Friday, February 19, 2010

paolo soleri

"es imprescindible ser optimistas para salvarnos de la autodestrucción."

everytime i read you i admire you more.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


as one who has professed vehement interest in fashion since time of reason, i haven´t had a lot to say in this most apt space... as i decided to write this entry, i was pondering the why?, why had my voice dissappeared towards an essential topic coherent to my nature?
i denied the banality of my profession... or maybe i felt like i had nothing else to repeat.
fashion has become such a repetitive cause of events and recycling of themes that tend to oscillate in the past. a big word usually learned in fashion school is zeitgeist, "fashion projects the zeitgeist". true, dressing mirrors our surrounding, our moment, the spot; so why look to the past? why not look to the future?...
i´m not referring to a kubrick future, i´m referring to a future that will tune us into our true necessities; those regarding our direction on this planet, the force connecting and impulsing our hearts and our minds towards an inevitable end.
existentialist as this may sound, death is our common certainty. so how do we move to say something worth saying? an endless quest, where we most likely will die not knowing a third of the answers, but in the meantime, we can try.
the unavoidable rhizome, the thread connecting us all.

a part from my usual quasi spiritual rants, (on the superficial note; which is just as important).. i concluded that i stopped posting fashion because for one, i stopped reading fashion magazines, i was extremely specific with what runway shows i wanted to see. they´re usually from 5 to 15, depends on the mood of the season.
these designers are a regular stop:

nicolas ghesquière
martin margiela
anne valérie hash
marios schwab
louise goldin
dries van noten
haider ackermann
hussein chalayan
jil sander
rick owens
sophia kokosalaki

last seasons´alexander mcqueen blew my mind, beautifully mind "bottling".

today, out of curiosity, i checked out new york fashion week, an event i stopped following a while ago.

the correctly hyped duo, kate and laura mulleavy of rodarte were somewhat of a point of confusion. they mentioned they had taken a trip from el paso to marfa texas, picking up on visual inspiration. the post also spoke about them wanting to go back to their mexican roots, so they threw in fiestas de quinceañeras, ciudad juarez, and ladies working at maquiladoras... ¿qué? i truly doubt either one of these girls have been remotely close to experiencing the reality of their inspiration points, or even understanding them, not even i can fully understand.
ciudad juarez is one of the worlds most dangerous cities, i agree on making some sort of political stance to raise awareness, but their collection was far from that.
it sounds like a joke, between lace, knits, treated fabrics, and layers; the show looks native american slash mexican flea market.
it would have been much more relevant to pose this as inspiration.

and yes, we all know texas used to be mexico a long time ago, but now a day, texas is hardly considered mexico, or is even close to what mexico actually is.

to my surprise after i got over my confusion, as i was looking through haute couture spring/autumn 2010, i bumped into one of my all time fashion intrigues (this and margiela´s face).. the thing is that one of my all time favorite songs is add (n) to x´s, "take me to your leader" (i posted a while back).... so
one day i was reading visionaire, there was a retrospect on fashions most influential and avant garde designers, josephus thimister stuck to my brain.

he was creative director at balenciaga pre-ghesquière and part of the reason he had problems at the end of his run was for inviting add (n) to x to play at a runway show, making some guests get up and leave. this doesn´t sound as bold today, but back in the 90s and in the position balenciaga was in, almost bankrupt, there wasn´t much room for error.

today i discovered that after around a decade of absence, thimister has returned with a haute couture line. (i must admit i got excited looking at his name on the screen, this post is a clear giveaway.)
violence and opulence was the theme; characeristic knits, basic color palette, texture, richness, and elegance stepped out defining the simply sublime (the sublime is both combination of pain and beauty.)
ciudad juarez would have fit into this slot.

thimister is part of the deconstructivist belgians that graduated from the royal academy of fine arts in antwerp (late 80s early 90s), most of which have been constantly challenging the borders between all creative disciplines, collaborating with notorious figures, or non-notorious figures, revolutionizing fashion, questioning the reason we get up and get dressed every morning, and actually introducing, and setting forth a chain of events that inspire many, and set fashion at an intellectual and artistic level, most commercial brands and buyers, ignore.

i´m a bit of a snob when it comes to fashion, nothing seems to surprise me (confection, silhuette, and styling wise), seems like everything right? well no, before all that comes the idea. the conceptual development, 75.5% of idea will determine a collections success.
reader, now you may ask yourself, why are most commercial collections so successful? and michell answers, "because they feed off the good ideas".
the idea shapes and molds every fabric, every form, and every stitch.

it was a breath of fresh air taking a look at anne valérie hashs´ spring 2010 haute couture show. now the first question i asked myself before looking at her collection was "what is a.v.h. going to do up against giants like dior and chanel that spend tens of thousands on a single couture piece?"...
so she answered me and said, "i don´t want to be dior, chanel, or armani privé"...

ah the idea.

hash wrote to some of her closest friends asking them to donate a piece of their wardrobe.. she wrote to alber elbaz(i love him even if íf i´m not a huge lanvin fan he could easily be on my list), pete doherty, tilda swinton, jean paul gaultier, etc. now here´s a nice range of creatives to form part of your collection in some indirect way right?
... elbaz sent his pijamas (more love to him), doherty sent his jacket, and swinton a vivienne westwood t-shirt, among other collaborations... oh, and a recent visit we had to our city also contributed (with surprisingly good memory she remembered me from last years ASVOFF blogger interview.), diane pernet donated one of her veils.

now we have a web of talent, beyond superficial, an interdisciplinary exchange subconsciously working together: the talents of an abstract lanvin, the tunes of doherty, and somewhere in the mix, french (a.v.h.) and english (vivienne westwood) couturiers clashing to create fashion with a brain, all apparently disperse, harmonizing to create a whole.

she did it right, her remarkable skills as a tailor play an important role of course, but it all comes down to... you guessed it.