Wednesday, December 23, 2009


in the beginning of the new millennium the runways of the fashion capitals was ruled by the brazilian bombshells spearheaded by the likes of gisele bundchen, caroline ribeiro and fernanda tavares. models who's bodies and searing sensuality was the direct opposite of the boyish waif frame that has been in vogue for the better part of the nineties. these models however, much like the supermodels who preceded them a decade earlier, were able to balance high paying and high profile jobs such as victoria's secret and still be in demand with high fashion clients who normally tend to favour more directional looking models which has been de rigeur since kate moss exploded into the fashion consciousness. however since fashion is a notoriously fickle industry, the demand for something new, and by new meaning the complete opposite of the popular, the brazilian domination of the catwalks was about to make way for a new crop of models that defined their own respective timeline in the industry.
perhaps the first real trend to come out of the naughties was "butch chic". personified by eleanora bose and omahayra mota, they took fashion's long fascination with androgyny into a whole new level. it's aesthetic was harder, more aggressive and during the spring/summer 2001 shows when one of the biggest themes to emerge was a play between masculine and feminine tailoring, it was perfect timing for bose and mota.
the "butch chic" look however became victim of fashion's incessant attention deficit disorder and by next season a new wave of models, this time hailing from belgium came in vogue. kim peers, the first of the belgians to break out and favored by marc jacobs and tom ford for her brooding, intellectual beauty paved the way for an oost, anouk lepere, anne catherine lacroix, delphine balfort, and elise crombez. the latter who's career skyrocketed when she was chosen to front prada's spring 2003 ad campaign. one of the most influential campaigns in the business which has been responsible for launching the careers of many successful models. one of which would be the most successful model of the decade, daria werbowy.
the canadian model that holds the record for most show opened in a single season. she became the face of prada's first perfume campaign and went on to star in its ads for four consecutive seasons lensed by steven meisel who also put her on the cover of italian vogue three times in 2003. contributing to the well known fact that canada produces high quality models that continues to carry the torch once held by linda evangelista and yasmeen ghauri. and when modelling entered its next phase, it was canadians jessica stam, heather marks, and lisa cant that would capture the photographers' fascination with the doll like face that became in demand in the middle part of the decade.
as prolific as the canadians were in this new school of beauty, it was australian gemma ward that perfectly encapsulated the doll like aesthetic. with her wide blue eyes, round shaped face, button nose and downturned lips, ward became a favorite among many highly influential photographers. her chameleon like ability to be girlish and sweet in one shot to a vamped up woman in the next frame, then rebellious street urchin next, ward's versatility made her one of the most in demand models of the noughties. starring in ad campaigns for prada, burberry, balenciaga, and dolce and gabbana to name but a few.
russia too had an answer for the doll like craze in vlada roslyakova. a favorite of christian lacroix who chose her to become the bride for his last four couture shows. a position once held by another doll faced beauty, english model lily cole. the last few years of the decade saw an explosion of russian beauties on the international catwalks. currently on top fifty ranking, there is an impressive fifteen russian models that occupies the spots. with the number two slot shared by sasha pivovarova and natasha poly. with the amount of magazine covers, campaigns, runway and editorial work that have been accumulated by pivovarova and poly, the top honor for russian model of the decade however goes to natalia vodianova. the only other model who can contest with werbowy's success.
one of the handful of models who was able to land a solo cover for american vogue, vodianova has managed a level of success that even after taking three separate hiatus from modeling as a result of giving birth to her three children, she is still in demand with fashion's most influential movers. rarely appearing on the catwalks and when she does its to open balenciaga, vodianova's timeless beauty with it's lolita-esque appeal with an expressive face has made her the choice representative for brands as diverse as calvin klein who she was the face for for most of the decade, to louis vuitton and l'oreal. in vogue's "model as muse" issue in may of this year she potrayed nine of modelling's most iconic faces. i think its safe to bet that in a few years she too will be remembered as one of the great ones and many future models will channel her timeless appeal.
in the latter part of the decade, one of the fashion world's most unresolved and undiscussed issue was brought into the forefront, that of the lack of models of colour on the international runways and magazines. not much has changed in the new millennium but as the decade ends it is showing some signs of promise.
after ten years jourdan dunn became the first black model to walk the prada runway since naomi campbell. chinese model du juan fronted the armani campaign and for the autumn/winter 2009 collections liu wen top the list of most shows walked. however it was vogue italia's landmark "black issue" in july 2008 with an all black cast with four covers that became the loudest statement about race in the history of fashion publication.
one of the models that graced one of the four covers for that issue was ethiopian beauty liya kebede. her career was jump started when tom ford discovered her and had her flown to milan to walk exclusively for gucci's autumn/winter 2000 show. he then cast her the following year to star on the ad campaign for his second ysl collection and soon got anna wintour's stamp of approval who made her a monthly fixture at american vogue. it wasn't just american vogue who fell for kebede's charm. in may 2002 paris vogue's editor carinne roitfeld put her on the cover and dedicated the entire issue to her. the following year she became the first black woman to represent estee lauder cosmetics.
since then she has broadened her horizons and became a good will ambassador for the world health organization, bringing attention to the plights of her fellow africans. it is this humanity that shines through and has made her one of the most beloved models in recent history and to highlight her humanitarian work she graced the cover of american vogue in 2006.
everything in fashion always comes full circle. and just as 2000s opened with the brazilian, it would be a brazilian to close it. but unlike giselle, raquel zimmerman doesn't exude heated sensuality or latin heat. instead there is a purity in her face. a classicism that has universal appeal in a form that has the ability to be molded into whatever a client needs and a personality that afflicts everyone around her.
while she is the most successful model right now, her journey to the top has been a long one. she first started making the international rounds in 2000 but it wasn't until she opened prada autumn/winter 2004 collection that her career truly sky rocketed. now a perennial fixture on all the top shows and a superstar in her native brazil, zimmermann has become the girl that everyone wished would be most likely to succeed.
with the idea of beauty being constantly challenge to adapt to the times, modeling has become a fast paced business that is always trying to catch the definitive. however it really isn't about being the perfect face for now that makes a good model. yes it is an important foot in the door, but its their ability to adapt to the needs after that initial demand has passed that tests their abilities as a model and gives their career longevity. it is their personalities however that makes them a star.

