22 January 2012

The Usual Suspects: Part One


Fall/Winter 2012

The gradients, the multiple layers, the longer silhouettes.  With Ann's womenswear the use of red in her looks often seems to indirectly play the role of subverting the traditional sexual coding of the colour.  She seems to approach red much as Yohji or Rei would, it is for the tonal value the colour provides, rather than for any popular cultural or symbolic meaning.  In this collection I think that tonal quality was more readily apparent, especially when placed alongside looks that featured electric blue used in the same manner as the red.  The black to red gradients sit comfortably with the black to white gradients, albeit with the rather intricate feather/fishbone pattern towards the end of the collection providing a greater depth.  This collection is so much stronger than the current season, which I enjoyed despite of the rather messy show styling.  I have fallen in love with Ann all over again.


Fall/Winter 2012

The skirts, the large rose prints, the bouclé jackets.  Rei does what she does best with her menswear - play with gender.  This is not the forced feminized androgyny of recent Rad Hourani, nor is it the comic fetish of Jean-Paul Gaultier.  Rather, with the shaggy hair, the youthful faces, the bare legs, the bow under the chin, the slightly stacked heel, she combines elements of the young (pre-pubescent?) girl - playful and eternally youthful - with traditional tailoring and suiting - the very symbol of masculinity and (male) maturity.  Fashion is its own death and so designers either seek to create an everlasting present, or remove their designs entirely from time, thus preserving it from its inevitable fate.  Kawakubo states that her designs are meant to be timeless, and here one sees how - the youthfulness denies the passing of time, whilst the tradition places it outside that time.  Fun, carefree and elegant.


Fall/Winter 2012

The luxury, the fabrics, the sensuality.  Damir moves on from his Ottoman Turkish inspirations, further East, to the foothills of the Himalayas.  Whereas before one saw woven blanket shawls, essential for the cold desert nights, one now sees the fur shawl, perfect for the lord of some mountainous terrain in Central Asia.  It was a far more opulent collection than Damir has shown previously, building upon the tailoring of the past two seasons and combining it with the more traditional Eastern influences of his earlier collections.  I am never really a fan of the more common 'ethnic' inspired collections (especially where my own heritage is concerned), for it is usually done in a manner that plunders and fetishizes the Orient/Other, however with Damir I find a natural grace and elegance (and dare I say a cultural authenticity?).  I must say I enjoy a more luxurious Damir.      


Fall/Winter 2012

The tailoring, the cuts, the clean silhouettes.  I have to be honest and say that I was not a fan of the majority of the collection.  The prints and colours were too loud for my liking, but they did work for what they were.  This was not Dries at his best, but I enjoyed the more toned down pieces.  His tailoring is exemplary.  Besides, his collection was worth mentioning for that second look I posted alone.


xxxx

4 comments:

  1. Awesome reviews. Cool details.

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  2. Love these last few. Great post!

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  3. i've not actually had chance to look through any of these collections, did have a look through some others though. i'll take a peek through the set now. it does increase your interests when you know exactly what the collection is about. these things tend to fly by me. that's why i leave the good reviews to people like you.

    nice to be on a similar wavelength re: clothing and production

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  4. Ann lost me the past few seasons. It's good to see she's got her inspiration back.
    I agree with you on 'ethnic' inspired collections. I don't wear them - particularly the Asian prints as I feel that it's cultural appropriation. That being said, I don't walk around wearing a beret and Norwegian sweater either.

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