31 January, 2015

Humour in style

When I was young, my mother was a children's fashion designer in a big textile firm in my home city, which, btw, has a history of textile production of over 150 years.  She practiced her skills on her daughters, as do many of us here on our own younger generation.  Some of her creations I recall fondly;  others, like what were probably the very first mini skirts in the city, were so fashion forward that the merciless teasing I got from my schoolmates far outlived the garment itself:  oh yeah.

But despite - or maybe because of - that early exposure to the unusual in fashion, I love fashion shows.  I love the goofiness of them. The layers and layers of fabric.  The bizarre texture and colour combos.  The crazy hair and the over the top makeup - oh, the makeup!!!  The models strutting down the runway sporting terrific tops and nothing except their knickers below the waist.  My husband, when first exposed to this little cliché, went, wha-a-a.a..a...?  I had to explain to him that it's a common trick designed to focus the eye on the sole garment on the gal. Ya sure of that, he grinned.

Things are heating up on the Style.com fashion shows scene.  The spring '15 couture collections had their reveal last week.  I shall not belabour all of them;  there aren't many designers in the couture section, so you can click through them all in no time flat.  But do, do, do NOT miss these two:

1. Viktor & Rolf. I call it "Demeter vacations in Afghanistan"

By way of explanation, Demeter is the Greek goddess of the harvest, and Afghanistan is the world's prime cultivator of the opium poppy (and therefore heroin).  And these gals are shoulders deep in poppy blooms.  The tragic association aside (did V&R realize? no telling), I am enchanted by these whimsical outfits, the "skirt as top" approach, the over the top structure, the frothy petticoats, the way the flat fabric flowers transform into three dimensional blooms. Just fun, fun, fun.  And so easy to translate into a street worthy fifties-retro summer frock.

The second must-see is Jean Paul Gaultier.  Whereas most garments we wear are as symmetrical as a Rorschach inkblot, JPG went all out for "fashion isomer extreme".  Not all of his garments in this collection demonstrate this duality, but many do.  How clever, I thought:  you get to play with the jigsaw aspect of garment construction:  same bodice, different skirt treatments;  same shape, different structure, fabrics, details; etc., and you get to show twice as many ideas on half the budget and runway time.   How original, and how frugal of him.  It says, "I love what I do so much, I just NEED to show you more..."  I love this. 

Oh do look at the whole collection:  we can all learn so much from JPG's presentation.  

In closing, for stuff that's eminently wearable, I want to point you to the Copenhagen collections. I like them. Because they're aimed at people needing to bundle up for six months of the year and still look good?   You said it! 

1 comment:

  1. There is a JPG exhibition here in Melbourne Australia at the moment. There are no barriers so you can get up really close to examine the garments. Amazing. I did manage to notice an invisible zipper that was not so invisible ;)