unlike their female counterparts, male models have never really enjoyed the attention or salary that female models have commanded for many years. there are obviously exceptions to the rule such as marcus schenkenberg, mark van derloo or tyson beckford who enjoyed substantial success in the nineties. although they were never able to match the earnings of the girls, their chiseled good looks and defined bodies made them household names and help contribute to the growing popularity of male models.
as the new millennium approached, a new crop of boys emerged who's aesthetic was far removed from the beefcake image of beckford and schenkenberg. and with the growing influence of hedi slimane's new definition of the modern man he first exhibited with his collections for yves saint laurent, and then at dior homme a new sensibility was to take shape that would continue to assert it's influence throughout the decade.
models such as scott barnhill, greg payne and charlie speed, boys with a more noticeably youthful appearance and smaller frame perfectly captured the essence that was beginning to rewrite a new definition of masculine beauty. although this new wave of models were beginning to redefine the aesthetic, the picture of an underwear clad jeff aquilon under the miami sun shot by bruce webber in the eighties for the calvin klein underwear campaign was too potent an image of male sexuality that would forever influence the definition of male perfection. it was because of this that enabled more "traditional" models such as robert petrovich, will lemay and gabriel aubrey to continue to represent the long lasting ideal in the first years of the new millennium.
as the decade progressed and with slimane's vision becoming more and more influential, the demand for the new aesthetic began to dominate the prominent catwalks and advertising campaigns. matthew avedon, the first bonafide star of the two thousands and grandson of legendary photographer richard avadon along with fellow american tyson balou came to embody this new sensibility. their boyish good looks but with a hint of rugged masculinity made them the perfect avatar that represented the kinetic energy of youth, yet their classical features perfectly bridged the old school of thought and the new one that was beginning to form.
just as the females that became muses for some of fashion's most creative minds in the past, the noughties saw the boys beginning to inspire some of the most important designers of the decade. j.r. gallison became tom ford's male muse at gucci, just as damien van zyl and travis fimmel came to represent the calvin klein man. but no other model became as inspirational to a designer such as brad kroenig, who's career was launched to dizzying heights when he caught the attention of karl lagerfeld who shot kroenig prolifically and used him for every campaign for all the houses he designed for.
as the years went by the youth movement was in full momentum and with designers and casting agents looking for the face that could fully represent the trend it ushered in some of the most unforgettable faces of the decade. boyd hollbrook, shaun dewet, danny beauchamp, and jeremy dufour all embodied the youthful spirit and with a face that had all the charm of a young boy with a swagger that gave them universal appeal that transcended the age barrier. but it was danish model mathias lauridsen who emerged out of this new school to fully represent this new romantic and youthful aesthetic. his career was catapulted to the top when jil sander hand picked the young dane to star in the first advertising campaign for the house she had just returned to. and while many of his contemporaries eventually faded, lauridsen has been one of the few who was able to maintain his level of success and in the five years he's been at the top, he has managed to bag some of the most coveted campaigns in the industry. closing off the successful decade with the gucci pour homme fragrance campaign.
while teenagers were the norm in female models, it was virtually new in the noughties. suddenly the need to capture the essence of youth became a priority and it sidelined the archetypal image of aquilon and van der loo and the new male models became noticeable younger and younger. regardless of how prominent the youthful ideal was, when a model like andres segura with all his searing masculinity and with the noticeable sexuality he projects, few could resist the prototype of the perfect man he embodied. he became the face of louis vuitton, chanel's allure campaign and even one of the most powerful editors, vogue paris' carine roitfeld who profiled the model in her magazine was unable to resist segura's charm. when photographers inez van lamsweerde and vinoodh matadin shot him in all his naked glory for arena homme plus, his status as one of the industry's most iconic figures was forever cemented.
just as the nineties was able to make room for both the classic beauty of the supermodels and for the likes of kate moss and alek wek, the two thousands was able to duplicate the same revolution for the male modeling industry. today, models like david gandy with a face and physique that seems to have been carved from ancient greek marble and lanky framed and tatooed cole more walk the same runways. this decade wasn't about redefining the male archetype but expanding on it. and with this new sense of freedom to look anew at the old palimpsest, the next ten years promises to be a very interesting one.


