How to Join
the Fashion Spot / All Things Vintage / History of Style : a remembrance of things past
FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Rules Links Mobile How to Join
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
23-03-2005
  16
kit
tfs star
 
kit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Stalybridge , Gr.Manchester , North UK .
Gender: homme
Posts: 1,521
This is a superb book about the avant-garde in fashion , whether it be the Belgians , the Japanese , or even the British .



When the catwalk meets Das Kapital

Caroline Evans stirs together a rich brew of cultural theory and dazzling photos in Fashion at the Edge

Liz Hoggard
Sunday January 18, 2004
The Observer


Buy Fashion at the Edge at Amazon.co.uk
Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity and Deathliness
by Caroline Evans
Yale £30, pp326


Remember those extraordinary adverts that Jurgen Teller shot for Jigsaw menswear of a man falling to his death from a high building? Or Hussein Chalayan's chairs and tables that folded up into dresses, highlighting the way refugees squirrel away their possessions in times of war?

In her sumptuous new book, Fashion at the Edge, Caroline Evans argues that late-1990s fashion, with its preoccupation with death, trauma and exile, actually embodied many of our own anxieties about Western consumer culture. To speak in psychoanalytic terms, it represented the return of the repressed. We may regard Martin Margiela's deconstructed mouldy garments or Alexander McQueen's dresses made from two thousand glass microscope slides or razor shells as unwearable. But for Evans they show fashion as both spectral and commercial.

The most interesting practitioners go close to the edge. Think of Andrew Groves's 1998-9 collection based on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Or Alexander McQueen's Highland Rape collection, which far from violating women, highlighted the 'genocide' of the Clearances. Fashion has always played a leading role in constructing images and meanings during periods of rapid social, economic and technological change. It can act out instability or loss, or it can stake out the territory of new social and sexual identities. For Evans, fashion is a kind of historical scavenging. So we see how Galliano's Sphinx collection borrowed from Aubrey Beardsley and Gustave Moreau, while the Versace Medusa is both Judith and Salomé. And who would have thought Millais's Ophelia was the first watery supermodel?





Although Fashion at the Edge celebrates fashion, this is no backslapping hagiography. Evans expects you to know your cultural references as well as your hemlines (her sources include Marx, TS Eliot, Freud, Foucault). In no particular order, she explores the development of European mercantile capitalism, commodity fetishism, and the politics of production (the way fashion emphasises consumption at the expense of production, making the latter classically invisible in Marxist fashion).

It's a rich brew, but if you get weighed down by the cultural theory, there are the dazzling photos. Evans can be a demanding writer, but she is not immune to showstopping excess. For her, fashion is about masquerade. And she likes a bit of camp. The chapter on Glamour is an exploration of fashion's motif of 'women for sale' - but there are great visuals of Julien Macdonald's near-naked showgirls and Donatella's sapphic Eurotrash. And who says fashion hasn't got a sense of humour? In the late 1990s, a cash-strapped Victor and Rolf flyposted Paris declaring: 'Victor & Rolf on strike'; while Russell Sage constructed a dress made from £50 notes. Best of all is Diesel's 'Stay Young/Save Yourself' campaign, where models had silicone masks for heads, satirising our obsession with Botoxed perfection.


Last edited by kit; 23-03-2005 at 07:01 AM.
  Reply With Quote
 
23-03-2005
  17
spoilt victorian child
 
droogist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lena
great topic, super photos

wasnt Dries Van Noten also in the belgian 5 group?
anyone knows?
Yes , only there were 6: Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk van Saene, Dries van Noten, Walter van Beirondonck, Marina Yee

lotta van's...

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  18
etre soi-meme
 
Lena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: europe
Gender: femme
Posts: 23,965
thanks droogist

i guess my current fave from the bunch is Dries Van Noten
but really i love each and everyone, they are so different in essence and they developed keeping true to their own signature, maybe thats what made their 'group' work so well, distinctive styles.. own voices, freshness

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  19
loaded and locked
 
mishahoi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: T-o-k-y-o
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,138
Quote:
Originally Posted by droogist
Yes , only there were 6: Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk van Saene, Dries van Noten, Walter van Beirondonck, Marina Yee

lotta van's...
funny, ive only been hardcore into fashion for a couple years, and i've heard of Dries and Ann, but the others are first-timers for me. are they still all designing for the catwalk?

