Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Identities for sale

The topic of my previous post is still lingering in my head. Where do our style (0r other) identities come from? Why do we want to look a certain way? These are the questions that one can disect in one's own head, one can think of childhood memories, of friends and other influencial figures, of what they wore, of how we chose to interpret the phenomena that came our way. We took it and made it our own. Well, today I have thought about this topic from another viewpoint.
I don't necessarily understand much about "real fashion". But I do understand that fashion designers have some kind of a vision concerning what other people should wear. Whether this vision is based on wanting to make a ton of money or simply being interested in influencing what people wear, is irrelevant. They go public with wanting to offer a look, a style, their vision, essentially their opinion. Historically, of course, women have always been told what to wear, what to show off, what to hide. From this historical perspective, it is fascinating to notice that this coming fall, John Galliano at Dior thinks women should look like Barbie dolls.

Roberto Cavalli wants us to be child brides.

Alexander McQueen reminds us that every woman is a queen, but quite disturbingly, looking at Taryn Davidson here, all I can think of is the arranged marriages between royal children in the 17th century.

Gareth Pugh goes Predator. Does he think that women are beastly, or does he want them to be beastly? Or just look beastly? I wonder if the Predator woman wears white ruffled knickers under her costume.
Marios Schwab thinks we should wear stuff that prevents us from walking.

Junya Watanabe offers us masculine coats that look like straight-jackets. Even the woman's face is covered. A modern version of the burqa, perhaps?

Really, what is going on?! Are these people insane? Why would I want to wear these things? Why would I want to choose to look like a child walking down the aisle? Forget about the clothes even (I know that most of the catwalk stuff doesn't end up in production), am I supposed to buy into these "looks", these vibes, these restrained atmospheres, as they are being offered to me by people who don't know me, whom I do not know? Why do they care about what I wear? Why should they be telling anyone what they should look like?Maybe I might just be thinking too much, maybe I find hidden meanings and messages in things where they do not exist. Fashion is supposed to be fun, right? Am I the only one who is not laughing?



Auntie Tati said...

Hihii, toi Mario Shwabin(tai kuinka ikinä se nyt kirjotettiinkaan) puku näyttää siltä kuin malli olis puettu ohueen naisten sukkaan jossa on reikiä :D

Anonymous said...

As always, Waves, a very interesting, thought-provoking post. I have opinions on these things, but it would take pages to express them. Great post, really, Chris R.

Anonymous said...

ps---I love your title for the entry, too.

Milla said...

This post rocks!

Anonymous said...

If one wanted to see wearable clothes you can walk into any shop and do that. Surely as within any industry there has to be those brave few who push the boundaries. If we berate those who do that what a boring world we would live in.

The Waves said...

auntie tati: jep, ja koko kokoelma oli taynna noita sukka-asuja... Kaypa huviksesi katsomassa naytosvideo, mallien kavely on ihan kauheata katsottavaa!

Chris R.: I have a tough time compressing my opinions as well, but sometimes it has to be done... If I wrote for as long as I really wanted to, no one (including myself) would have the time or the energy to read it... :-)

milla: thanks! Even if the outfits don't! :-)

The Waves said...

anonymous: very true. That's why I wasn't talking about the actual wearability of the clothes per se. I was talking about interpretation of the moods and the visions fashion designers have for us. You know, why they do it, why do they care what other people wear, and what kind of a woman do they promote.

Anonymous said...

wasn't Schwab's show based on a feminist novel about the confinement of women, The Yellow Wallpaper? Madness and discomfort?

The Waves said...

Anon.: I don't know, but if that is the case, it is very interesting indeed. It sure makes one think fashion as a means for expression (be it politics, societal issues, feminism, chauvinism, you name it) on quite a different level! There is so much power in the visual, and in the interpretation.

stacy said...

I think somewhere along the line the designers got less concerned about the concept/ideas/vision involved, and more about quirky aesthetics. In the end they're simply artists, and artists have a weakness for beauty, no matter how impractical that beauty may be :)