the "russian doll" collection presented by the dutch duo's haute couture collection for autumn/winter 1999 is regarded by many as the defining moment when the designers gained the reputation for being two of the most innovative talents and established viktor and rolf as two of fashion's most provocative showmen.
inspired by matryoshka dolls, that beloved icon of russian culture, viktor and rolf took the idea and built a collection based on the theme of layering. casting model maggie rizer for her unobtrusive and pure doll-like beauty, the show opened with rizer standing on a rotating pedestal dressed in an unassuming burlap slip dress with frayed edges that resembled more like a potato sack than a couture dress. without the obvious grandeur that is usually attached to a couture show no one was to expect that magic that would eventually unfold. after each complete rotation of the pedestal, viktor and rolf would re-emerge from the darkness to add another layer on top of the dress. the new one more beautiful and more elaborately embroidered than the last. after the seventh and final layer was added, a massive coat with a sculpted rose made out of the same burlap that opened the show sprawling across the front, rizer was covered in approximately seventy kilograms of beautiful and ornate creations.
this collection struck such a chord because it displayed in essence the true nature of haute couture. the sublime beauty in the process of making hand made garments. how every hidden boning, every seam, each panel of cloth and everyone of the thousands of beads embroidered onto the fabric is just one part of the complete, resplendent picture.
in the many years i've been following fashion, there are only a handful of collections that i can only describe as incandescently perfect. this is most definitely one of them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


it might not be summer anymore and the air is a bit colder, but friends are always loads of fun.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


designers have always used fashion as a tool to sculpt and perfect our outer shell. there are few designers however who's fascination with what lies underneath our skin is as apparent as british designer katie eary. whose recent collection for spring/summer 2010 presented in london during the MAN show explored on the idea of "inner decay on the human body and its twisted beauty".
this translated into gauzy t-shirts printed with an anatomically correct diagram of the respiratory and digestive system caged by rib bones worn underneath metal works that covered the models' torsos resembling the human skeleton. macabre and slightly disturbing yes, but also extremely fascinating because of its originality.
as a woman who designs fashion for the other gender with a background that is heavily influenced by classic british tailoring and military uniform, eary brings to men's fashion what many of her male contemporaries fails to offer, a romantic fantasy that isn't suffocated by the rigorous rules attached to sartorial traditions that governs menswear.
underneath all the theatrics and shock value, there is above all a woman dedicated to her craft. much like a young galliano or mcqueen, the real testament to eary's talent is in her highly accomplished tailoring and her ability to easily adapt technique with her imagination. after only two collections, eary joins fellow MAN show presenters j.w. anderson and christopher shannon as the leading torchbearers of british men's fashion.


