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18-09-2011
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Craig Lawrence S/S 2012 London
















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18-09-2011
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Last edited by Tentacl Ventricl; 18-09-2011 at 02:11 PM.
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18-09-2011
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18-09-2011
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to me it's not efficient at all. quality doesn't look great, it's like he wanted to do something great without enough time to do it. at the end it's messy and i don't get the inspiration

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18-09-2011
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i hate the headpieces but some of the knits are ok

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19-09-2011
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Tom Ford says that his cultural highlight of the year is the ITV2 semi-reality docu-drama The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE). Now an adopted Londoner, one suspects Mr Ford may well have spent some time in Notting Hill but not, probably, Buckhurst Hill or Gants Hill, two of the commuter suburb towns in which TOWIE is set. Besides the fact that, like Jacobs, Ford can show a predeliction for the postmodern irony of hi-lo, perhaps that is part of the attraction, that he's never really done any time with an essex girl or essex boy - a different world yet somehow strangely familiar. For the high-shine, high-sat, high maintenance, false surface as reality, fantasyreal vacuuousness of Essexism finds it's cultural counterpart in the good old USofA. Want to encounter the silicone sex weapons, the painted mask, the anti-intellectualism of a glamour girl. Best head for California; Austin, Texas or Essex.

TOWIE has given the urban dictionary several new words. Including 'glamping' (glamorous camping - a restatement of Carry On Camping); 'jel' (merely shortform of jealous) and the 'vajazzle' (the Amy Child's pink universe beautician practise of applying gemstones to the depilated crotch). TOWIE soon wears thin. Besides the acquisition of money, consumer goods and parochial social standing, there is only one plot line - making one's lover jealous. The game playing, in order, it seems, to discover if one is truly loved. All the insecurity is of course born of the true reality - these people have nothing about them to be loved. They are mere surface, empty shell, with nothing to do or say except preen, consume and gossip. And seek celebrity for celebrity's sake. That ITV2 chose to title the best bits montage of series 1 'Totally Vajazzled' is poignant. Not content with making the body wholly smooth, the TOWIE girl must make herself shiny too. Her 'escape' (from emptiness) being the world of consumer objects, the aim is that the body come to resemble those objects of desire - hard, smooth, shiny. In order that, blinded by glitz, nobody be able to see beyond the surface?

Craig Lawrence hails from, and takes inspiration from, Ipswich. A town in the neighbouring county to Essex - Suffolk (for those not yet familiar with the geography of South East England). Whilst Essex has entered media consciousness this year via TOWIE, Ipswich has done so via Craig's other televisual reference - the BBC documentary 'Five Daughters'. The five seek escapism via another route - altered states of consciousness. Expensive habits form and they find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Creator Stephen Butchard's intent was to reclaim something of the inner life, the identity of the daughters, from behind labeling headlines. So I have refrained from labeling.

This is a season in which fashion (and the wearer) must make some decisions around colour, hue and saturation levels. To present garrish high- saturation brights in a straight-bat 'look-at-me' TOWIEesque ostentation is surely tasteless in a recession when ordinary people struggle to feed their children? Is to do brights from an ironic kitsch perspective any more acceptable? Perhaps on the basis of the Wombats lyric 'everything is going wrong and we're so happy'? What of sugar sweet ice-cream pastels? Or psychedelic escape into a neon kaleidoscope? It's all ****ed up anyway so let's party like we just don't care - there may not even be a tomorrow?

If you take a road trip to the Essex or Suffolk coast the hues you will see are not those of hi-gloss 'reality' television. Even in summer, when the sun is setting beyond the cliffs toward Bristol, the sea turns the soft misty green Craig has used. The sky turns that warm soft barely-there shade of pinky-purple. Along with greys and sands these are the tones of true reality which we urban, media or cyberspace dwellers are becoming increasingly unable to even see. Desensiticised retina syndrome. The same tones also appear courtesy of the wardrobe department in Five Daughters. The point Craig picks up on is that, for many, our lives, identities, destinies, are, if not determined, then at least shaped by our hometowns - it's hues, habits, geography, weather. Sometimes immediate social bonds can be ties that bind, often with fatal outcomes if the wrong means of escapism from desolation is sought. The determinancy of place.

