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01-09-2005
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helena's Avatar
 
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Who really innovates in fashion now?
I was thinking about this today....

Who is really innovating in fashion today...?Who is changing how we wear clothes and what our concepts of beauty are...? HAve we seen the last of the innovators with the death of minimalism and the lack of investment/markets in a society obsessed with established brands? Has everything already be tried before?

Who can we look to to move fashion and sartorial aesthetics forward with force?
I think the only real innovator is Junya watanabe but I am note sure he is doing anything totally 'new' or radical. I guess Chalayan was (and is) an innovator but is he stillinnovating ...what about Margiela?

Interested in people's thoughts.....

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01-09-2005
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I think on a *social* point of view, Hedi Slimane has been an innovator for menīs fashion. I know this had been a controversy for a long time on this board, but I think he gave men the chance to discover a more sophisticated, delicate, sometimes even fragile facete of masculinity that didnīt exist like this before.

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01-09-2005
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hmmm yes perhaps tricot - but he may have made a certain look accessible but has he created anything actually brand new? I don't think so. He has reworked a lot of older counter-culture looks - like punk, mod, casual etc But what was NEW?

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01-09-2005
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Interesting topic Helena...

I think Bernard Willhelm certainly has a slightly different outlook on things, whether it's good or not is for anyone to decide...

I think Raf Simons and Cosmic Wonder have very little to seperate them both at the moment...Their designs certainly have a particular distinction about them...

However, i think it is no longer possible for designers to create brands which are so obviously going to have such a narrow niche to work within, as there will always be a limited volume for expansion, with regards to clientele & financial progression...

I think it boils down to whether designers want to just design, or whether they want to make a successful business out of their tallents...

financial restrictions are forever going to be an issue...there's no real sence for an external investor to throw money at a designer who is only interested in designing for themself, there has to be a market and an oppertunity outlined to be exploited, before the gesture of money is granted...

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01-09-2005
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^^ well if thats right jhaime we'll never have another fashion epiphany moment like when Comme & yohji burst onto the scene in the early 80's.....they wer eanti establishment & radical.....there is nothing like that now.


Last edited by helena; 01-09-2005 at 05:57 PM.
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01-09-2005
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I'm not sure, I would have been far too young to have known anything about their rise...I'm still young now and learning ofcourse...How did yohji come onto the scene?

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01-09-2005
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have a look on the Japanese fashion thread in D&C jhaime. when yohji & comme first showed in paris it was considered the dawn of a new age in fashion terms....it was completely new.

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01-09-2005
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i think i've already beat people over the heads with my mantra!

anyways, very good topic, helena i think this is the stuff i love about fashion...


i think it's about tiers of innovation. i think junya watanabe and hussein chalayan are on the second tier? junya because he's creating clothing in the spirit of the japanese avant garde movement, but with a utilitarian interest -- soulful smart clothing. hussein for also going down the innovative, but practical road. his clothing is like puzzle pieces for the body and for the wardrobe, very flexible, designed very concisely with multi-use, not to mention bringing in lots of flavor with his prints. his stuff on via bus stop was almost flawless.


i think practicality is the biggest determiner of who is innovative. i think on the top tier is comme des garcons and issey miyake. comme des garcons for her brillant strategy of how to run a fashion business. most companies see very straightforward, but she has periphary vision... and her concept of how to make fashion relevant is dead on. she knows.


issey miyake is no longer designing fashion in the traditional sense, but he is the closest thing to a pioneer. he is creating not fabric, but a second skin. for him fashion is about movement and freedom, almost like dressing in music... free flowing and unrestrictive. everyone needs masks and costumes in their culture, but he recognizes how to provide it without the labels/ symbolic hierarchy etc etc. instead of relying on prints and shapes to express yourself he knows the most direct potent expression is to be stripped down to physical expression and movement, and a celebration of the body... the closest thing to showing what is human. his view of fashion is the zenith, and in a way it's very primitive. fashion is about the tactile and the conduit to within, and he strips it down to the bones. it seems romantic, but he's actually making it happen.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by helena
hmmm yes perhaps tricot - but he may have made a certain look accessible but has he created anything actually brand new? I don't think so. He has reworked a lot of older counter-culture looks - like punk, mod, casual etc But what was NEW?
See, thatīs why I said that what he did was rather a socially-innovative aspect of fashion, not a designwise... itīs not that he invented the punk, mod, grunge look, itīs the way he executed it - I think mensfashion always aimed too much on making men very strong and masculine... with Hedi Slimane, itīs still a subversive attitude, but it lies ib the details... his jackets do make some small shoulders and the armhole is very high fitted. although his clothes are slim fitted (as with jeans and jackets) they donīt fit that snug on the body as one might think, with trousers hanging low on the hips and armholes cut very small.

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01-09-2005
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I remember when the Japanese started showing in Paris... It was shocking.

Alien, strange, "Hiroshima chic"...

Some people were outraged, some embraced it. It's become mainstream, but this kind of aesthetic was not really there in those days.

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01-09-2005
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i think fashion is so removed from what is real and earthy and human and humane that anyone who gets to that point is innovative. bw and cosmic wonder may be those people, but it is on such a small scale.

i think it's basically about looking at the bigger picture. i don't think dior homme is innovative just because he shifted the look from masculine men to a more androgynous male... it's still a boxed in aesthetic..and it's not universal. i don't think he's saying anything other than showing a different perspective, and again it's still a lot of money, as is junya, comme, hussein, etc etc.

fashion is pretty archaic in that it's still so unffordable by most people. how will it ever REALLY influence people if they can't ever experience it? so the designers which bring fashion and creative expression PLUS utility back down to earth are the ones who are true innovators. otherwise it's rather like going to the louvre and looking at the mona lisa behind glass without ever really seeing it and understanding it.

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01-09-2005
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we live in such a totally different reality both on social and economical lever, this is not the 80's this may never happen again...
i dont see anyone as particulary innovative apart maybe from cdg and junya and miyake (on his own different and much more advanced level)
i think innovation doesnt really 'happen' because people need to take 'rescue' in the past like never before, this is like a marco trend since some years now
innovative design is created and gets noticed in times of 'security' and 'optimism' during 'hard times' there is always the refuge of nostalgia, its a form of escapism, its time for re-working on already used ideas
it all comes down to economic instability
boutiques do not take too many risks, budgets on new designers are getting thin, people look out for 'safe' looks, its like 'comfort dressing'

i hope i made any sense, tired and sleepy here

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01-09-2005
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off topic: travolta, according to major trend forecast agencies utility styles are supposed to be huge for fw06.07

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01-09-2005
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interesting post!
the problem is: you innovate to get to a new place, to get something new. But one you HAVE gotten there, have created something new and successful, do you need to continue innovating or continue making the same work you innovated to get (but is no longer innovative)? I was talking to some people about Margiela and they were saying he wasn't as innovative as he used to be... but does he really need to be? His work is still solidly grounded on the innovations he made years ago and to me are still successful. And as previous posts mentioned, things that the fashion world pays atention to that are innovative are unlikely to be embraced by a larger audience either because of the price or the design isn't practical for everybody.

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01-09-2005
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^ i think we'll see hussein chalayan rip offs.

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