Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thinking About High Fashion

I've been following some of the Pre-Fall '13 shows, and in doing that I've been thinking about the concept of runway and high fashion. It's truly art and it's where everything trickles down from, but it seems so inaccessible. Not necessarily because of the exclusivity of it all, but more just because it's hard to picture wearing the clothes in real life. High fashion is art, yes, but at the end of the day they're still clothes and clothes are meant to be worn. So, pretend for a second that money is no object and you can pluck whatever you want from the runways. How would you style them? It can be hard to picture because obviously even if you could afford to dress in head-to-toe one designer, you wouldn't. It's kind of tacky and takes all the fun of self expression out of the equation. But, of course, on the runway the looks are styled to present a single designer's cohesive vision. I'm sure celebrities and stylists have gotten good at this exercise - looking at something on the runway and envisioning how it would look on themselves/their client. But for me it's really hard.

I guess the other piece of it is that when analyzing runway looks, I always feel a little timid. After all, most of these designers are masters of their craft. And who am I? Some girl wearing a blouse from the sale rack someplace? And I'm gonna give my opinion? Hmm. But the same way anyone can critique a piece of art without owning a whole bunch of works from the artist, anyone should be able to look at a runway and have a basic reaction to it. Even someone who doesn't know a whole lot about fashion. Because again, like I said, they're clothes. We all wear them. You don't have to be some Chanel-bedecked style icon to weigh in on what speaks to you and what doesn't.

Is it sacrilege to say I wanna rock the fuck out of this Celine jacket with a pair of dark skinnies? I don't love what the current silhouette is doing for that model's midsection.

Remember when I said wearing one designer head to toe was a no-no? I'm considering revoking that statement. I think this look is perfection from head to toe, and I wanna be on it. Or in it, rather. From Balenciaga Pre-Fall '13.
But then there's this look also from Balenciaga, which I think is a horrible example of the pattern-on-pattern thing. Both of these silhouettes are so boxy, but I think they would each look great paired with something slimmer.
Versace explosion. This is the best example of the "pick one piece" rule I could find.

I think that final Balenciaga image is perfectly evocative of the dichotomy between the artistry of the runway and the reality of everyday life. That outfit does evoke a particular feeling and vision, without a doubt. But at the end of the day, it really just doesn't WORK in terms of what it's doing to her body.  I would love the jacket with a slimmer pant and as much as I kind of detest what the length and width of those pants are doing to her legs, it could maybe work with a simple tank and strappy heel.

Looking at runway clothes is an exercise in translation. It's translating one language to another - visionary to wearable, fantasy to reality. I imagine that, much like learning a foreign language, it gets easier and more natural with practice.

1 comment:

  1. totally agree, Alexander Wang, i wanna rock so many of the pieces separately, but so many... not altogether! (