Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the emperors' new clothes

dior's infamous "bar suit", balenciaga's architectural masterpiece
in the golden age of couture during the years that followed the second world war, two designers, each with his own distinct vision and interpretation of beauty, gave birth to the century's two most distinct schools of fashion. with dior, the romantic, idealized version of feminine beauty interpreted through his classic "carolle line" (better known as the "new look") which he unleashed to an unsuspecting public in his debut collection in 1947 became the dominant force throughout the late forties and most of the fifties. the most important look from that collection was the infamous "bar suit" which emphasized the hour glass shape with its nipped in waist, narrow shoulders, accentuated bust, padded hips and generous a-line skirts that demanded yards and yards of fabric in a time when europe was still dealing with the rationing of materials due to the world war. dior brought back the fantastical element of fashion. using it as a medium to express the longing of women to return to their most feminine idea after years of drab government imposed utilitarian wear. although first met with hesitation by the fashion press for its deemed insensitivity for the war efforts, the "new look" however, was already a trend that was beginning to take shape in paris as early as 1945, with designer jacques fath already playing with the proportions and shape which would ultimately be perfected by dior not only through technique but also a sense of timing. dior continued his reign as the undisputed king of french fashion for a decade until his untimely death in 1957. in the decade he designed, he continued to play with various interpretations of the new look, all the while maintaining a highly sophisticated vision for the women of his day that influenced other parisian designers at that time. most notable were pierre balmain, robert piguet, jean desses, and cristobal balenciaga.

cristobal balenciaga, is in many ways, the first true conceptual designer. using technique to push the boundaries of fashion and explore shape and form during an era of intense conservatism and eventually radicalized and changed the way women will forever dress. the spanish born designer used his heritage as a major source of inspiration. drawing influences from the image of the infanta, to bull fighting costumes, the spanish artists goya and velasquez, and a deep relationship with his catholic faith. he channeled all these into an exercise in purity of design. while dior entertained fantasy, balenciaga's main pre-occupation with fashion was to achieve simplicity through complex construction. being a deeply religious man, he believed that god can be found in beauty, and to achieve beauty one has to achieve divine purity. it is this quest for purity that he constantly strived to perfect his craft. of all the couturiers, excluding perhaps chanel, balenciaga was one of the most technically gifted. he cut his own pattern, sewn his own creations and fitted them to the models himself. during a time when the feminine form was being exaggerated, the spanish designers began exploring shapes that moved away from the body. using the female form as a beginning to build from, not the end of the process. although he too fell under dior's magic in the beginning, he eventually started moving towards the opposite direction of the new look. the fabrics the designer used were almost more masculine, robust and stiff enough to achieve the architectural appearance of his clothes achieved through the brilliance of his tailoring. one only has to look at the sleeves of his creations to witness his obsession with technique. in 1968, balenciaga retired from the fashion world, forever closing a chapter in fashion history. fortunately his immense influence continued through the talents of courreges, ungaro, and givenchy. the new crop of designers who through the knowledge they acquired from balenciaga, became legendary couturiers in their own right. even dior acknowledged the spanish artist's immense talent when he declared him to be "a master for us all".

Monday, January 28, 2008

not just for any other man

another man: issue 5 (fall/winter 2007-2008)
photography: mark segal
creative director: alister mackie
models: douglas neitzke, nico d.

yeah i've talked about how insanely good alister mackie is before and how another man is basically the best magazine ever so i decided that i am going to be the unofficial spokesperson for this magazine and therefore i shall constantly bombard you cats with multiple eyegasms this bi-annual provides me.

