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07-02-2008
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Margiela's Muse
 
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Poisoned Femininity F/W 08.09
I'm going to bite the bullet and proclaim this an emergent trend. It's a combination of romance and cynicism. It's ironic, irreverant, and progressive. It's a postmodern stab at gender roles in fashion & it's quite exciting, I think.

Examples:
- the extreme femininity belies a deadly edge at Rodarte
- the Edwardian vibe at Ruffian: decadent and sinister
- Rag & Bone's hardened, sharp take on unisexual daywear.

It isn't about one prevalent style or a specific dichotomy (it's not only about menswear for women etc). Wherever there is a juxtaposition of two diametrically opposing trends (soft & hard, most broadly), a certain social context is created and mood cast, and that's what this thread tries to address. Most of the garments here are impeccably crafted but harbor a ruined, poisoned, "punk" elegance that eschew traditional female ideals in fashion.


Rodarte:




Ruffian:



Rag & Bone:


all photos nymag.com

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07-02-2008
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More Rag & Bone:


Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti:


^it feels a bit Gothic and deconstructed.

Alexander Wang:


nymag.com

more to come!

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07-02-2008
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fashion insider
 
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YOU BETTER WORK. Wow, i never thought of these looks being POISONED, but yes, I like your description.

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07-02-2008
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Oh, I'm working it!

I hope Vera Wang's pics are available soon, because from what I have read, it sounds like her collection might fit into this concept! O_o

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07-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shirleebee View Post
Most of the garments here are impeccably crafted but harbor a ruined, poisoned, "punk" elegance that eschew traditional female ideals in fashion.
I'm digging this, I like the idea of punk rock surviving on, but not in the burned out, cliched Vivienne Westwood of the 1970's way. I'm liking this idea of meticulous broken-ness. LOL Is that a way to describe it? Reminds me of how Picasso's most f-ed up work started out as intricate studies he then stripped down.

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07-02-2008
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Poisoned femininity..you just described me! This is definitely a refined upgrade to the punk looks of the past, while still maintaining the essence. It's almost as if the punk girl cleaned up and stopped imitating her punk boyfriend.

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07-02-2008
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Let me just say I love the name of this thread shirleebee, it's a fantastic description.

For me, Rodarte is the epitome of this look, it's like perverted prettiness or something like that. I hope this trend grows from here.

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07-02-2008
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You trend spotting gurus are incredible. As Spike said, the title of this trend is perfect; a very anthropomorphic Snow White eating the poisoned apple. This all looks incredible, especially the touch of transparency from last season in a more aggressive and grunge sort of manner.

A somewhat more structured look at PHI, let me know if you think this counts:

PHI F/W 08.09:



(vogue australia)

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07-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourboltmain View Post
I'm digging this, I like the idea of punk rock surviving on, but not in the burned out, cliched Vivienne Westwood of the 1970's way. I'm liking this idea of meticulous broken-ness. LOL Is that a way to describe it? Reminds me of how Picasso's most f-ed up work started out as intricate studies he then stripped down.
Yes, exactly! Sort of like a perilous, brittle fragility - akin to beautiful yet hopelessly shattered statues found at a ruin. I love the idea of capturing this aesthetic in fashion - beauty disgraced. But because it's 'damaged', there are defense mechanisms built in - like those spiked shoes at Rodarte. It's a wounded, yet potentially violent entity.
I hope more examples emerge that support this specific image I have in mind.
I think the European runways may be useful.

In a wider sense, a jaded, forced androgyny and functionality works (like at Rag & Bone) here, too. It just infers 'poisoned' differently.

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07-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike413 View Post
Let me just say I love the name of this thread shirleebee, it's a fantastic description.

For me, Rodarte is the epitome of this look, it's like perverted prettiness or something like that. I hope this trend grows from here.
Thank you!

Don't the sanguine reds at Rodarte remind you of gashes or something? There's this hint of death and/or violence to that deceptively 'pretty' collection. Like bloodshed at a tea party or something.

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07-02-2008
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^ Exactly, Rodarte has this murderous china doll vibe to it....

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07-02-2008
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FTW MY DEAR.

This concept is something I have aspired to on numerous accounts before this season, but I've never been very successful. As I grow older, I hope to acquire a closet-full of pieces that emulate the look. I really want this trend to be immortalized into a style which others will strive for.

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07-02-2008
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Re: PHI, I just reviewed the collection & I agree that I'm picking up some relevant vibes from it. It reminds me a bit of Philosophy's collection, actually. The transparency in the layering & dark evocative palettes and textures. Definitely sardonic; very Christina Ricci (who is kind of the cover girl of poisoned femininity!).

I'm thinking a few of the severe, icy looks from Posen fit this theme. But it might be in the styling & makeup, too. Coco and Karen, especially.


Last edited by shirleebee; 07-02-2008 at 10:57 PM.
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08-02-2008
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how is this different than neo goth really?...
christina ricci is the poster child for that as well...
and it seems pretty much the same thing from what you guys are describing..

:p

anyway..
i really like what you wrote in your first post shirleebee......
'eschew' is a good word......

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08-02-2008
  15
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haha thanks.

I agree some of the visual elements I've included here could also be construed as Gothic, because a feeling of darkness pervades them. But this doesn't have to be the case - for example, at Rodarte, the clothes definitely have a Gothic sensibility (in the classic sense of the word) but they don't really on traditional "goth" streetwear signifiers. Black doesn't have to come into play, even though some of the other outfits I included feature it. If it's gothic, it's more in the literary context than the contemporary understanding of the word. But it's not about a cliche, subcultural look. It's more of an atmosphere or mood. I think Europe will provide more examples that channel the image more specifically...then again, who else will top Rodarte? :p

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