26 February 2010

In The Detail

Fall 2010

Fashion is a luxury good. Whilst clothing to keep us warm, protected and relatively modest is a necessity, fashion goes above and beyond that. The sense of something special is provided by the (hopefully - I am looking at you Rick Owens) outstanding quality of the luxury goods, not to mention their usually lofty price tag.

In order to survive during times of economic hardship luxury goods brands face quite the challenge in keeping their sales numbers at a safe level. When money is tight, the excesses are usually the first thing to go. However where high fashion is concerned, it means that the designers need to communicate with the potential buyer at a more personal level than ever before. By creating pieces that speak to the individual in terms of their construction and style, in my mind, works differently to the usual communication through the whole finished aesthetic of the collection.

In order to appeal to the individual at a time when high fashion may not necessarily rank as high on the agenda as it otherwise would, there needs to be something that stands out on a more basic level. What I mean by this is quite simple, the clothing needs to communicate instantly with the consumer - through the senses. Fashion is a bodily practice, it only ever truly exists when acting directly with the body.

Once removed from the body, fashion takes on an uneasy quality of being merely a trace of something that was there previously. Take for example the moment a loved one passes away - we remember them wearing certain garments, and when we look at those garments again in the absence of that bodily presence, it takes on a different, more fragmented, meaning, as reminder of a whole. A piece of clothing can come to acquire traces of a body, for example a favourite pair of jeans is seen to gain something of the owner through repeated wear. Just as clothing in a shop window requires a mannequin to imitate the body with which it is intended to converse, fashion can never be wholly separated from the site of the body against which it exists.

If fashion is thus inextricably linked to the body, one has to then consider the experience of wearing clothing. Whilst it is easy to talk of fashion and the thoughts it conjures within the mind when worn, it is important not to forget the sensory experience initially behind that process. There is a reason why a cashmere sweater feels more 'luxurious' than a pima cotton version, and that has to do with the bodily experience of wearing such a garment.

For high fashion to continue to thrive as it did before the economic downturn, it can do so by communicating with the consumer through the lexicon of the bodily experience. It is about creating with clothing a sensory feast that feels both luxurious and personal. It needs to feel individual, even if it may not necessarily be so.

I think this is what I enjoyed so much about the Fall 2010 collection by Lanvin. Rather than showing the full length shots, I wanted to focus on the details. It is about creating a sensory journey that entices and fuels the imagination. It is about that most basic and most real of senses, that of touch...

Sight is the most illusionary of all the senses, Touch is the most real.


  1. Nice to see you're back! Thanks for the good read and the pictures!

  2. awesome fingerless gloves! I like that the texture is for the elements. I hope. Interesting about the super tuck in of things. Only reality..doubt there are that many skinny guys who will do that. Instead, that look here in the states(mid-west) is still getting lost in roomy clothes. Possibly not as much as I'd say almost a decade ago, but from what I see where fashion is (at school) just a total different ballgame. Trends which I know would possibly be no where else ..is lots of girls going sporty gansta..which I have to admit, I really don't get and can be a bit on the disgusting side, sometimes.

  3. very cool about those extra leather-like touches.

  4. really..and amazing texture in all these fotos. loved your commentary on the presence of the clothing when you aren't in it..hard to say if we give it character or it gives us character.....????

  5. I have missed you dearly. :) When will you be posing for us again? ;)

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  7. Great to see you are back! I really missed your post! Love this collection!

  8. Chic.....
    Looks stoical.


  9. Oh I adore all the textures going on here. The subdued hues are perfect too.

  10. "Fashion is a bodily practice, it only ever truly exists when acting directly with the body."

    How true. I found myself nodding at every other sentence. How well you interpret the experience of luxury. I hope that more designers take the cue and make fashion all personal again.

  11. I missed you, darling!
    These textures are so vivid it's almost like I can feel them. I've always adored Lanvin, and I'm glad they're maintaining their flawless construction. Now if only I had a Lanvin budget...

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  13. I love the fingerless brown leather gloves, those are hot! :) By the way, I love Robin Thicke's album , I listen to it almost everyday especially when I drive to work hehe


  14. I want to reach out and feel all those fabrics. the fingerless gloves are the cherry on top.

  15. The tweedy fabric looks amazing, the texture, the color, need some in my life!

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