Fashion is dead, long live fashion

 

1aThe more I think about today’s fashion, the more I realize it’s defined by a kind of fear of empty spaces, or horror vacui in fancier terms. From the number of shows/year, the number of pieces in a runway collection, the number of people attending the shows, or lurking outside the shows, the infinite number of tweets, retweets, to the absurd number of clothing items displayed in stores, the fashion industry is desperately trying to feed us content, to fill every inch of our news feed with its creations. Not a single pixel left unused. It almost seems as if it is trying to keep us distracted from what is actually happening…the end of fashion as we know it.

Li Edelkoort, one of the most prominent trend forecaster published recently an Anti_Fashion manifesto in which she argues why she believes the fashion industry “is going to implode”. Throughout the ten chapters that constitute the manifesto, she tackles different issues of the fashion industry, like the educational system, manufacturing, designers, consumers, marketing, and others.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to read the manifesto in its original form, but in the article published on dezeen.com, there was a phrase that caught my attention: “Clothes will become the answer to our industries’ prayers”, due to the marketing’s demand for sellable products, not innovation, or experimentation in the field of fashion design. Slaves to financial institutions, hostage of shareholder interest, designers are recycling trends from the past, fearful of not disappointing the brand owners, and being replaced.

This perspective sheds light on the curious case of Hedi Slimane and his current success in rebranding the YSL brand. In a recent article published on Business of Fashion we are informed about the commercial success of his Saint Laurent experiment. According to recent analysis on sales at different major department stores and multi-brand boutiques, the brand has more than doubled its sales revenue in the three years since he took the creative reins. Despite the negative feedback of fashion critics, Hedi Slimane’s collections proved he has the ability to create clothes that sell. The secret behind this success? “It’s luxury but super basic items such as tailored jackets, bikers, bombers, denims”. Slimane seems to have been a designer ahead of his times, realizing what his consumers want: digestible fashion, perfectly executed, impeccably made ordinary clothes.2aBut where does this change in fashion leave designers that are still trying to innovate, not generate products? Li Edelkoort predicts that couture will make a comeback. “After all it is in the atelier of couture that we will find the laboratory of this labor of love. Suddenly the profession of couturier will become coveted and the exclusive way of crafting couture will be inspiring all others.” It’s almost like an overweight fashion system is slowly realizing that fast fashion is not the answer to its problems, and it’s willing to try a detox program. I really hope it succeeds, and I really hope Li Edelkoort’s predictions will come true: “This is the end of fashion as we know it. Fashion with a big F is no longer there. And maybe it’s not a problem; maybe it’s actually a good moment to rethink. Actually the comeback of couture, which I’m predicting, could bring us a host of new ideas of how to handle the idea of clothes. And maybe from these ashes another system will be born.”FotoFlexer_Photo

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It’s Getting Late

Despre proiectul “Women’s Tales” a brand-ului Miu Miu am mai povestit in trecut. O abordare diferita de promovare a unui brand diferit. Cel de-al patrulea scurtmetraj, urmand-ul pe cel al regizoarei Giada Colagrande intitulat “The Women Dress”, a avut premiera in cadrul Festivalului de Film de la Venetia. “It’s Getting Late” este regizat de Massy Tadjedin si le are ca protagoniste pe actritele Aubrey Plaza, Gemma Arterton, Patricia Clarkson si Rinko Kikuchi. O incursiune sensibila si intima in franturi din vietile unor femei diferite in aparenta, unite prin ritualul invesmantarii.

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Suflecata pan’ la brau de Adrian Oianu

Unul dintre cei mai coerenti designeri romani, Adrian Oianu, a reusit incepand cu anul 2006, cand s-a lansat in lumea modei din Romania, sa puna bazele unui brand ce ii poarta numele, un brand in centrul caruia s-a aflat mereu Femeia. Acesta abordeaza feminitatea in cea mai curate forma a sa…rochia. Mereu armonios proportionate, subliniind liniile doar atat cat sa le complimenteze, rochiile create de Oianu nu doar imbraca femeia ci ii potenteaza sensibilitatea. Frumusetea acestei femei este una soptita celor care au urechi sa o auda cu adevarat caci numai astfel aceasta frumusete poate fi accesata.

Si tocmai datorita acestei frumuseti aparte ce defineste femeia inchipuita de Adrian Oianu, universul creat de acesta primeste sens. Nu trendurile impuse de la un sezon la altul ii dicteaza acestuia munca, ci ideile invaluite in materiale

“Suflecata pan`la brau”, colectia recent lansata de acesta, reprezinta cautarea simbolica si estetica a autenticitatii creatiilor autohtone. Aceasta cautare necesita o adancire in cultura, o explorare a “ADN-ului” romanesc, o initiere in tainele neamului ce porneste chiar de la structura minerala a pamantului stramosesc. Explorand minunatiile Muzeului de Geologie, Adrian Oianu extrage esenta vizuala a pietrelor, rocilor si mineralelor,  pictand-o digital pe matasurile rochiilor din colectie. O alta sursa de inspiratie a colectiei o constituie covoarele din zona Bucovinei pe care le prezinta sub forma unor texturi ce imbie la atingere. El nu preia fidel mostenirea portului popular ci incearca sa il inteleaga, sa il priveasca din spatele unei lupe creative si sa ii genereze noi sensuri.

Unicitatea creatiilor lui Adrian Oianu provine atat din talentul sau de a transforma obiecte statice in povesti miscatoare cat si din unicitatea propriu-zisa a pieselor vestimentare. Daca femeia care ii poarta creatiile este unica, de ce vesmintele acesteia nu ar fi unicate? Aceasta unicitate nu denota un elitism nefondat si vulgar ci ne vorbeste despre necesitatea existentei unui spatiu epurat, sterilizat in care valorile autentice sa poata transforma un trecut deficitar intr-un viitor relevant.

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