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21-09-2005
  61
arndom
 
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Johnny maybe fashion is always kind of, well, dull but now we can see more of it:-))

EDIT: which mean you are right by saying democratisation fashion is over rated. IN the other hand we must redefine our view of "fashionable". In the past if sth. was trendy, it was because it looked good. Now it is often bc huge money is invested and not a penny should be lost:-D


Last edited by nqth; 21-09-2005 at 12:23 PM.
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21-09-2005
  62
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"FASHION WILL GO OUT OF FASHION"- Rudi Gernreich

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21-09-2005
  63
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When:-)) ?? I mean SS or AW:-P

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21-09-2005
  64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faust
Are you observing or prescribing? Because if you are prescribing, I'm with Melisande - that's a TERRIBLE way to view fashion. To me, the garment is far from fleeting - on contraire, I pick what I buy because I pay careful attention to it, downright to the last minute detail, and hope that they will last me for years and years to come (unless my aesthetical views change).
I applaud you for your attention to detail, Faust, designers love customers that appreciate the minutae of the work they do... but the fact is that people like you are very few and far between (except here). And even you admit your aesthetic choices evolve. You are an elite, tiny target market.

It's easy to dismiss mass market fashion because it obviously lacks the craft of elite fashion, but poor people have to dress too. It's not like in olden times when only royals could buy into fashion and the rest of us wore burlap sacks... if democratization is ruining fashion, would you rather have the good old days when 95% of the world didn't have any aesthetic choices at all? Sure those choices aren't always sophisticated... if they were people like us wouldn't stand out at all.

To me the evolution of the industry is just as interesting as the creative act of making clothes. It's not always a happy story, that's for sure. But the tragedies of modern fashion do not make it boring, but fascinating (to me). I don't think I was trying to "prescribe" anything, just trying to be realistic.

Thanks to everyone for thoughtful posts! I love a good argument.
And I'm interested to know... when was fashion so interesting, what halycon days existed before we became "bored"?

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21-09-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finalfashion
I applaud you for your attention to detail, Faust, designers love customers that appreciate the minutae of the work they do... but the fact is that people like you are very few and far between (except here). And even you admit your aesthetic choices evolve. You are an elite, tiny target market.

It's easy to dismiss mass market fashion because it obviously lacks the craft of elite fashion, but poor people have to dress too. It's not like in olden times when only royals could buy into fashion and the rest of us wore burlap sacks... if democratization is ruining fashion, would you rather have the good old days when 95% of the world didn't have any aesthetic choices at all? Sure those choices aren't always sophisticated... if they were people like us wouldn't stand out at all.

To me the evolution of the industry is just as interesting as the creative act of making clothes. It's not always a happy story, that's for sure. But the tragedies of modern fashion do not make it boring, but fascinating (to me). I don't think I was trying to "prescribe" anything, just trying to be realistic.

Thanks to everyone for thoughtful posts! I love a good argument.
And I'm interested to know... when was fashion so interesting, what halycon days existed before we became "bored"?
Oh, I think I know what you are saying. No, I don't want the "good old days" -- I'm not T.S. Elliot. I'm all for middle class, baby!!! I just wish that aesthetical tastes of the masses grew proportionally with their income. Unfortunetly they don't.

I think the late 80's-90' were the halcyon for me. Japanese in full force, Belgians bringing so much freshness, and Helmut Lang still in primetime. High street "fashion" was next to nothing then - it comprised of Diesel, Nautica and Polo Jeans. There were no "designer" jeans for $200 ($100 for a pair of Diesel was considered proposterous (sp?)), no celebrity labels, and H&M and Target did not have runway shows.

Like I said, not that I'm lamenting the state of fashion (the part of fashion that I follow is going strong - Ann Demeulemeester getting finanical backing to do menswear, Dirk Schonberger back in business, Raf Simons going for a cushy salary to Jil Sander to give himself more financial stability, Junya Watanabe and Alexander McQueen starting menswear, etc...), but yes, there were certain differences.


Last edited by faust; 21-09-2005 at 01:22 PM.
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21-09-2005
  66
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I don't know about the rest of you but I find this tragedy played out every day when I am deciding what to wear. Either I am dressing to be 'appropriate' and hate it, or I dress the way I want and am quietly snubbed (i live in small town Canada). I get bored of what I am wearing by the end of the day, change, and have WAY to much laundry to do. Sometimes I want to wear the same thing every day, just to see if i could do it then come back to fashion with a clear mind. Fashion magazines suck but every month i cant help it. Any tips on getting your head out of the closet?

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21-09-2005
  67
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That's why we need to support people like Kirsten Dunst and Chloe Sevigny.

