Tuesday, March 02, 2010

So etcetera etcetera I apologize for the absence, but my reading week just passed (which I spent working both a job and on assignments) and the week before that was a bit busy as well. So not only have I been absent from the blog but I've been pretty behind on all of the fashion weeks as a result. When I say behind I mean so far back I've lost the pack (just finished all of NY and about to start London). So tomorrow I'm going to sit in my school's computer lab and catch up because guess what? PARIS IS STARTING TOMORROW SAY WHUUUT. I'm going to do review posts eventually as well (also I couldn't decide which to do so I requested my Tumblr bbs to suggest some - so far we've got Prada, Missoni, D&G and Marc Jacobs) because I need to brush up on my writing skills (even though I have a 1200 word research essay due on Monday which I should be working on instead). Anywho this is what I wore today (the red skirt irritated me on the way to school so I took it off after only a bit of wear, unfortunately. Gotta remember skin on zipper contact isn't comfortable)

Moreover, what possessed me to make this face? I need to plan facial expressions pre-taking pictures of outfits.

I DO WHAT I WANT. No but actually, this expression needs to get off of my face.

Pale beige cardigan on backwards, H&M. Detailed beige tee and red skirt, vintage. Cream skirt, thrifted. Tights from eBay.

Also, remember the book Radical Fashion I was talking about? It's basically a compilation of essays on what the book describes as 'radical' designers, which is a sentiment I share. So far I've only managed to read the first three essays (I believe there are about five or six?) and the research that has been put into them is astounding. Although the two latter essays I read were concerning facts about the past and present of certain designer's work (for example, the second essay was about Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaia's work in couture and the third regarded Yohji, Rei, Issey Miyake and to an extent Junya Watanabe, as they brought to Paris a sense of perfection to what the western considered a degradation of beauty; imperfect) which I already was aware of, the first essay didn't concern so much the designer as it did the role that the Futurist movement played for each designer, both consciously or without conscious influence at all.

The essay itself is entitled 'Looking Forward, Historical Futurism' and it's written in an articulate, quite fluent manner by Judith Clark. I'm not going to delve too deep into discussion of the essay itself because it'll basically lead to a summary from me and I'd rather you guys read it yourselves (don't tl;dr this you guys! It's intriguing I swears). Basically the Futurists were turning their back on timeless, elegant, goddess-like clothing that of course was a radical thing to do.

It's online, you can read it here. But I'm going to post some excerpts I found interesting nevertheless.

The tradition of the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the minds of the living. And, just when they appear to be engaged in the revolutionary transformation of themselves...in the creation of something that does not yet exist, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they timidly conjure up the spirits of the past to help them; they borrow their names, slogans and costumes so as to stage the new world-historical scene in this venerable disguise and borrowed language... In the same the beginner who has learned a new language always retranslates it into his mother tongue: he can only be said to have appropriated the spirit of the new language and to express himself in it freely when he can manipulate it without reference to the old, and when he forgets his original language while using the new one.

Futurist clothing had to be aggressive and dynamic (through the use of triangles, spirals, cones, that 'inspire love of danger, speed, hatred of peace and immobility'). It has to be asymmetrical as opposed to classically harmonious (he specifies examples—perhaps a jacket with one sleeve longer than the other or one rounded lapel and the other square.) It had to be agile, simple (easy to put on and remove) and hygienic (for war marches). It had to be joyful and hence its colours had to be vivid (here Balla uses the emphasis typical of Futurist manifestos to describe colour 'Reeeeeeeeeeeds, Viiiiooooooleeeets, greeeeeeens') and fluorescent (an early example of its application to textiles used for everyday dress). It had, vitally, to be reactive, achievable, with modificanti (fabric badges), applied to an outfit both to reflect the wearer's mood and to enhance its impact, using 'war-hungry, decisive' adjectives never before applied to dress. Finally, it had to be disposable, not durable, to ensure fast renewal.

(ironically Balla and I seem to have the same method of emphasis ^^)

Futurists enjoying daring, novelty, originality, even absurdity in its own right, highlighting the obviously associated behavioural dimension of dress. For Futurists both wearer and dress were active.

But I think what mainly piqued my interest in Futurism integrated with fashion is how Futurists wanted to translate paintings which completely abstracted the human form into clothing. For an example, take Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending A Staircase No. 2. I'm not talking prints, structure or color palette; I'm talking the complete translation of bodily form and posture. That is definitely what I would call radical.

Finally, there were pictures in the latter of the book of collections, advertisements, exhibitions, artwork, you name it, by the designers. I'll start with Gaultier and Alaia, the first of the two essays with focus on designers, then end it with my favourites; Kawakubo, Miyake, Yamamoto and Watanabe. :3 (I'll post the Margiela/Chalayan/McQueen/Westwood ones when I get to the essays)

Azzedine Alaia:
left: A/W 2000-01 right: A/W 1979

Jean Paul Gaultier:

both from Haute Couture S/S 2000

Comme des Garcons:

Issey Miyake:
A-POC 1999 (from Issey Miyake Making Things, ACE Gallery, New York, Nov 1999) (I would throw fluffy animals from cliffs to go back and see this, ngl)
l: A-POC Knit 2000 r: Jeux de Tissu performance by Yayoi Kusuma on A-POC King and Queen 2000
A-POC 2001

Junya Watanabe:

Yohji Yamamoto:
l: A/W 1986-87 r: A/W 1995-96
l: S/S 1997 r: S/S 1998

l: A/W 1995-96 r: S/S 1999


Arabelle said...

I LOVE THIS POST AND I LOVE YOU. i've been reading about this too and i have like 80 percent of the pictures you posted here on my wall already.

Isabel said...

You're face is going to stick in place and stay like that foreverrrrrr! Amazing colourblocking, woman.