Friday, December 4, 2009


VOGUE - september 1991
photographer - peter lindbergh
creative director - grace coddington
models - cindy crawford, tatjana patitz, helena christensen, linda evangelista, claudia schiffer, naomi campbell, karen mulder, stephanie seymour

one of the most unforgetable editorials of the nineties featuring supermodel heavyweights shot by peter lindbergh and styled by living legend grace coddington, "wild at heart" featured one of the first important trends to emerge in the early nineties. a look the heavily borrowed from biker culture and jewelry that was at that time, mostly associated with rap music.
the trend first emerged on the chanel catwalk for autumn/winter 1991. where chanel's classic quilted leather and gilt chains was luxuriously amalgamated by karl lagerfeld with the biker uniform. the "biker" look would not only emerge on other catwalks, but found its way to one of the most iconic ad campaigns of the decade, the calvin klein jeans ad with carre otis and marcus schenkenberg.
after almost two decades, the influence of of the biker culture has permeated every aspect of fashion. from ricardo tisci to frida giannini, countless designers have presented their own take on the biker look.
what was once a sub-culture that developed its "uniform" to give itself a visual identity, fashion has turned the black leather biker jacket into a modern classic.

Monday, November 30, 2009


for the woman who was so instrumental in giving the nineties its minimalist identity, it is no surprise that it would be that same woman who would once again re-direct the course of fashion for the new millennium.
since her seminal "lady like" collection for spring 2000, prada continued to develop on the ideas of traditional notations of femininity by delving into the past to source inspirations and then finding the prada way to apply it for the times.
whether it be a sex bomb or post-war england's "make do and mend" philosophy, in the early half of the noughties, prada took the practicality of minimalism and slowly introduce new layers to the idea by introducing more and more decorative elements to her designs. a move that one would assume to be the complete antithesis for the woman who was responsible for stripping fashion down to its bare minimum only a decade before, prada somehow managed to utilize such decoration to heighten the potency of her message. a message that always crystalized the general feeling in the air and one that was never frivolous or superficial for the sake of fashion.
towards the latter of half of the decade the prada pendulum was about to take a dramatic shift, and for the fall of 2006 she went back to the utilitarian roots of the house and injected it with her own take on urban savagery that completely abolished any remnants of the "lady like" look she herself pioneered.
this marked the beginning of a more aggressive prada woman. complex, determined, and unapologetic. dressed in parkas, knits, nylon bombers and raincoats, the very clothes that were the backbone of the house in its early years, reinterpreted as armour for the modern woman.
this new confidence was followed with more sexually charged collections where her subversive take on female sexuality and the things that people closely relate to it made her work some of the most provocative collections of the decade.
towards the end of the two thousands and the arrival of the greatest economic crisis since the great depression, prada answered the gloomy global climate by sending out a collection of forties inspired suiting rich with texture in a sombre colour palette that signaled that these aren't times for which to play. it is a time for strength and these are the clothes that you will wear to battle.
for over twenty years miuccia prada's singular perspective has defined eras. from minimalism, to geek cheek, to lady like conservatism and a new form of power dressing, her talent is a testament to an uncompromising, unyielding vision. a vision that sparks movements and changes ideas and challenges institutions.
as the first decade of the new millennium draws to a close it would be useless to assume the direction prada is to head off to next. but when she finally reveals that destination, one can be sure that by next season everyone else is there. and by then she probably would've already moved on leaving the rest of the pack trying desperately to catch up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