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21-09-2005
  68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faust
Oh, I think I know what you are saying. No, I don't want the "good old days" -- I'm not T.S. Elliot. I'm all for middle class, baby!!! I just wish that aesthetical tastes of the masses grew proportionally with their income. Unfortunetly they don't.

I think the late 80's-90' were the halcyon for me. Japanese in full force, Belgians bringing so much freshness, and Helmut Lang still in primetime. High street "fashion" was next to nothing then - it comprised of Diesel, Nautica and Polo Jeans. There were no "designer" jeans for $200 ($100 for a pair of Diesel was considered proposterous (sp?)), no celebrity labels, and H&M and Target did not have runway shows.

Like I said, not that I'm lamenting the state of fashion (the part of fashion that I follow is going strong - Ann Demeulemeester getting finanical backing to do menswear, Dirk Schonberger back in business, Raf Simons going for a cushy salary to Jil Sander to give himself more financial stability, Junya Watanabe and Alexander McQueen starting menswear, etc...), but yes, there were certain differences.

I see what you mean. But as long as people like Anne, Raf, and Junya are doing there thing and there is still in influx of talented young designers (Henrik Vibskov, Ricardo Tisci, Tao Fujiwara) there will always be something there for the people who have a true appreciation for fashion.

One thing I will say is that as much creativity there is in fashion, at the end of the day it is a business. If the clothes don't sell then there is no point in making it in the first place. (not that people should make clothes just to sell but it needs to get off the rack and be worn by someone!).

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21-09-2005
  69
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It really saddens me that while there occasionally are wonderous pieces its feels like forever since anything TRUELY original has shown up.

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21-09-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterlein
I see what you mean. But as long as people like Anne, Raf, and Junya are doing there thing and there is still in influx of talented young designers (Henrik Vibskov, Ricardo Tisci, Tao Fujiwara) there will always be something there for the people who have a true appreciation for fashion.

One thing I will say is that as much creativity there is in fashion, at the end of the day it is a business. If the clothes don't sell then there is no point in making it in the first place. (not that people should make clothes just to sell but it needs to get off the rack and be worn by someone!).
*Tao Kurihara. I keep confusing her name with Dai Fujiwara the engineer who works with Issey Miyake on A-Poc.

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21-09-2005
  71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny
Democratisation of fashion is over-rated. It results in countless fat wee girls on the high street wearing Joss Stone-a-like outfits with peasant skirts and thick brown belts with jeweled buckles.
What would you like the peasants to wear, if not peasant skirts? That's not democratization of fashion, that's native costume

Seriously, I am for democratization of fashion and good taste, but I think it's unlikely it will ever happen, in my lifetime anyway.

Loved Cathy Horyn's article, and honestly I don't think she is guilty in the way Suzy and Anna are. I loved "pleasing Anna," and "Consensus is fatal to fashion."

And btw, Zazie, what you said made perfect sense to me I think you're right that we're trending away from a handful of important critics to more diversity of opinion. I love that we can say we hate something that Suzy loves (or says she loves) in this forum. I also love that a designer can't "sew it all up" by getting 2 or 3 women in his pocket--what the rest of us think matters, and will matter even more.

I find fashion, not so much boring, as limited. It may well not be as limited as it feels, but there are certainly constraints--what gets editorial coverage, are you in or near a fashion capital to have access to more, etc. But the more you know, the smaller the fashion world seems--or so it seems to me.

Personally I think availability is not a problem. I can't remember the last time I saw anyone else wearing something I own. So it's not an issue for me.

I also think a focus on wearability is a definite positive. How could it not be? Fashion is wearable art, after all, and if it's not wearable, it's not meeting a basic criterion.

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21-09-2005
  72
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EDIT: I don't know if this art should be here or in the Japanese thread. Mod please move if you think that is the place:-)


An article on
http://www.theage.com.au/news/fashio...750075651.html


Quote:
Dressing not so Japanese
September 17, 2005


Red polyester organdy top; blue skirt of the same material by Comme des Garcons, 1997.
Photo: Supplied


Fashion in the land of the rising sun has changed from avant-garde to boring, according to those in the know, reports Deborah Cameron.

WITH its twists, unexpected turns and slightly raised left and right banks, Cat Street is a fertile river of the fashion world. Along its length the newest names in Tokyo style sprout like lotus blossoms seeking the sun.

This stretch, connecting the city's two youth culture hubs, Shibuya and Harajuku, is where fashion watchers wait like patient anglers for promising ripples and waves. They note what the street's coolest habitues are wearing and spot the first, faltering steps of fashion proteges.

This is today's style briefing from Cat Street: psychedelic rubber boots, traces of embroidery, combat colours, rips, exposed corsetry, crochet for men, papery pleats, heavy gauge canvas and denim, bobbles of felt jewellery and linen so raw that shops smell of fresh mown hay.