top shop and the new generation

everyone and their mother seems to have had a collaboration with a high end fashion brand lately. experiencing first hand the madness of three hundred pound forty year old suburbian mothers waiting in line at two in the morning to acquire one of the hideously gaudy shit roberto cavalli did for h&m and seeing everything literally torn off the shelves in a matter of minutes (plus a couple of near fistfights between said gargantuan women) its no wonder everyone is hopping on this bandwagon. fortunately top shop enlists british up-and coming designers to do a collection for them and once that collection sells out the story doesn't just end there. they actually support the talented new comers by helping fund those designers' collections through its new generation program. good thing for top shop that jonathan saunders and louise goldin are fuckin really good designers and they managed to produce a collection that is affordable but at the same time retained all the signatures they are starting to be known for and not to mention fuckin terrific. saunders' graphic colour blocking and prints are still there, as is goldin's individual take on knitwear. hopefully h&m takes notice and realize that it might be a good thing for them to not play it too safe with designers who are more established and well known. but i have a feeling that next year they'll fucking get someone really retarded and gay. like michael kors. yuck. although i'm pretty sure more fat suburbian moms would be waiting in line for that one.

Friday, January 25, 2008

ysl + music + video = fuckin' perfect

yves saint laurent - fall/winter 2008 video presentation
everyone knows that i have the biggest crush on stefano pilati and after seeing this video i don't think it's a crush anymore. i love him. just kidding. but i do fucking love this video. at first i was kinda disappointed that he wasn't gonna show a proper runway show but using mathias lauridsen for the look book more than sufficed. but after seeing this video with actor simon woods (note to self: google simon woods) done in collaboration with two london video artists from the colonel blimp company i think, well in my opinion, no artistic collaboration marc jacobs will ever do or has done can get better than this. and the music...fuck it makes me want to dig up my old portishead records and wish i never sold most of my old downtempo/trip-hop cds.

fresh kicks

are you kidding me??? why must the internet constantly rub it in my face that i live in a city devoid of things as ridoinkulous as these shoes by red by wolves from london? when i saw them i honestly felt as if all my toes were crying. when i get back home from my week long vacation from my parents' house and countless hours spent looking at clothes on-line, i'm gonna look at my closet and i would probably want to wail inconsolably.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

hey good lookin'

man i have the biggest crush on clémence poésy. okay well i have the biggest imaginary hetero crush on this girl. i've always like people who looked messy and dirty in expensive clothes and i love how she can rock a balenciaga jacket like its nothing but a zip-up hoodie. when i go to france this summer i'm going to have to wear those depends diapers because if i'm going to be walking around paris surrounded by people like this then i'm going to end up peeing my pants every five minutes.

i need fat laces on my adidas... match my cazal shades.

okay i don't really have cazal shades because they're hella expensive now. can you imagine the second one from top costs a whopping $1823.54 on line!!! thats insane. but then again if i was jay-z, i would buy six dozen of those things and use them as stocking stuffers. man i wish for the days when rappers were pimped out like slick rick. i'm kinda bored of kanye and pharell because every single asian from the suburbs now think they're pro skateboarders with their limited edition dunk sbs. not everyone can pull off an eye patch and twenty gold chains like rick can.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

v magazine: issue 51

"first signs of spring"
v magazine: issue 51
photographer: mario sorrenti
creative director: jane how
models: suvi koponen, irina k., toni, masha t.

why oh why oh why does fucking demi moore have to be on the cover of this magazine???. she's like two thousand years old and i'm all for people who take care of themselves to stay young and all but i can't possible support any more fashion magazines that continues to have actresses on the cover. fine they can be on american vogue because american vogue sucks anyways but not v. especially when people have to wait for two months for it to come out.

p.s. okay i saw the other editorials in this magazines and yes its that good that i will have to buy it unfortunately i wont be taking it out to read on the subway because of stupid demi moore on the cover and people will think i'm reading something stupid like US magazine or something retarded like that. damn you v. damn you.


"blonde ambition"
v magazine: issue 51
photographer: sebastian faena
model: raquel zimmerman

this shit is also bananas. i'm not raquel's biggest fan but everytime she's on v she looks off the fuckin hook. is there a new trend now to do photoshoots with models made to look like celebrities? they should've gotten a model to look like demi moore on the cover then. hilary rhoda could've done it. clearly i'm still not over that demi moore cover.

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