a bit of history. It never appealed to me, to buy jeans that were pre-faded, pre-ripped (the same goes for other clothing items) or anything else designed to make an item looked used. I would rather cause these effects myself via natural wear & tear.

    However I do like the shredded versions shown here by Österman as well as a few other pieces from indie designers I've seen recently. When the shredding becomes more of a technique, rather than a means to deliberately make something look aged, I can truly appreciate it, because like any form of embellishment, it becomes another detail that makes a garment interesting (rather than pretending to tell a story that isn't there). My favourite items are the first look and the lace dress.. incredible.

    Hope you're having a wonderful rest-of-weekend by the way. And I sincerely hope the sun will make some longer appearances this week! :)

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  31. ...never thought distressed look can be this elegant...Great weekend! ~XO*

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  32. the white distressed dress is ever so beautiful

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  33. The looks are really nice...I've never been too sure of anything ripped mainly because I like my clothes to look pristine, but these are gorgeous. [The shoes were Primark - don't tell a soul]♥

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  34. I so love how eloquently you manage to pen your thoughts. I like the distressed look too but never managed to try it out for myself. I definitely would prefer to distress things myself rather than shop bought.

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  35. Those pieces are all beautiful and intricate. At first, I thought they look like cobwebs but they're so cleverly draped and shredded. Amazing! xoxoxoxxoxo

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  36. I would wear all of them...a little badass, right? I know it's getting a little played out, but when done right (whatever that may be) I love it.
    Ok darling, post is going up at 12am California time!

    I hope you are having a fab weekend! XOXO, Liz

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  37. The shredded look really is all over the place. I see a lot of shredded leggings being sold, but I haven't had the daring to buy them. I'm not sure that I could pull of the look.

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  38. I too have never been one to actually put this trend to use (though I do love it). Haha it seems that I always seem to end up with holes in my jeans anyway, just from general wear and tear, and buying a pair alreay distressed, or putting holed in a good pair prematurely seems a waste to me.

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  39. you always have an awesome photo collections!
    i would love to have distressed shirt and thinking to DIY.

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  40. I actually kind of like these. They feel almost more like art than clothing pieces. Don't know if I would wear it, but it is beautiful and intriquing to look at!

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  41. I love the idea of distressed clothing, but I've never tried to pull it off. I also shredded a white t-shirt, but it was a cheap Hanes version and it didn't look right.

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  42. Great post. You always offer insights that give me something to think about. I hope you had a nice weekend. Cheers!

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  43. hey i just found out about your blog and i love it!
    i'm following it already
    would you mind exchanging links?
    i already added you to my list of favorite blogs anyway haha

    kisses

    www.inspirations.co.nr

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  44. Lina Osterman is genius, she pulls strings from her cultural roots and sort of mixes a bit of English sensibility in her creations.

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  45. Lina Osterman is genius, she pulls strings from her cultural roots and sort of mixes a bit of English sensibility in her creations.

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  46. Oh, I love the collection! It's not my style, but I like it anyways. But, less is more ^^

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  47. Wow, love this collection. There's something so raw and edgy about the distressed look.. which is why I'm a fan. My fav is the second look.. the model looks amazing from head to toe.

    xo, Becs

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