Once again the folks at Models.com have teamed up with Made In Brazil to bring us an exclusive look at Made In Brazil’s latest issue, Made In Brazil #4. Take this as something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Pick up 3 of my favourite tracks of the moment below and check out more photos after the jump.
Ready to get extremely jealous that you aren’t a celebrity stylist (if you weren’t already?) Vans have made an exclusive collection of slip-ons using the patterns from stylist Robert Verdi’ favourite Hermès silk scarves. The results are these casual yet indulgent shoes that will probably never get worn (what a shame!) only photographed to make us swoon. Checkout more of the beautiful shoes after the jump.
Britney Spears looks good in the new issue of OUT Magazine. She apparently shares dual covers with Madonna (not too shabby.) Pick up a pretty good version of her single Hold It Against Me courtesy of Linus Loves and check out more pictures after the jump.
Ricardo Tisci injected the dark, romanticism he has defined for Givenchy with a ferocious sexiness this fall. The collection started off with a revisit to the rottweiler print the designer had used for his mens’ show. The dogs, however, were replaced with panthers; black cats historically being a symbol of female sexuality and the panthers evoking the predatory and the strong. The cats often appeared at the hem of black sheer skirts, leaving the models’ thighs exposed.
Cat eared caps and fury glasses also accompanied the clothing, but nods to visceral desire weren’t limited to the feline world. Saturated, purple orchids were rich in sensuousness, calling on scent and adorning sweatshirts and knee-length pencil skirts. A few pinup girls also showed up on tops and like the models, were paraded around to be looked at, while all the while holding a high degree of sexual autonomy and power. There was plenty of black leather used throughout and although not a particularly new idea, it presented a smooth tactility and evoked the position of control held by the dominatrix. This was only taken further with the addition of black thigh-highs.
Sex and fashion have had a longstanding relationship throughout the course of history, the former often overshadowing the latter. This was not the case for Tisci’s collection, mainly because of its focus and structure. The titillation offered by the designer was controlled within the context of the runway. The silhouettes were repetitive (slightly boxy top, pencil skirt, sometimes accompanied with a peplum or trumpet hem) and this helped contribute to a solid foundation. What also worked to keep everything within the boundaries of fashion were the inclusion of subversive symbols. Scroll patterns had a curviness to them, but also brought to mind the traditional mechanisms of classicism. Varsity jackets were also dropped in at certain points. They were successful in contradicting the constructions of a hyperfeminine sexuality with their connotations of collegiate boyishness.
According to Style.com, Phoebe Philo’s starting point for Celine this fall was automobiles. Although this may seem like a superficial link, I think its strangely fitting. The powerful, pared down, streamlined aesthetic that the designer has reinvigorated the house with is comparable to the uncomplicated decadence associated with luxury cars. I don’t wanna look too much into this metaphor though, as it is precisely because of it that Celine resists any conceptual readings. What Philo shows are luxurious, wearable clothes that are only meant to be taken as such.
So what can be said about the pieces then? As usual, the show was comprised of chic separates, never being too invested in any particular theme. I thought that the outerwear was some of the strongest shown this season. The charcoal coat that opened the show was understated, but also had a slight old world quirkiness to it due to its long, flared cut and slim sleeves. A tangerine overcoat that popped against a black top also had a minimal appeal, as it was straightforward in shape and lacking buttons. My two favorites though were the long, boxy, brownish green topper, with its belt left undone, as well as a brown fur with a red lapel and cream forearms.
Besides all the coats, there was a plentitude of trousers. They came tapered, with the zippers at the ankles. Some even had leather strips down the side, recalling racing stripes. Dresses were either completely lacking decoration or composed, again, of leather strips. There were also some graphic sweatshirts present, providing a more casual option for the Celine customer. All in all, I think the collection was full of solid, desirable clothes. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but then again, I don’t think any of Philo’s collections for the label can be to considered so. The designer made her mark and got people talking because she reminded us that fashion can be attractive and interesting autonomous of concept. Now that the reminder has been delivered, what’s left is the creation of appealing, commercial pieces that are grounded in technical design alone.
A Comme des Garçons collection is always difficult to write about. There are always a multitude of references present, but the way in which they are in dialogue with each other never leads to clarity when it comes to any sense of a broader message. It is almost as if Rei Kawakubo’s presentations mimic the workings of fashion in general in an obvious way, appropriating an array of cultural symbols and utilizing them in their most reductive forms. Any meaningful reference is completely emptied of meaning and is used solely for aesthetic means.
Whereas other designers approach this reduction with an attempt to reach appealing results, Kawakubo instead complicates things by showing things that are often close to off-putting in their strangeness. The defamiliarization that occurs within the context of a Comme des Garçons show, through techniques of destruction and reassembly, reaches a nearly uncanny level. Take for example this season’s use of silk scarfs, loaded with Parisian connotations of luxury and elegance, but transformed into a lumpy, awkwardly gathered pastiche of a dress.
Yet there is still something hauntingly attractive about all this strangeness. Some of the looks from fall’s collection seemed clownish, some seemed gothic, others felt byzantine and there was equal intrigue among them all. There was an androgyny to models wearing lacy shorts, with one breast exposed, the female body being itself dislocated from constructions of femininity. There’s really no point trying to analyze these challenging formulations. In the end, they are clothes, commodities that will be put up for sale and consumed. Instead, I think Kawakubo’s collection needs to be approached on aesthetic terms. You can enjoy what you see, try to pick out what exactly is composing it, but an attempt to contextualize the references within a larger discourse won’t get you very far.
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