Critiquing the collections – Is there a method to the madness? - Page 6 - the Fashion Spot
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Originally Posted by loladonna View Post
Sorry, I had to resurrect this thread after reading through a lot of the responses to the collections.

Is it possible people could appreciate collections more if they viewed them in their own right as opposed to viewing them through the prism of the few designers they are familiar with? I'm get so tired of reading fashion critiques that consist of "It looks so Gucci" or "That's so Prada."

There are very few things in fashion that haven't been done before. There is bound to be repetition of shapes, silhouettes and patterns. Is it possible that designer who does geometric prints was influenced by pop art and isn't copying that Prada collection you remember from such and such year? If someone does a strong shoulder are they really ripping off Balmain? Do we really believe that every other designer under the sun is "copying" a few well-known names (i.e Prada, Balienciaga)?
nothing on this planet exists without a reference point. something completely novel or new comes about out of the ether. everything comes from somewhere. it's the nature of our humanity. even our most fantastic dreams comprise themselves of waking reality.

one of the main purposes of fashion journalism -- and really, journalism of all stripes -- remains to seek out the actually novel. this requires some level of specialization and institutional memory. why is this important? it's one thing to create excitement around something which has already come before. that's a legitimate enterprise. however, we shouldn't confuse that exercise with the act of actually carving out something remarkable for its novelty. if marc jacobs creates a collection that's basically an homage to the yves saint laurent of the seventies, he's entitled to do that. it doesn't mean he doesn't know how to design. however, we can't compare pieces from that sort of collection with the neon-strapped shirt plackets from the davidelfin collection. this does not diminish marc jacobs, it distinguishes what marc jacobs has done from what david delfin has done.

let's face it: lots of times, we compare one collection to another because it's a timely, recent, and trend-setting collection that others OBVIOUSLY imitate because they want to catch the sales' wave that those collections have generated: it doesn't matter if it's stronger-shouldered rock chic glamor from balmain (last season) or the austere utterly luxurious minimalism from celine (this season). on the other hand, many times, we don't make comparisons to the collections of the past simply because we don't know about them. that's the value of fashion magazines and forums like this one. to a newer fashion follower, the alexander wang collection might just look like something deconstructed and wearable, but for those who know helmut lang -- and know, incedentally, the audience for his clothes and his pricepoints -- know that that collection isn't something new, it's reaching back to that history. it's taking up that mantle. or making an attempt to do so. and that makes one view the collection completely differently. or it should.

yes, the clothes might look nice in vacuum and, in an idealistic world, may stand on their own. but in the real world, designers and their teams refer and derive their collections from their different perspectives. those who recognize those references and those derivations add to the discussion -- they don't take away.

everything is never quite enough.

Last edited by mikeijames; 18-09-2010 at 05:45 AM.
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Originally Posted by mikeijames View Post
institutional memory
no pun intended, the first word that came to mind when I read this was Tavi

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collections, critiquing, madness, method
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