Exciting definitely, but not distinctively Japanese.

The tribunes of modern Japanese Style - Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo - altered world thinking about fashion design. But as they edge towards their 70th birthdays where is the new wave? If not on Cat Street then it may be time to declare Japan's avant-garde dead.

Tokyo's fashion radicals first appeared on Paris catwalks about 25 years ago with clothes directly descended, so it seemed, from the kimono, the priestly robes of the Shinto temple, beggars' rags and the armour of the samurai.

"Fundamentally the Japanese aesthetic is asymmetrical," says Akiko Takahashi Fukai. That first crop of designers - still influential today in Japan and Europe revolutionised the shape of clothing.

"It was, and is, an act of defiance to wear what they make.

Ms Fukai, the director and chief curator of the privately funded museum, the Kyoto Costume Institute, wonders what has happened to Japan's great fashion experiment. Today there is no innovation, no radicalism. There is too little independence and not much that is extreme or thrilling, she says. Disinterest, it depresses Ms Fukai to say, is killing Japanese fashion.

"Nobody is interested in fashion now," she says. She recalls "barren" discussions with Japanese art history students who have never even heard of Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto or Rei Kawakubo's label Comme des Garcons, and show no curiosity about any other native designer.

"None. Nothing. From young people, nothing," she says. "They know the big brand names like Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Very conservative, it is boring, boring. An investment? It is a horrible investment."

Miyake, Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons' Kawakubo warped the fashion axis. Miyake made it to Europe first but it was as a group, in 1981, that the three electrified the French fashion establishment.

Their arrival coincided with Japan's economic boom of the 1980s and the world was not ready. The outfits were oversized, intentionally flawed, monochromatic, flat-heeled, gender neutral, draped, asymmetrical, shabby looking and completely different from the sexy, structured, feminine clothes worn by icons of the era such as Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Japanese avant-garde had attacked a central convention - that fashion had to be attractive. Models wore slippers, torn dresses and disorderly hair.

Fashion critics had a fit and spoke of "culture shock". They ruminated on the Japanese attempt "to destroy fashion". From the very outset there were questions about the frontier between weirdness and creativity and where the experiment would end.

"Do the Japanese have anywhere to go?" asked Hebe Dorsey, the then queen of Paris fashion writers in 1985.

"If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it will take a lot of looking before ordinary people can see it here.

"The asymmetrical draping, the strange layerings, the weirdo shoes and equally weirdo make-up (with red ears and no lipstick) were all there, and so was the archaic feeling of the clothes," she wrote.

In the hands of Japanese designers, fabric did not sit flat. Everything looked bent, corrugated and angular. Architectural comparisons seemed more relevant.

A generation later Miyake, Yamamoto and Kawakubo are still as authentic and recognisable, creating clothes for the terminally stylish. Among millionaires, art collectors and rock stars they are mainstream. Other fashion designers wear Comme des Garcons on their days off.

The trio rarely grant interviews these days, they don't need the publicity. When The New Yorker profiled Kawakubo in July, the most illuminating thing she said about herself was that she was relieved not be asked about the "creative process".

"I couldn't explain it to you. And, even if I could, why would I want to?

"Are there people who really wish to explain themselves?"

Sumiyo Koyama, fashion co-ordinator for Takashimaya, the prestigious Japanese department store chain, is one of the more influential but least recognised women in world fashion.

She has a wardrobe to lust after. Her Yohji Yamamoto collection has been lent to the publishers of art books. Her Romeo Gigli and Thierry Mugler wardrobe is in the Kyoto Costume Institute, an archive of Western antique clothes and contemporary fashion.

Her latest acquisition - "this is Yohji" - is a white shirt with a densely pleated plume sewn to the front. The decorative shirt, though it looks papery and fragile, is a triumph of geometry and tailoring. Exquisitely fine origami comes to mind. Its price in Yohji Yamamoto's Tokyo boutique is 100,200 yen ($A1200).

Ms Koyama is an industry rainmaker, introducing new names into a rich market and shepherding customers toward them. Takashimaya sent a powerful signal of approval to the avant-garde decades ago by inviting then novice Yamamoto to open a boutique.

"The wave created by Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake will not be repeated by today's new wave of designers," Ms Koyama says.

"Those three people stand out not only as a group but as individuals. In Japan today we don't see such individualistic designers."

The new generation, she says generously, is "in a sense, a silent wave" and making the wispy, sweet fashion that young Japanese women want. But they do not compare to Japan's great innovators.

"It is really delightful to see them keep on," Ms Koyama says. "It is a human thing to be tired and feel that you are going down the tube. Somehow though, they have stayed on top. It is the enormous energy they have."

