Among the sea of many options in clothing we have today, which also contributes to the state of overwhelmed digital confusion we live in, it is refreshing to see that designers are still trying to push boundaries while incorporating some changes (as in change the core meaning behind fashion) to their collections by introducing some kind of innovation in technology to their garments and its fabrics.
Proenza Schouler, of course should be the name that pops up to mind, when you’re thinking of industrious design. Last February 13, they showcased down the runway a fabric that resulted from two months of research, using a fancy new named technique the “ultrasonic welding”, a juxtaposition of laser-cut fabrics fused together. Other tech fashions to fabric included perforated ostrich skin, veils sewn to dresses made from tiny micro chains, among others.
Meanwhile in London, another fashion in fabric was spotted at the Meadham Kirchhoff show, vinyl was laser-cut to mimic lace.
Few months back, International Woolmark European Prize was awarded to Christian Wijnants. He and his team developed a technique, through an industrial production process, using a single strand of merino yarn, to create a hand-knit voluminous dress that was dyed using the Japanese shibori tie-dye method.
Off the runway scene and on the research arena the fashion in fabric is a bit more far-fetched. Biocouture, is a clear example, a project by london based Suzanne Lee and senior research fellow at Central Saint Martins, which investigates the growth of clothing through the use of bacterial cellulose.
One might say, by the shape of things, that bacterial cellulose might very well be the “ultrasonic welding” of the Fall 2020 NYFW.
Following-up Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, if Sicilian women could stand a chance at becoming the leader of the Catholic Church, this might very well be what they would choose to wear, while dealing with the damage control of the sexual intrigue scandal. Courtesy of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
gif made from pics of the D&G AW13 collection exihibited yesterday at MFW, courtesy of vogue.com.
On the aftermath of Suzy Menkes’ article on T magazine satirically portraying the circus, fashion had become, many expressed on going concerns, leaving echoes of a sob, longing for times when fashion people, were entitled the “black crows” and when opinion belonged only to the fashion critics. But rather than sob, or to be against something that actually made me, and my generation the opinionated little brats we all are, while mastering our social online personas, we should actually turn to a question the man reppeller left while giving her very opinionated response to Suzy Menses’s eyebrow raising article: “HOW DID WE GET HERE AND WHY DON’T WE CHANGE IT?” Later I’ll try to get to that, most certainly in another flamboyant post.
Many old timers feel threatened by the possibilities the WEB 2.0 can throw at a young tech savvy and fashion enthusiast, with a camera and a way with words.
But truth be told, in a sea of well stylized personas floating around the shows during the several fashion week events, the moto nowadays is “the gaudier the better”, letting me, a product of the web generation (which actually, made possible most of the knowledge I own today) question whether its creations, the showoffs and the night-to-day fashion celebrities are shadowing the actual visual interest of the fashion-show per se, and putting off a lot of people, who are there for the fashion and not for the fast-self promotion, and perhaps downgrading the biz from a state of an almost art to pure fast reality entertainment. (Of course there’s no blame in wanting a bit of recognition)
Quoting here a section of the Pet Shop Boys’ Flamboyant lyrics quite accurately describes “The Circus Of Fashion”, while thinking of Anna Dello Russo striking several poses for the street style cameras, claiming her peacock status (love her italianism, none the less):
image from jakandjill.com
“You’re so flamboyant
the way you look
It gets you so much attention
Your sole employment
is getting more
You want police intervention
You’re so flamboyant
The way you live
You really care that they stare
And the press deployment
is always there
It’s what you do for enjoyment
You’re so flamboyant
You’re so flamboyant”
And quoting my all-time fave free-spirited mademoiselle Garance Doré, on her last Pardon my French:
“I don’t approve of everything that’s trending.” says Ms. Doré, my inner self could not agree more.
More on the subject to come! Illustrated below, are the all in black dressers le french-voguettes, (or in Suzy Menkes words “the opposite of look-at-me-fashion”) sporting the ultra-clichéd fashion patterns of Rei Kawakubo’s Commes des Garçons FW12 show.
gif by me.
In an exciting new series of this reader’s short life, I begun a journey, setting sail into the deep sea waters of the fashion world made for the masses.
“Want it but can’t afford it, no worries, cos high-street has the solution to all your in-style dilemmas.”
DO YOU WISH you could be Julia Nobis while sporting the black magic look ensemble, Heidi Slimane made for his debut collection at Saint Laurent Paris? (which actually gave everyone some gossip material to talk about a few months back.)
image from the web
Fear not, ZARA has come to the rescue, here’s a sneak peek into their “black magic look” worn by Raquel Zimmermann featured on their SS13 campaign.
image from zara.com
Needless to say LONG LIVE FASHION (i mean, high-street).
