ALCHEMY F/W 2012/13
Great in Japan and New York, but in her native country not fully known for her work. Despite of the prestigious Dutch Fashion Award that she won in 2011. Like a contemporary Elsa Schiaperellia she doesn’t care about fashion rules and sticks to her own beliefs and working methods. “Making form of a plane surface. I call it integral design.”
Raf Simons x Fred Perry
Raf Simons A/W 2014
With his fascination for subcultures Raf Simons’ collaboration with Fred Perry makes sense. In this A/W 2013 collection he relives the Mod style of the late 50s and early 60s. Clearly inspiration was taken from music, pop-art, consumerism and shopping. But the Mods were not passive consumers. Hell no, they were very self-conscious and critical, customing existing styles, symbols and artefacts such as the Union flag. Logo’s and labels is what Raf already showed in his new menswear easthetic for A/W 2014. Art and commerce came together in his multi-colored Tees reading “Cluster Artificially Flavored Super Nylon” and “ Yo-Ga Brand Wet and Wild.” Here there already were the classic menswear attires, button-up shirts and blazers, with feminen oversized dress-shirts. The line for Perry is somehow what toned down. But a line is definitely there.
Who would have ever thought that Belgium would lead the international fashion business? Paris, New York, Milan, even London, yet, but The Low Countries? Yes it is happening. I am talking Raf Simons and Dries van Noten, two wonderboys from our neighbouring country.
Van Noten is a neverending story. Each and every collection is fresh, modern and at the same time classical. The same is true of Raf Simons, at this point for Dior. They are totally different, yet one of a kind. Both are inspired by modern art, present clean lines and colour in their designs, traditional and equally ahead of our times. Everybody watches them.
For his last fall 2013 collection Van Noten was inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing cheek to cheek in Top Hat (Tim Blanks for style.com), the classic embodiments of masculinity and feminity. He said it with feathers. Otrich feathers. And layers. Fringe dresses over pantalons, under colberts, over blouses. Oversized coats, over pulls and skirts over pantalons. Coats over tops, over skirts, over pants. Masculine bigsoled brogues and fur coats. Soft pink pastels and dark sheer silhouettes. White men shirts on delicate feather pants.
Nonchalant yet elegant. Masculine and feminine. Avant-gardistic as always.
Love love love my new book on Minimalism and Fashion: Reduction in the Postmodern Era. In his foreword Francisco Costa, now designer for Calvin Klein, tells us about how his journey as a designer was more about editing and restraint. After holding positions at Oscar de la Renta, Balmain, and Gucci, he went to lessons in reduction and learned to strip an idea down to its very essence and then have the discipline to look for more refine. He was being “Calvin-ized.”
Minimalistic, architectural fashion is actual. Phoebe Philo for Celine, Alexander Wang for Balenciaga and Fransico Costa for Calvin Klein are just a few examples. I guess we are heading to a future that is more about form and outlins then frills and overdo.