Back on Cat Street, the Final Home boutique looks like the place to pick up a field tent and cargo pants. Instead of shelves and racks, the shop has nylon stalls, the kind that emergency rescue crews might put up for showers after an earthquake.

Clothes, with plenty of space between them, hang inside the cubicles. There is no way to tell what is meant for women and what is for men. The overall effect from the mostly black, olive, grey and indigo clothes is of highly stylised camouflage. And clothes for the urban survivor was what Final Home's chief designer, Kosuke Tsumura, wanted to create.

The brand's pulse point is a nylon coat that looks like a top-to-toe ski parka with the feather down sucked out. Without padding, the coat is not much more than a collection of horizontal pockets. Stuff them with folded-up paper, fabric or even leaves and the coat might be warm. Empty, and it is at least light and keeps off the rain.

It is, Mr Tsumura reckons, a garment for the urban apocalypse: protective, functional, adaptable and recyclable.

The coat comes in three colours: "Orange to remind of one's existence, khaki to blend in with the forest and black to assimilate in the city."

Mr Tsumura is a design protege of Miyake and supervises the Final Home brand for Issey Miyake Inc, a fashion conglomerate with 10 brands.

Miyake himself, who lived through the bombing of Hiroshima, has handed his name, image and the future of his designs to a league of trusted apprentices such as Mr Tsumura.

In a fitting riff on the asymmetrical world of Japanese fashion Miyake, Yamamoto and Kawakubo are guardians of the avant-garde at the same time as they are ferociously corporate, controlling global empires and brands.

On Cat Street, the sun is hot. A young woman with both irises covered by white contact lenses, steps into the light. In a small shop a one-armed cardigan is arranged sinuously on glass. A strikingly tall man in voluminous pants with pockets right down at his ankles and a cone shaped camouflage-coloured fishing hat darts across the road.

For those watching closely, sense ripples.

The cutting edge: fashion from Japan opens at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, on September 27.


Last edited by nqth; 21-09-2005 at 07:42 PM.
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21-09-2005
  73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackman
I don't know about the rest of you but I find this tragedy played out every day when I am deciding what to wear. Either I am dressing to be 'appropriate' and hate it, or I dress the way I want and am quietly snubbed (i live in small town Canada). I get bored of what I am wearing by the end of the day, change, and have WAY to much laundry to do. Sometimes I want to wear the same thing every day, just to see if i could do it then come back to fashion with a clear mind. Fashion magazines suck but every month i cant help it. Any tips on getting your head out of the closet?
I occasionally dress to be "appropriate" ... e.g., job interview, important meeting or conversation with the bosses, etc. Otherwise, I simply wear exactly what I want to wear, and what anyone thinks be damned. I guess you know you probably don't belong in a small town I have lived in a small town before, and it can be hard to breathe. There's much more acceptance and much less pressure to conform in the city, I think

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21-09-2005
  74
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Trendy vs true fashion
Quote:
Originally Posted by J'aime_la_mode
I agree fashion has become somewhat boring and it seems like this is happening because fashion is becoming more accessible and mainstream...now this could be a good thing but instead people are using this new knowledge to become label obsessed. So many people think fashion is about buying a YSL logoed t-shirt. The majority of people don't seem to care about quality, fit, or originality. For most people (at least here in the states) fashion is more of a status symbol like "paris hilton wears Dior and I do too therefore I am well dressed and into fashion." It seems to me that to many people fashion is nothing more than a logo. However a good thing is that the market seems to be more varied and with more options so less focus is on trends and more focus is on developing your own personal style and wearing what you like.

Totally agree with the above statement. Too many people think that buying a trendy knockoff item copied from a higher end designers' original idea is fashion.
These kinds of people don't care AT ALL about fit or quality or even the originality ( or lack thereof ) of the piece. All they care about is if someone famous has worn it or if it is in "style" ( the kind of style dictated by fashion magazines ). It drives me insane to see people abandon quality and great tailoring and originality for something that is trendy and fashionable in a false sense of the word.

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21-09-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackman
I don't know about the rest of you but I find this tragedy played out every day when I am deciding what to wear. Either I am dressing to be 'appropriate' and hate it, or I dress the way I want and am quietly snubbed (i live in small town Canada). I get bored of what I am wearing by the end of the day, change, and have WAY to much laundry to do. Sometimes I want to wear the same thing every day, just to see if i could do it then come back to fashion with a clear mind. Fashion magazines suck but every month i cant help it. Any tips on getting your head out of the closet?
I also grew up stifled and put down in a small Canadian town. Don't stop. Just keep confusing them. Don't count on being understood or appreciated.

I never took my head out of the closet. But I had to get myself out of that small town to be happy in my own skin.

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