Ephemerality is an overused phrase. Craig Lawrence's muse is on the threshold of appearance/disappearance from/into her immediate environment. She is visually barely seperable from misty green sea and purples sky, the scene blurry, painterly. Like his mermaids of previous seasons perhaps, she is indistinctly of sea and land, an apparition. The North Sea coastline in question is, in places, falling into the sea - eroding, decaying, disappearing. Lawrence's gauzy knits blur garment and body. The dressed body then merges with the hues of the coastal landscape.

The whole calls to mind Graham Swift's 1983 novel Waterland. This is set in a slightly different part of East Anglia but the sea-level geology and the watery nature of the light is pretty much the same. Somehow the 1992 film adaptation came to be set in Pittsburgh. I suppose in that the post-war era has been characterised by a wholesale cultural roadtrip westwards toward the mecca of the West coast - California, Hollywood and America in general. I suppose in these ways England, Europe, has been somewhat written out of history by the 'victors', rendered further desolate.

In describing Fashion East's Maarten Van Der Horst's work as evoking a 70's lothario in a Honolulu shotgun wedding as perfect for now, I didn't fully understand where Alex Fury was coming from save that I think he means we are culturally looking away, perhaps for the first time in a long time, from mainland America. It was noteworthy that Rodarte, for the first time, looked away from their native California for inspiration and to Europe. No longer westwards but eastwards. It's just a question of how far and to which place of appropriate hue. The Suffolk (or is it Norfolk) coast also features a town named California. A resort of sorts. A desolate, desperate, kitschy locale of caravan parks, gaming arcades and burgers. Geographically, in terms of America and Britain the two California's are coastal opposites - west coast USA, east coast Britain. England's California looks out eastward, across the North Sea, with Rodarte, to Van Gogh's Holland. But in some ways the two California's are the same. There might also be ways in which other Suffolk coastal towns are similar to Rodarte's mexican border towns of SS11.

This oscillation, this cultural shift of direction, mirrors a plan change in photographic journeying of my own this year. In the winter, following the trajectory of the sovereign debt crisis, I planned to venture to the West Coast of Ireland and look out, with the crisis, across the Atlantic. Then, in the summer, Route 66. The winter tour only got as far as Cardiff, then Manchester, then return to London. In the summer, I turned not West to the Atlantic, but East and, with Rodarte (not literally), ventured across the North Sea to Holland. Holland shares it's topography with that of East Anglia. Both are almost entirely flat, lying close to sea level. Watery landscapes of stretched horizons and painterly sea mists.

The culture of the westward shift from which we now turn is deeply engrained. A line from the theme of the 1969 road movie Midnight Cowboy - Harry Nilsson's Everybody's Talkin' - has been refusing to leave my consciousness. The line is 'I'm going where the weather suits my clothes' (Backin off of the North East wind. Sailin on summer breeze. Skippin over the ocean like a stone). This line is prophetic I think for fashion theory. In terms of escapism, reinvention - first adopt the wardrobe of the person you wish to become. And then, and only then, find the place, the weather, that suits your clothes. As did Jon Voight's character - sartorially a midnight cowboy already and now heading west. The prelude to such reinvention may well involve freeing yourself from parochial ties that bind. Immediate social networks scorn change, cast judgment on outwardly manifested shifts of identity. Many are imprisoned by sartorial expectation of place and may look to find escapism in other forms. Fashion as the first point in a positive escapism, a finding oneself reinvention.

Part of how we feel, how we express, how we see and our sartorial taste, is, therefore, to do with colour saturation, hue, brightness. I cannot presently have it that the kitschy brights of ie Rodarte are tasteful in the present economic weather. The only justification for brights would seem to be editorial shock. And that is probably, in the hands of most, mere empty, attention seeking, shock for shock's sake. Similar in many ways to kindred 'loud' but empty motivations such as celebrity for celebrity's sake and status ostentation.

It is only by contrasting a place of garrish vulgarity (and the people who make it so) against a place of perhaps hidden, unseen, forgotten or dying beauty that we might come to appreciate the difference and discover an appropriately hued palette for the season.


Last edited by Tentacl Ventricl; 19-09-2011 at 11:00 AM.
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19-09-2011
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confortable pieces!

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19-09-2011
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Softer Mark Fast?? That's what came to mind anyhow...

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19-09-2011
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After watching him on SHOWstudio I have such a new respect for him...the jacket he made was beyond and his collections all looked good. Except for this. I like bits and pieces, but as a complete collection it feels all over the place and mildly messy...but I like the relaxed vibe and some pieces are beyoooond beauty

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