Back in 2010, fashion critic Suzy Menkes gave her insights on the bloggers boom by saying “The world changed when fashion instead of being a monologue, became a conversation.” It is arguable whether fashion blogging has reached its highest point, and now it’s slowly declining, since data from some blogging services do not register a decline.
One thing that surely, has not registered a decline, is our constant eagerness to understand what’s behind the products we fashion lovers, buy or wish to buy. We want to get more and MORE inside info (and access) from this visual industry. Now we want to hear not only from the voice of peer consumers, like bloggers (I’m sure everyone enjoys, as much as I do, watching Garance Doré, being normal on her lovely Pardon my French series, while hooping from an high-end fashion show to another, or the likes of the more static traditional catwalk imagery of front-row bloggers, via their various social and self promoting platforms) but from the team that creates this same products. Now we want to be connect to who is actually conceiving this series of make belief fashion personas. And of course, we know that these days technology are experiencing an high point in their love affair.
Image from garancedore.fr
Pinterest and Instagram are an obvious choice of platforms to engage lovers in their new collections. The likes of Dolce & Gabbanna, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vouttion gave lovers, a glimpse to their to come SS’13 collections before their fashion shows. L’Wren Scott even choose to show her entire collection via instagram only.
But we must admit that the game changer has been Google. I’m sure most people were stunned when Katryn Kruger walked the runway wearing some kind geeky interstellar eye device called the Google Glass last season at the Diane von Furstenberg show. The eyewear recorded the model’s point of view while walking down the runway, and backstage during prep time, engaging viewers at standpoints whereas they could never come in contact with, a video with an edit of the images was then launched afterwards. The marketing stunt gave DVF show the third place of most discussed designer on Twitter during NFW according to social media agency Whispr.
gif by Fashgif
Google also did a partnership with Topshop last season, but this time live streaming their Unique SS’13 show live at youtube.com, where lovers could buy its products spot on, and share their most wanted items via the usual social networking platforms. It was said that a total of 200m people worldwide were exposed to the Unique show imagery, generating web traffic to Topshop.com from over 120 countries worldwide, and having certain pieces of the collection selling out within an hour.
This season, once more, and to prove the sucess of last season’s partnership, the Topshop Unique Show FW’13 will be streamed live but this time using the Google+ platform. Consumer engaging activities will be carried out extensively via this platform, from chatting with Unique models such as Cara Delevigne or engaging on an hangout with the design team. The idea is to share the fashion show experience from every angle with everyone who loves the Topshop.com brand.
“The Future of the Fashion Show with Google+.”, is the Topshop Unique AW13 moto, and might very well be the start of a whole new fashion reality.
image from Topshop profile at Google+
Standing still or taking a breather on today’s overwhelming confusion while living accordingly to the new “millennium” standards it’s seen nowadays as a mirage in the middle of the desert. This thirst for finding balance between what’s best about both the new and the old worlds, it’s leading us on a quest to find human qualities in our day-to-day technologies.
Image from Synchrodogs latest project entitled “Quasars”
Bringing human and emotional qualities to our app-full devices, that tells us where to go, where to eat, where to sleep, what to read, what we do, where we have been, to a degree of an insane accuracy and leaves us with no choice to incorporate the good “old” world serendipity, into our “new” world lives. It’s not a question of choosing whether to go analog our to remain a full on app-addict, but rather find a place where a breather can happen without loosing our post I-devices way of live.
Finding a place to escape where one can be taken away from the digital jungle, with no noise of any kind is being channeled into today’s fashion and retail business being the latest designer collaboration at H&M featuring Maison Martin Margiela where on the video promos you can see a man with a watch on his wrist but he really can’t tell the time because there’s no analog, no digital or a display of any kind.
still taken from the “Maison Martin Margiela with H&M - The Silent Manifesto”
Another example is the No Noise shopping space developed at Selfridges composed of a carefully selected range of Quiet products, where de-branding is used to incorporate peacefulness into our hectic lifestyles which are usually related to our log-in/log-out duties.
Image from the Selfridges’ The Silence Room (source: Dezeen)
Looking at the shape of things to come we are reaching a melting point, and maybe desperately needing to try the latest of diets, the Diet of Information. And as the diet’s author, Mr. Clay A. Johnson, puts it “Nobody has a maximum amount of storage for fat, and it’s unlikely that we have a maximum capacity for knowledge.” So, do you care for a bit of escapism in your life? “I will have one to go, please!”