8 August 2011

B/W Edit


Spring/Summer 2012








Ludwig Mies van der Rohe used the phrase 'Less is more' in relation to architecture, however the beauty of such a phrase is that it has the potential to become a preponderant mantra in a variety of situations.  It becomes more than a notion applied simply to design, or to art, or to fashion, indeed it becomes rather a philosophy in life.  A parallel can perhaps be made to the idea of impermanence, and indeed it can be easily applied thus to wabi-sabi, however I consciously choose the phrase, with its architectural connotations, specifically in relation to the latest Dior Homme collection.  The word architectural tends to be rather overused in fashion writing, and yet one can look at dress as a construction over the frame of the body - for a clothed body is a complete body (the naked body is by comparison socially incomplete, although as Berger would remind us, the nude is a different matter). 

Van Assche's latest collection for Dior Homme was a case of reduction, solid architectural lines, and (admittedly deceptive) simplification.  It was in truth not one of his best collections for the house, however it was certainly interesting - a refinement of his style more than an exploration of it.  One of my first thoughts was actually that the hats were highly reminiscent of Demeulemeester, however that was probably more to do with the styling, especially when worn with the high buttoned jackets.  Beyond that initial thought what I really saw was an elegant simplicity and, thinking of the oft-quoted da Vinci line, sophistication.  

A religious (or more accurately, a spiritual) allusion was not hard to perceive, and it was one greatly complimented by the almost severe simplicity of many of the looks.  One noticed the dominant use of black and white, both highlighting not a presence, but rather an absence - at its most literal, an absence of colour.  Black and white seem to at once negate the body, and yet paradoxically provide solid line and silhouette.  I am here, but I am not here.  It is no wonder therefore that both are so strongly connected to spirituality and asceticism, for negation of the body, and by extension corporeality, is often the first step in any form of spiritual transcendence.  This spiritual notion is almost necessarily defined by material simplicity, and it was the simplicity of this collection that I found most interesting.  I am not sure such an idea can be transferred so literally onto this collection, however it was certainly a connection I made when considering the collection from one viewpoint.

The simple and highly edited nature of this collection appealed greatly to me.  It read like a well-defined uniform, and although I may not be willing to go as far as to use this specific uniform to encapsulate the entirety of my wardrobe, it is certainly a direction I find myself drawn towards.  The rebuilding of my wardrobe (having donated and sold almost everything I owned) has been slow, because I have to recognize that although there are many pieces out there that I like, they do not necessarily work in the rules of what I want my wardrobe to adhere to.  The idea is not so much a consciously forced denial, but rather the creation of a small, coherent and highly edited wardrobe.  I am looking foremost for simplicity, and within that simplicity I hope to find a freedom.  It is hardest to create when given unlimited freedom.  You always need boundaries within which to flourish (even working outside boundaries requires by definition those boundaries to first exist).  So in a sense I suppose I plan to set my own strict limits and work to build within, and maybe soon with-out, those rules. 


xxxx

10 comments:

  1. White is great! ALWAYS!

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  2. So loved the commentary in this. A bit boxy..but still very trendy.

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  3. Oh..each one of these models makes me think of Ste on Hollyoaks. I have to wonder if that actor could make more money doing this..than getting beat up on the show.

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  4. Such cool hats. A bit of the OUTBACK to it..I guess.

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  5. I like what you said about Simplicity and Freedom.

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  6. Such a fun collection..that still can be for all occasions..practically.

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  7. how will you be documenting this? be really great to see this wardrobe you have been creating.

    in other news, have you seen any affordable nice wool trousers about?

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  10. I haven't read you in a while but I'm glad I stopped by. Great writing, and I would echo the comment about seeing you document the process. Good luck with the edits.

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