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10-05-2009
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Pushing the envelope - avant garde style
avant garde means...AHEAD...BEFORE...everyone else...
(literally- 'avant' means ahead or before in french- this is not open to interpretation)
fashion FORWARD...


it means that you are wearing it this year..and everyone else will start wearing the same thing a few months later ...
it means ahead of the curve...pushing the envelope...


it doesn't mean just being different...
it is different for a REASON...
it is what fashion (and the masses) ultimately follow...

it may be in the selection/editing of the garments...
but it is ultimately about how you wear them/put them together/style them...
if you do it well...people will notice and try to copy it...
and that is why you always have to keep moving forward...

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Last edited by softgrey; 10-05-2009 at 12:19 PM.
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10-05-2009
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you will always be ahead if you are avant garde...
whether people choose to follow or not is another matter...
but if you are doing it well, as i said...they usually do...
...
additionally,
i do think that avant garde style is somewhat linear...
and thoughtful...
*it's also somewhat instinctual i guess...
but it's not random... it's not just throwing on clothes...

i feel that there is usually a thought process behind it...
a method to the 'madness', if you will...

like, you think...
ok...i have A...and i want to get to B...
now what do i need to do to get there...?
and then you put together the road map of how you will get from A to B...
and those are the rest of the outfit...
and that there is some sort of statement to be made with this outfit...
*it's not just about looking cute for a date...


does that make sense...?

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Last edited by softgrey; 10-05-2009 at 12:07 PM.
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10-05-2009
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some of the greatest avant garde designers came from Japan in the 80's...
they include Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake...
all of whom continue to influence the hordes of young fashion-hungry masses...

these designers have influenced designers/collections as mainstream as marc jacobs and have created a second wave of younger edgier designers such as Mary Ping, Rachel Comey, Acne, Junya Watanabe, etc...

In addition...there is a whole contingent of Belgian designers who consistently push the envelope and question the boundaries of fashion...(**all of whom claim the Japanese avant garde as a major influence!)
Margiela, Demeulemeester, Vandervoorst, to name a few...

does a pair of pants really only need two legs?
what if it has three legs...then what?
what about wearing a sweater upside down?...
or inside out?...
can men wear skirts?
can women wear a tuxedo?

what are the rules...?!?
and when does it make sense to break them in order to create something EVEN BETTER!!!...

these are the questions that the avant garde designers and all their fans and followers ask themselves...

they experiment...try new things...question the hegemony...break down barriers...

constantly attempting to PUSH FASHION FORWARD...


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Last edited by softgrey; 10-05-2009 at 12:18 PM.
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10-05-2009
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and it's not always big sweeping gestures...
sometimes it's as subtle as a frayed edge on a jkt...


*but the RULES say that the edges should all be hemmed and neat and tidy...
so just that frayed edge is pushing the envelope...

and we have seen---frayed edges have now been adapted by the mainstream...
what once was considered shabby or bad style...is now a desirable aesthetic...

this is EXACTLY how avant garde style works!......

some brave soul starts doing something just because it 'FEELS' right to them...
and then they get teased or harrassed for awhile..
until someone notices that it actually looks good...
and then they try to create a similar look for themselves...
and then someone else does the same...and so on and so on...
and before you know it...
what was once avant garde and edgy has suddenly gone mainstream...!!!..
:p

Additionally-
very often-DIY is involved if you have avant garde style..

because you 'FEEL' like you want a particular look or style...but it only exists in your own imagination...therefor you have to MAKE it yourself...

**not talking about trying to re-create a runway style for less...
(which is fun and good, but different)
talking about making your own ideas become reality- it's still usually a customisation or modification of sorts

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Last edited by softgrey; 18-01-2012 at 09:51 PM.
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10-05-2009
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any questions?


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10-05-2009
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This is so interesting, thanks for posting Softgrey.

I think everyone with their own style is a bit avant garde at times, even me even though I dress super classical compared to most Londoners, it's all about the subtle details like you said, often things i exist in my imagination. But I always thought everyone felt this way at times.

Do you have to wear certain designers to be avant garde?

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10-05-2009
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can i call myself avant-garde because i wore cardigans way before everyone does it in the 2000s decade ?

can i call myself because i used to wear clutch and women bags before it became a huge trend for menswear ?

is Ray Petri avant-garde ? or Olivier Rizzo ?


why did you close the previous thread and now re-open a new one ?

* i just think i should shut the f*** up sometimes ! *

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10-05-2009
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so- shut the f*ck up then......


in answer to your questions...
no- re:cardigans (pay attention, my grandfather and great grandfather have all been wearing them)
yes re:bags- though in the 80's italian men always wore 'clutches'
and definitely yes- and yes regarding petri and rizzo...

:p


*that thread wasn't closed...
it was merged with the eccentric thread...
it's still there...

this is the REAL avant garde style thread...

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Last edited by softgrey; 10-05-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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10-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pucci_mama View Post

Do you have to wear certain designers to be avant garde?
that's my whole problem ...
but i don't think so ...

ok i'm being repetitive but look at Ray Petri (or Olivier Rizzo or even Joanna Blades - sp. ?) they construct something totaly new with outfits or even access. or other stuff that don't belong to fashion (like tapes or cardboard !)

sometimes i try new stuff ... but i'm not sure it is avant-garde as i consider myself very casual and i try new stuff pretty rarely (just when the feel is there) ... like wear a blazer's back on the face (i have to add some stuff, though, for it to look nice like a belt) or wear a kimono top with a woman bag and a béret ... is it avant-garde ? is it bull**** ?

atm i often wear earing-clippers as a brooch on my jackets ...
can i consider myself avant-garde ?

seriously a big deal here ... because it's not like designers we talk about DRESSERS !!!


