In Defense of Crazy Fashion or A Love Letter to London

Self-proclaimed fashionistas do two things that expose them as not really liking fashion. One is a complaint about any dress that does not adhere to the Dior silhouette of wide hips, a wasp waist and gently sloped shoulders. The second is laughter at anything that comes down the runway that wouldn't work in real life. Such statements tell me that while these women may enjoy shopping and certainly like looking good, that doesn't mean they like fashion.

Contemporary stylist and photographer Manuela Pavesi said, "Today everyone wants to be beautiful, which looks very strange to me. Because fashion is not about being beautiful, it's about wearing something you love and making you think about a lot of things. The trend today is just to be slim with no wrinkles. But style and fashion have nothing to do with being young and pretty - they are beyond that."

I am a lover of fashion because I am a lover of art. Even though I would not want Francis Bacon's Figure With Meat hanging over my bed, that doesn't mean I don't find it a breath-taking statement of a painting. It is due to my love of art and self expression that I gleefully anticipate London Fashion Week every six months. While I enjoy all the Fashion Weeks, London is the only one that seems to not care about movie stars, socialites or other quasi-celebrities. British designers have things to say about their rich past while pushing design into the twenty-first century. For New York, becca and I talk about what will end up on which actress, Paris is chic, and Milan is bright. But London is avant garde.

Two shows from this London Fashion Week have been stuck in my mind: Christopher Kane and Gareth Pugh. Christopher Kane (left) mashed traditional wool cable knits with light sheer panels, string art, and large shimmering pailletes. It's certainly not office wear, but it's a beautiful study in texture.
Gareth Pugh's metallic warriors were tame compared to some of his collections. Many people may find his zipper, safety pin and PVC creations harsh, but those same people would respond differently with the same designs in lavender silk. It is the very juxtaposition of these highly feminine, yet exaggerated shapes with such hard utility that makes one ask, "What is the artist trying to tell me?"


Anonymous said…
I can appreciate the idea of fashion as art and not necessarily needing to work in "the real world". In theory, anyway. In practice it proves to be rather a bit more difficult.
sheeluvlee said…
definitely difficult, but definitely worth it. keep at it! i speak from experience. great blog, great post.. came across it by a photo lookup. shall be a regular...

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