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  20
spoilt victorian child
 
droogist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,975
I don't know when they last did runway shows, but they're all working.

Dirk Bikkembergs is the most commercial of the lot, he produces both mens- and womenswear and has a fairly successful sportswear line. The look is uninteresting bordering on repulsive. He has a website: www.bikkembergs.com

Walter van Beirondonck used to have a line called Wild and Lethal Trash, or W&LT, which for a time was big with the shiny-object-loving cyberpunk crowd. The look was repulsive bordering on interesting. He sold the label several years ago and started a sportswear line called aestheticterrorists (t-shirts, mostly), as well as a small collection under his own name, which he mostly sells only out of his own shop in Antwerp. Incidently, he co-owns the shop and is the significant other of...

Dirk Van Saene, who imo is an incredible talent, but commercially has turned out to be pretty hopeless. It's hard to describe his work, because his collections usually bear little or no resemblance to each other from one season to the next. That may just be a testament to his creativity, but it probably also makes it hard for him to maintain a steady clientele, which would explain why you never see his stuff anywhere. He also produces a small line under his own name and, like Walter, mostly sells out of the shop in Antwerp.

Marina Yee was discussed earlier in this thread. I don't know much about her.


Last edited by droogist; 23-03-2005 at 08:53 AM.
  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  21
Stitch:the Hand
 
Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Among the trees
Gender: homme
Posts: 12,812
I think real distinction in Dirk Van Saene's work is the sweetness and humour. I think the best way to describe his work is if you were take Eley Kishimoto,Antoni & Alison & early United Bamboo and twist them all together. But with a certain Belgian sensibility.

Here's an interview he did with Hint back in 2001:
http://www.hintmag.com/theoutsider/dirk1.htm

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  22
Stitch:the Hand
 
Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Among the trees
Gender: homme
Posts: 12,812
Here's some Van Saene images(I wish I could get hold of some of his earlier stuff):

A/W 04-



That's all I can find for now. Oh...did I tell anybody(may not mean anything)but I remember Dirk walking pass me on the street....of course it didn't even phase me at that very moment. If I had realized at that moment I would have stopped him to chat.


Last edited by La bordélique; 02-07-2010 at 06:34 AM. Reason: Dead Links
  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  23
flaunt the imperfection..
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: downtown...
Gender: femme
Posts: 50,502
Quote:
Originally Posted by droogist
Yes , only there were 6: Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk van Saene, Dries van Noten, Walter van Beirondonck, Marina Yee

lotta van's...
thanks for the list droogist...i was hoping someone would do that..

thanks for starting the thread travolta...and to everyone who is contributing...

OT-LENA..!!!...

__________________
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
ChristianDior



  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  24
V.I.P.
 
MulletProof's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Gender: femme
Posts: 24,663
nice topic guys.

my favorite is dries but i also like marina and walter a lot, and some of demeulemeester's stuff too. i think i havent seen enough of the dirk van saene to make a conclusion so i'll wait for more pics.

i really dont like dirk bikkembergs.

__________________
Metal teeth of carousels.
  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  25
V.I.P.
 
faust's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York City
Posts: 10,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeterbe
These are two excellent books on 'belgian' fashion (if such thing exists ) from a couple of years ago. Both should still be available on amazon. The first one is the most comprehensive and concentrates on the 'first' generation; the second one only covers six of the new kids on the block (well, new at the time of publication! Veronique / X Delcour / Vandevorst etc...).
I have both, and I recommend them to everyone. The only weird thing about them is that Raf Simons is in both .


My favorite of the lot is Ann Demeulmeester, as you all know. I lover her aesthetic, her fine line between edge and sweetness, confidence and timidity, simplicity and complexity. I love the sence of romance, mistery and subtlety that her clothes exude.

I used to like Dirk Bikkimbergs a lot, but Milan spoiled him big time. I still think that he is a good craftsman, and I'll never part with his older footwear that I own. Russians (in Russia) love him , don't know why.

I love Dries's clothes for women, they are very sweet and feminine, very airy. I don't really like his menswear, I beleive it lacks character. I respect him though, and I respect his strive to keep the prices lower than most other designers out there. I don't know if you guys remember the NY Times article, but he expressely stated that that is why he never advertises.