throughout the nineties, prada has been one of the most influential force in fashion. spearheading the minimalist movement that would eventually define the decade.
since launching the house's ready to wear line in 1989 which at that time the world at large was still unfamiliar with miuccia prada's design sensibility, many criticized the collection as being out of step with the general mood of that moment. it wouldn't be until a few years later when prada's innate sensitivity to the needs of the modern woman and an uncanny ability to "predict" the direction fashion is meant to go that made the world finally took notice and realized that she isn't a designer who is out of step with the times, but one who is constantly ahead of it.
as the woman who is responsible for the nylon bag craze of the eighties, one of the hallmarks of the house is in its fabric innovation. utilizing materials not usually associated with luxury goods such as velcro, rubber or plastic and using it in a way that is so obviously practical one wonders why no one has thought of it before. by combining design and an understanding of modern needs and pragmatic solutions, prada steered the fashion world out of the excess of the eighties and into a new sense of modern dressing where women did not have to sacrifice function for beauty.
the irony however with prada's take on beauty is that she also constantly challenged our perception of it. first with her introduction of minimalism after the world was so used to idea of over the top glamour and supermodels, only to radically change it again just as the rest of the world was getting used to it with her "geek chic" collection of spring/summer 1996 where the seventies reference and odd colour palette threw the world a curve ball that surprisingly caused a ripple effect that can still be felt even now, thirteen years later after its debut.
for her first collection in the 2000s, prada managed to take control of the helm yet again and after a few years when everyone in fashion continued to experiment with the idea of good and bad taste, prada unleashed to an unsuspecting world a collection that played on all the traditional notions of femininity with all it's lady like qualities and toyed with the idea of prada's perverse and subversive take on sexuality. it obviously profoundly affected the rest of the fashion world in the beginning of the new millennium, but that is for part two. i'm hella hungry and i needs to eat.

p.s. new layout. i like big pictures so i changed my template but i fucking hate my banner and i pretty much suck at photoshop. if any of you want to make me one i will love you forever.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

michael lau

when one thinks of avant garde fashion, he/she usually tends to associate that specific genre with london or paris, or antwerp. fashion capitals that historically have been the cradle that has nurtured the avant garde idea. paris has given us schiaparelli and gaultier. london, an exhausting list that includes alexander mcqueen and gareth pugh. and antwerp entered the global collective consciousness with the renegade sensibilities of the antwerp six.
while the documented emergence of the avant garde has been traditionally associated with europe and the art movement that found its epicenter in paris in the beginning of the twentieth century, over the next decades its profound influence stretched across the globe.
as the first decade of the twenty first century comes to a close and the arm of fashion has extended its influence, more and more international designers are embracing the avant garde idea.
in hong kong, a capitalist jewel capriciously set in communist china comes michael lau. a fashion designer and artist who presented his work during hong kong fashion week's spring/summer 2010 collections that, like all the great visionaries in fashion, blended concept, art, and clothes into a collection that challenges and provokes our notion of what fashion is and where the lines between fashion and art get blurred.

Friday, November 13, 2009


first off apologies for not updating recently. i've been hella busy working on a gajillion things and as a result i've come down with a right nasty case of the flu. last tuesday when i thought i was feeling a bit better i helped out a friend with her lookbook. it's a women's line and we shot it at one of those really sketchy motels along the lakshore. it was so sketchy we found a tiny garden snake inside the room, not to mention a cigarette butt behind the bed. we also had a boy model in it just to add a little something extra to the picture. i don't think i'm allowed to actually post any of the actual images just yet since its still in post production. however since the boy was graciously given to us by his agency we promised to devout some time specifically to him and take some shots so that he can use it to build his book since he's very new to the whole modeling thing. his name is matthew, and he's a pretty swell kid. he even picked up the little snake and held it in his hand.

i'll try to post more often but to be honest i'm not finding anything exciting enough for me to talk about. is it just me or is fashion getting pretty fucking dull lately? anyways, i'm about to down some neo-citrin and hopefully pass the fuck out and wake up finally feeling like a human being again. adios.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the drums - let's go surfing

my homeslice, burnsy got me into this band and now this song has been pretty much on repeat on my itunes. why didn't i have this song during the summer???? it would've been fucking perfect!

