At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld chose to deal with genre issues and the overall controversy that took place in France regarding education policies,thus adding a playful twist to the show.It had to be a very ”french” one, viewed as such (thus acquiring its logical basis) by a ‘foreign eye’.He is not french himself, with that allowing him to pursue the ”french facade” of fashion further,avoiding any chauvinistic references that would have cost him.. The whole idea of a ”brasserie” and the resulting apparel design were to showcase the idea: ”Its french-oozing what you expect from me? That i am giving you in especially high doses’-almost to the point of grotesque!Karl Lagerfeld is a designer all Hedis’,Marcs’ Ricardos’ should stop and take lessons from,especially in terms of masterly increasing sales with excellent RTW pieces,as he’s in a way ‘educating its own clientele.Well,the catwalk combination of prints wasn’t always to my liking but there were some strikingly great basic separates i could built my wardrobe over them,let alone the accessories.In overall,Karl’s genius staged a show for his followers making it loud and clear that it should be viewed under the idea of a francophone vocabulary used by a German(or a Chinese).And it worked.
Allow me to admit i am a fan of Marchesa, as Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig never seemed to disappoint me in the past,so much more now that they chose elaborate,chic decadence right out of Thomas De Quincey’s pages ”Confession of an English Opium Eater”,with the same extend of indulging fantasy. Only here,instead of laudanum,there were elaborate embellishes,dresses with strategically cut bare sides and strong thirties references .This was more of a Baudelaire bordello chic than Hollywood black-tie event,till, if there was a way for me to embrace ”princess gowns”, well that was the collection i needed!
Thom Browne’s Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear collection was a study in mourning attire,therefore a study in black, probably inspired by the ”Death Becomes Her” exhibition currently on display at Metropolitan Museum.Or, a study in mourning as an attitude,a collection bearing an almost ”Freudian” obsession to loss,emphasized by strong,all black silhouettes that looked interestingly modern.There is something ultra classy in this ”twisted” pieces,something that surpasses ”revival” and goes back to the ”roots” of fashion per se.The styling was much elaborate yet it was easy to see that each garment, so carefully produced, could make a statement piece of its own.Yes,this was a collection full of statement pieces and at the same time a clever exploration of mourning attire,set in a performance that brought in mind some cult black-and -white films (see Dreyer dramas) as well as near death experiences-aka the perfect setting.
”Give me time and I will give you a revolution”
In conjunction with the opening of ‘Savage Beauty’ at the V&A on 14 March 2015, SHOWstudio celebrates the life of the late Lee McQueen and his fruitful bond with Nick Knight. Knight has filmed all of his photoshoots since the late eighties and, for the first time, reveals hidden gems from his archive to the public. One piece of unseen McQueen footage will be revealed each day from 13 to 20 March.
SHOWstudio founder and acclaimed image-maker Nick Knight has filmed all of his photoshoots since the late eighties. In his extensive personal archive sits footage of some of his most iconic shoots – from Dior campaigns with John Galliano to pioneering editorials for the likes of Visionaire and Vogue. In a very special initiative, Knight will reveal a run of previously unseen gems from this extensive archive to the public as a means of celebrating his longterm working relationship with the late Lee McQueen. The SHOWstudio team and Knight’s photographic assistants have spent months searching through endless tapes and days of footage, digitalising early work and editing their finds into beautiful films.
Launching in conjunction with the opening of Savage Beauty at the V&A, London on 14 March 2015, SHOWstudio’s Unseen McQueen series will celebrate the life and work of the late designer by revealing previously unreleased interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from some of his most iconic projects. Knight’s relationship with McQueen, who passed away in February 2010, began formally in 1996, when the two collaborated on a series of images for the Florence Biennale, though the pair had met previously at events and McQueen had begun to send Knight an annual Christmas fax. For Spring/Summer 2010, SHOWstudio famously live-streamed Plato’s Atlanis, McQueen’s final collection before his death.
Footage to be released as part of Unseen McQueen includes a candid interview with McQueen, filmed at the early stages of his career in 1997, footage of Knight shooting McQueen for the April 1998 cover of The Face– a now iconic image – and a video of Knight, Katy England, Michael Clark and McQueen collaborating on the unforgettable Blade of Light image featuring clothing from the They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? collection from Spring/Summer 2004.
One piece of unseen footage will be revealed each day from 13 – 20 March 2015. To explain and unpick the footage, SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard will interview Knight about each new release, shedding light on their working relationship, McQueen as a man and the vision and ideas behind their collaborations. Theory and analysis on themes pertaining to McQueen’s life and legacy – from his love of spectacle and commitment to pushing the boundaries of fashion presentation to the nature of the fashion exhibition – will also be offered through interviews with those who worked with McQueen and experts who have studied his work.
This installation features lengths of fabric for an unmade man’s suit and waistcoat, as well as a selection of embroidery samples for fashionable menswear made between about 1760 and 1815.
During this period, France was the undisputed epicenter of the European fashionable world, and professional embroidery workshops there produced a dizzying array of colorful designs from which a man could choose. The installation features a copy of L’Art du Brodeur (The Art of the Embroiderer), which was published in Paris in 1770. This book contains detailed descriptions about subjects such as preparing fabric to be embroidered and the variety of threads used in a workshop, as well as illustrations of designs for men’s suits.
Seen together, the fabrics and the book provide a glimpse into the world of vividly colored and highly decorative fashion that was a key component of an upper-class European man’s life in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
(February 2–July 19, 2015)