ETA : Ah thanks softgrey !
though i'm sad wearing cardigans was not avant-garde, you're talling ...


Last edited by BerlinRocks; 10-05-2009 at 01:02 PM.
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10-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pucci_mama View Post
This is so interesting, thanks for posting Softgrey.

I think everyone with their own style is a bit avant garde at times, even me even though I dress super classical compared to most Londoners, it's all about the subtle details like you said, often things i exist in my imagination. But I always thought everyone felt this way at times.

Do you have to wear certain designers to be avant garde?
no....no no ...no no....
definitely not!!!...


it's not about the label when it comes to this sort of personal style...
it's about the individual pieces and how you put them all together...
it's very often not about a single piece at all...
but how you combine pieces/colours that wouldn't normally be worn together...
finding creative solutions or options...
it's like a puzzle...
and finding new and clever ways to solve the same puzzle...



but some designers are doing that already in the way they are designing...
so very often it is fun to play with those pieces if you are trying to create a new/different look...yes?

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10-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
that's my whole problem ...
but i don't think so ...

ok i'm being repetitive but look at Ray Petri (or Olivier Rizzo or even Joanna Blades - sp. ?) they construct something totaly new with outfits or even access. or other stuff that don't belong to fashion (like tapes or cardboard !)

sometimes i try new stuff ... but i'm not sure it is avant-garde as i consider myself very casual and i try new stuff pretty rarely (just when the feel is there) ... like wear a blazer's back on the face (i have to add some stuff, though, for it to look nice like a belt) or wear a kimono top with a woman bag and a béret ... is it avant-garde ? is it bull**** ?
that is a VERY good question!!!...

because very often when we are experimental it means that we are going to have failed experiments...
not everything is going to work...
no one is flawlessly perfect every single time...
so - yes...some of it WILL BE BULL****...
and that is OK...

it is part of the process...
*personally, i'd like to see a pic of that, my dear!...


Quote:
Originally Posted by BerlinRocks View Post
atm i often wear earing-clippers as a brooch on my jackets ...
can i consider myself avant-garde ?

seriously a big deal here ... because it's not like designers we talk about DRESSERS !!!


ETA : Ah thanks softgrey !
though i'm sad wearing cardigans was not avant-garde, you're talling ...
hey- is this some bad english?!...
do you mean dress us???...


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10-05-2009
  12
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ooo I like this thread softgrey thanks for posting

one question, if you say make a pair of pants with three legs, it fits the criterias for avant garde with forward thinking but it doesn't get picked up by anyone.. will it still be considered avant garde?

and also does that mean that you can't really say that something is avant garde until afterwards, when you can see if it got picked up by the mainstreem or not?


EDIT: ^I think he means that if you wear a combination of some stuff it only means that you styled it, you're not a designer, you didn't create it, you just chose to wear two stuff together in an odd way.. you didn't create anything from scratch


Last edited by saann; 10-05-2009 at 01:16 PM.
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^not some bad english - though possibly ... just an incomplete sentence ...

and i forgot it ...



something like "a big deal ... because we don't really talk about designers being avant-garde, but DRESSERS being avant-garde"

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10-05-2009
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I am rather upset that the previous thread has been moved elsewhere. I thought we had a really interesting conversation going on there. So if this is a thread about 'avant garde' in strict terms, then I would like to see its definition backed up by academic theory.

Avant-garde belongs to the modernist era, and its discursive use is now outdated, unless one is referring to the past. It was antagonistic towards mainstream culture; it was never supposed to be adopted by the mainstream. When this phenomenon did occur, it was not considered avant-garde, but as referencing an avant-garde aesthetic (as, for example, bohemian fashion references the style, but absolutely does not represent bohemian ideology). Or it was referred to as style over substance, or as kitsch.

In fact, there is a large vein within avant-garde theory, even back in modernist times, which argues that fashion, being a profitable industry in addition to an artform, has no place in the avant-garde movement. Forgive me for quoting Wikipedia, but I currently don't have access to academic journals online:

Quote:
[Poggioli] opines that beyond having habitually non-conformist postures, Avant-garde creators have historically existed in a state of mutual antagonism towards both the public and tradition. As pioneers, avant-gardes have shunned popularity, seeing those who are popular as producing complacent or compromised work. This is also why avant-gardists have abhorred fashion, judging it to deal in stereotypes, falsehoods and insincere sentiments. Their iconoclasm has witnessed avant-gardes taking positions against current trends; but as pioneers they will also adopt a strong ‘down-with-the-past’ attitude. Vanguardists are committed to new ideals, seeing traditions, institutions and orthodoxies as outmoded prisons of convention.
wikipedia.org

If we take these theories at face value, then nothing in fashion that is, for example, praised by word-of-mouth; mass-produced in some way; published by non-independent magazines; sponsored by a backer for reasons other than their private use; can be considered avant-garde. This includes all the fashion designers that have been mentioned. Has their work been influential and/or lucrative in some way? Then they don't cut it. Rei Kawakubo even did a collection for H&M; she definitely doesn't cut it.

Personally, I believe that nowadays, avant-garde can be and is used in more flexible terms. I do see all the aforementioned designers as avant-garde. But as this thread stands, that flexibility is now obsolete.


Last edited by GasolineRainbow; 10-05-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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10-05-2009
  15
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Is being avant garde subscribing to a certain pre-defined aesthetic as set by the Japanese avant garde..?

Because there does seem to be limits..

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