7 April 2011

Into The Wild

Spring/Summer 2011

^ Hair envy ^

"Sit through enough fashion shows and you can begin to question their efficacy—until you hit one that so beautifully amplifies the designer's vision, your faith is reaffirmed."
"..some of the most jaw-dropping visual effects yet seen in a fashion context."
"When he was asked backstage if he ever wished he could fly, he nodded an enthusiastic yes. Well, today he did."
- Tim Blanks on the collection

Mr Blanks wept after the Spring/Summer 2011 collection by Mihara Yasuhiro - a collection I wish that I too could have seen in person.  The presentation was a masterfully narrated journey through a Henry David Thoreau-inspired landscape that awed and amazed, reminding us just what a catwalk show is really about.  To be honest I actually liked the idea behind the collection, and its breathtaking presentation, more than the collection itself (although I am very fond of the advertising campaign).  Admittedly I have yet to handle any of the production pieces from the collection in person, apart from a single shirt, however fabric descriptions and detail shots have certainly piqued my interest.  Rather than attempting to describe the show, I thought video was called for, so please do take the time to watch those above.   

Commentators have increasingly been questioning the relevance of the catwalk show as of late, which I find rather confusing in truth.  Whilst I agree that many collections do not really need, or work best with, a catwalk show, I feel that it is still one of the best forms of showcasing a fashion collection.  A catwalk show is about the freedom to express, to weave a visual tapestry, to indulge in theatrics, and to really wow an audience.  Buying is done in the showroom, not the catwalk.  Theatricality and showmanship will always work better in person, especially when what is being showcased is fashion - you need to see it in person, you need to see it on a body, and you need to see it in movement.  Film and digital imagery can never replace seeing a garment in person.  

Speaking in an interview with Mekas back in 2008, fashion critic Takeji Hirakawa argued that "Designers make three types of clothes: things they want to make, things they want to sell, and things that they think will sell well."  Whilst commerciality is key to a successful collection (that being 'success' in terms of allowing a designer the financial security to carry on designing), the catwalk is, and should be, the space to transport the viewer into the world conjured by the designer and their clothing.  A catwalk show is more than showing the clothing, it is about showing a vision and conveying the ideas behind the clothing.  That is not to say that shows ought to be about overblown theatrics, but rather that the show is one of the best forms through which to express ideas, however dramatic or subtle.  Indeed it is often the most understated of collection displays that I find myself taken by (please can we move past the hideously ostentatious display that was Mugler). 

Although it was quite a visually busy and varied collection, certain stylistic elements and pieces really stood out for me.  As is often the case with a more theatrical display, you find yourself pulling apart looks and re-imagining them in an everyday context.  Ostensibly running counter to the idea of such a catwalk show, I think an immersive display actually aids such a cognitive transition.  You see how a look is styled on the catwalk, and you think about how you would style it, and rather than sitting at odds with each other, it merely helps you to consider the versatility of the garment in question.  It is for that reason I often enjoy seeing how different people style the exact same garment, because in that process you see the diversity of the garment, as well as the diversity of the styles in which it is incorporated.  It provides nothing but inspiration (...ok, well, sometimes it also provides a 'how not to wear it' as well!). 



  1. Into the wild for sure. Very cool.

  2. Awesome. This is a very brilliant collection.

  3. Gorgeous collection and review!


  4. Gorgeous collection for men. Love your blog.

    Check out my blog if you've got time and feel like it. It would mean a lot.
    Karoline Kalvo

  5. Ah it's such a beautiful collection. The jacket with the sunset looks absolutely stunning especially styled with all that black. I completely agree on the theatrics of runway shows. I adore everything to do with them- right down to the soundtrack/set etc and those short few minutes you're really able to understand the ideas and concepts that the designers have in mind. LOVE!