Saturday, October 04, 2008

Notes on excerpt from Backstage Antwerp, 2002.

Statement III from Thimo te Duits provides the biggest challenge for me in the sentence "fashion is not art because it has no pretensions to autonomy". Does this equate with the notion that fashion is always within some cultural context as a living craft or at the very least in the context of the human body. Enjoy Judith Clark's "Historical reference in dress has never been about evolution, continuity," these two quotes well read together because Thimo te Duits' point can be taken as something other if Judith's position is not kept in mind.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I haven't really liked Gareth Pugh's collections over the last three seasons. The combination of very dark shades and cut that I've found intrusively aggressive has not made me a fan but I like the work he's just shown a lot more.

There are images like the one below at

I'm reading Lou Taylor's Study of Dress History, I've only read the introduction and the beginning of the first chapter so unsurprisingly it's all been a bit obvious so far but pleasantly, intelligently obvious and that usually means compelling reading.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Naeem Khan is a designer whose work I almost like but seems to fall short in some way that I can't quite grasp. The dress below if from the current season A/W 2008 and it has all the hallmarks of a good piece of clothing. The textures play well against each other, the materials aren't flat and drab and it looks like a dress that would be exciting to wear but it's not quite right. Personally I think that the neckline lets it down, it makes it too vertically symmetrical because the neck and hem are the same shape. If a designer doesn't see that or if he thinks that it's appropriate then he's not the designer for me.

Shall I tell you a little secret? The first collection that Stella McCartney has ever produced that I have liked is this winter 2008 line. I can't help but feel that this is because a lot of the silhouettes remind me of Nicolas Ghesquire's Balenciaga dresses from S/S 2008 which were undoubtedly my favourite pieces from that season. What bothers me about Stella McCartney's clothes is that they seem as if they've been made for the more emaciated among us but they aren't costume, they're definitely outfits to be worn on the street. They're the kind of loose that only the slender can wear because they look like a tent on anyone who carries weight, even if it's around their collarbone and that bothers me. Look at this S/S 2007 outfit, it makes the body straight and imagine if the model was a UK size 14...
Incidentally there are videos of Thom Browne's catwalk shows online and they are interesting events. His site has a show on it here but doesn't seem to be working particularly well. There are some images and a brief review of the S/S 09 catwalk show here and here. I think that it's important to regard this kind of work through the lens of decades of haute couture and catwalk theatre. The line between clothing and costume is always up for discussion and is hardly a new subject, just look at the work of Poiret.
Last year I set up google alerts to relay any links that featured the phrase "fashion week". This resulted in a huge swathe of unmitigated nonsense hitting my inbox and eventually I cancelled the alerts because I wasn't reading the summaries, never mind following the links. People are very interested in fashion week and write about it all year round but their words are often related to a celebrity sighting or some aspect of fashion that ignores clothes.

Considering my interest in fashion it seemed ridiculous to ignore the benefits that I could reap from the alerts system so I decided to try again and this year I began to receive links that featured the phrase "fashion theory" instead. This proved a to be a better term and the majority of the information is actually useful or amusing so this is what I've got recently.

28th September- How to calculate your clothing budget from the bmw blog.

27th September- Zetoc alert for a Malcolm Barnard piece.

26th September- A newspaper article on Valerie Steele's Dark Glamour exhibition
A bookseller article on Bloomsbury's purchase of Berg, the company that publishes the journal Fashion Theory.
A link to this blog that linked to a blog post about Thom Browne.