As far as the rest, I never really got Bierendonck's circus, I thought it was pretty damn ugly.


As far as what made them stand out as a group, and what attracts me to Belgian fashion in general: I think that fashion was due for a revolution - NYC, Milan and Paris were dead as dead can be in the late 80's. The Belgians brought a certain freshness to it. It was not pretensious, it was neither ARISTOCRATIC Paris, nor TACKY Milan, nor BORING New York. It wasn't screaming for attention, it was not gimmicky, it was just beautiful, wearable clothes of the highest quality. And it was so different, so thought out - and thought is probably what attracts me to Belgians most. Ann always talks about the amount of thought that goes into her designs, and I just love that. So I think that's what made them -- their refined, subtle, intelligent aesthetic, coupled with high quality artisanship. And not only them - look who came after: Margiela, Raf Simons, A.F. Vandevorst, Jurgi Persoons - all brilliant IN THEIR OWN WAY.

Ok, I'm moving to Antwerp, that's it

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  26
Swim Upstream
 
helena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: europe
Gender: femme
Posts: 6,460
thanks faust - maybe I should read one of those books.

so was there any aesthetic cohesion amoungst the six or just a philosophical one? They all look different to me.

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  27
scenester
 
skeeterbe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: mostly London, sometimes Belgium
Gender: homme
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by helena
thanks faust - maybe I should read one of those books.

so was there any aesthetic cohesion amoungst the six or just a philosophical one? They all look different to me.
No... there's no aesthetic cohesion whatsoever! Thats what bothers me a bit when people talk about 'Belgian' fashion - there's no such thing, really. The original Antwerp six were all very individual in style and they are miles apart in their vision - now just as much as in the beginning.

I believe the first underlying common thread is the Antwerp fashion academy - where most of the 'Belgians' studied. It is considered to be one of the most difficult fashion academies and apparently the first few years are horrendous - they put you through a lot. I believe that is what creates very strong characters who all know what they want; they all came out of there with a strong vision because they had to fight hard to realise what they wanted. I remember reading somewhere that one of the Academy's founders (Mary Priot, I think?) was so obsessed with Chanel that she kept on telling students that was the only thing worth looking at - and I believe it was Demeulemeester who once said that was what created a strong sense of rebellion in her.

The other thing that sets them apart from other fashion designers is that they all (apart from maybe Van Saene ) couple their individual aesthetic with a strong business sense - you should not underestimate the difficulties of starting up a business without backing of any 'big' companies - and to keep going, like they've all done throughout the years. Myself being Flemish I would contribute it to a certain Flemish work aesthetic - hard work, very down to earth, and miles away from the bigheadedness you get in Paris, Milan or NY. Apart from their strong vision and academic background that's the other thing that made them visible - and popular.

So far my essay!


Last edited by skeeterbe; 23-03-2005 at 04:02 PM.
  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  28
Stitch:the Hand
 
Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Among the trees
Gender: homme
Posts: 12,812
Faust,that's a bit extreme. His work isn't really "ugly" to me,just way out there. But that was also W&LT too. Since then,that line has now been demised and the other's are actually quite down to earth kind of kooky. But for whatever he does,the man is greatly admired...he has such a tremendous heart for talent,creativity and integrity. Quite possibly,bigger than I've seen from anybody. Just the feel of his shop and who and what he carries....his continued involvement with being an instructor at FFI...the way he has sort nurtured some our faves.

Speaking of that,have you all noticed everybody that's assisted him have a style slightly in the same exuberant manner as he? You can see it clearly with Jurgi,Bernhard...and some of the newcomers.

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  29
Stitch:the Hand
 
Scott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Among the trees
Gender: homme
Posts: 12,812
Good points skeeter!

I remember that Ann D. article written about that very thing Mary Pirot and the fact that she had to wear a chigon every day.

  Reply With Quote
23-03-2005
  30
flaunt the imperfection..
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: downtown...
Gender: femme
Posts: 50,502
thanks skeeterbe...great post...!!...

__________________
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
ChristianDior



  Reply With Quote
Reply
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Tags
antwerp, avant, belgium, garde
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"


 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:30 PM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. ©2014 All rights reserved.