Monday, January 14, 2008

milan - men's fall/winter 2008 - day two


this is probably the most perplexing prada show i've ever seen. not that her past shows were anything but a mental marathon, this show was just plain out surreal. of course miuccia is always challenging the idea of clothes and its function and its relevance in society, but the clothes she shown were always in the end easily wearable. it was the idea behind the collections that was avant garde. never the end result. the prada man has always been a bit androgynous, but his clothes always remained masculine, even if that meant in a boyish sort of way. but what to make of tutus that gave the illusion of a peplumed waist or an exposed jock strap that focus on the body parts that tradionally women wanted to highlight worn with flesh toned sweaters to give the idea of nudity? or the double collars on the models that elongated and feminized the neck worn with jackets that seemed to almost gently embrace the body. even after all that, what was the most gender bending were the shirts she showed that buttoned at the back. an idea that forced the viewer to visualize watching those models be unbuttoned to be able to get it off. an image that is somewhat perversely sexual. something of course miuccia has made us feel before. even with all those things going on there was also an injection of futurism in a stanley kubric 2001: a space odyssey with all the shiny finishes, the almost german constructivist sharpness that provided a contrast to the sexual ambiguity of the show. since the theme for this show was all about duality, its safe to safe that she drove her point home.


alexander mcqueen has dabbled with tribalisms before. he of great romantic imagination has always been at the forefront of combining history, precision and a darker aesthetic that has molded itself into the genetics of the house. however, combining too many disparse influences can result into a collection that although stylistically cohesive, is lost ideologically. and it doesn't help that delving too close into galliano-ish territory with multi cultural hodgepogde can make a collection eratic and obviously out of focus. but what could be the reason for mcqueen's year long slump? even with all his trademarks displayed in full force it was still not enough to save the show. and the theatricallity of the presentation didn't have that certain mcqueen sense of rebelliousness and that raw dynamic energy that made his show so explosive yet so poignant in the past. whatever it is, i hope he finds his magic back by the time his womenswear collection debuts next month.


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