In Extreme Times, Extreme Clothes

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babastyle

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In Extreme Times, Extreme Clothes
FROM RICK OWENS’S ragged T-shirts and canvas shifts to the giddy ornamentation of Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, all glitz and blitz and
reconstituted Elton John costumes, the spring collections appeared to not have a
common thread between them — a seemingly bipolar mix of downtrodden, derelict
styles and escapist fantasies. Rei Kawakubo’s Boschean excess at Comme des
Garçons — clashing Renaissance paintings and Japanese cartoons as prints and
reconstituted pileups of tacky plastic children’s toys as headpieces — was a
stark contrast to Miuccia Prada’s comic-book-print warrior women and the tatty
gewgaws and currency-?war patterns of Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga collection.
There, the idea of luxury was debased and devalued with gaudy dresses, blouses
and skintight pant-boot hybrids cut in post-Brexit-inspired euro-note and
dollar-bill patterns.
So, what is it with fashion at the moment? Designers appear to have assumed a fight-or-flight response to these uncertain times, which, to some — especially
those with a flair for the dramatic — look a lot like the end of days. “Fashion
is a reflection of the way we live,” said Gvasalia backstage at Balenciaga. “I
wanted to create a feeling that something dangerous was going to happen.” He was
talking, specifically, about the sturm-und-drang mood at his show, which took
place in a blacked-out venue filled with smoke and the boom of ominous trip hop
music. The message was less “apocalypse now” and more “apocalypse soon.”
Art, literature and film frequently tackle themes of end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it destruction — in 2017 alone, there was the TV
adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which
felt eerily prophetic; Kara Walker’s towering Goya-esque murals shown at New
York’s Sikkema Jenkins & Co. in September, which depicted the unfolding of a
modern, racially charged civil war; the artist Jonathan Horowitz’s doctored
photo of President Trump playing golf while the sky above him burned; and, even,
a sequel to that earlier neon-fizzed end-times nightmare, “Blade Runner.” But
apocalyptic naysaying is less frequently found in fashion, an industry that
trades on optimism, fantasy and, most importantly, an ability to predict the
future. But in moments of great distress, even clothing tends to reflect our
troubles. Immediately prior to the outbreak of war in 1939, there was a surfeit
of Austrian and Bavarian influences in the industry; in the late ’80s, Black
Monday gave way to the rise of a movement dubbed “deconstruction” that
originated with the Belgian designer Martin Margiela, whose leitmotif was the
unfinished hem and the inside-out seam. His clothes were purposefully made to
look poor — because the world suddenly was. It was a volte-face to the excess of
the early ’80s, the dancing-on-the-lip-of-the-volcano styles of Christian
Lacroix and his archaic indulgences of crinoline pouf skirts and Second Empire
extremes.
Read more at:bridesmaid dress | blue bridesmaid dresses
Posted 15 Mar 2018

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