Friday, October 23, 2009

hometown heroes

it's fashion week in toronto right now and even though the collections are for next spring, the weather outside is being a total antagonist. outside is what you would imagine to be a really dreadful fall day. it's wet, freezing, windy. one of those days that you can easily spend the whole day tucked underneath your blanket and thanking god for so that you can catch up on all the episodes of glee that you've missed.
don't get me wrong, it could be bright and sunny outside and i would still be under the covers instead of being at the tents and watching the collections. because to be quite honest, toronto fashion week sucks.
while i do feel rather guilty for hating on an event that gives canadian designers a platform to present their ideas my reasons are quite sound and rational.
designers who should be given the chance to show what this city has to offer because of their unique point of view are never given the opportunity to. talents that if properly fostered and supported by the governing bodies of the fashion council can give this city a reputation that can cultivate independent thinking designers whose ideas can stand on its own right beside more established, world recognized ones.
look what its done for london and antwerp, even copenhagen. these three cities have produced some of the most exciting young designers in the industry and they owe a lot of that success from their respective cities who supports local talent from a grass root level. those cities nurtures the creativity and point of view of its talents and at the same time helps them develop their labels as a business where they can eventually support themselves.
sure toronto has the fashion incubator, but what do they do after they leave that nest? toronto fashion week shouldn't be an event people mark on their social calendar. for a lot of designers in this city, they do what they do because they love it, and they will continue to do it without the support of the FDCC. there's a lot of blood, sweat and tears that aren't given the opportunity to shine and canada is missing out on it.
but to end on a good note. there were two designers who presented their collection during fashion week. of course its no surprise that they weren't part of the offical fashion week calendar and also no surprise that it ended up being the two best collections, i would even say the only two good collections throughout the entire week. well the shows don't end till tomorrow but i'm pretty sure its safe to say that we won't be seeing anything better or on par with these two.

presented in the historic burroughs building on queen west for the second season in a row, philip sparks presented a collection that is brimming with canadian identity with an international appeal. inspired by the canadian pacific railway ads from the fifties and cottage life (can't get more canadian that that), sparks' ability to narrate a story and pull all the elements together into a cohesive collection is remarkable. it displays such a high level of taste that he can make a postcard inspired print and the humble anorak effortlessly luxurious. and as always the story that he reads aloud through his clothes transports you to that familiar place that only us canadians know. he's like the canadian version of ralph lauren. only so much cooler.

rita liefhebber, a former model, former fashion editor, former stylist, turned fashion designer was the most charming surprise of the week. presented at the quaint and lovely and extremely delicious charcuterie the black hoof on dundas west, the guest who were forced to wait outside the restaurant for over half an hour after schedule quickly forgot their dissatisfaction when they were greeted with drinks and food courtesy of the house. as fantastic as the food and vodka was, the real treat was having to walk down the restaurants insanely narrow walkway to the brightly lit back patio covered entirely in white where a row of models stood on the bench that surrounded the space with another row of girls standing on ground level in front of them. to walk through such narrow, and dark passageway and end up in this brightly lit up room with all these pretty young things, wearing some of the most beautiful clothes my eyes have ever seen in person was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. minus the dying part of course. after working in so may different aspects of the industry, liefhebber has such a developed aesthetic that she can put them all together into a collection where every piece flows so seamlessly to the next. she has such an understanding and sensitivity to what appeals to a woman with a true sense of fashion. kinda like phoebe philo. high praises of course but extremely well deserved. the clothes were effortless without sacrificing any of its beauty and charm. it was pure heaven.

photos: philip sparks -, rita liefhebber -

Friday, October 16, 2009

gehard demetz

what i find fascinating about art is it's ability to constantly adapt to modernity. every medium has the capacity, in the hands of a highly imaginative artist, to once again be relevant, poignant, soulful, and moving. gehard demetz's beautifully realized wooden sculptures of children has the ability, like all great works of art to provoke intense reactions. it is all at once confrontational, emphatic, which comes with a longing to understand what the inanimate children wishes to convey.
not much is known about the artist, asides from his nationality and his date of birth every other fact about him is a mystery. perhaps, like the great author and recluse j.d. salinger, he doesn't feel the need to explain his work. every answer anyone wishes to know is carved into the grooves of a dead tree brought back to life in the shape of a child. a child, like what we once were, who can manage to live in a world where dreams and rationality can be one and the same.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

spring/summer 2010

over the past few years, fashion has become one of the greatest ways we pantomime the collective mood that hovers in the air. it is one of the few things that, unlike everything else in the world, have become more and more democratic. with the advent of mass market retail stores with their wallet approachable, fashion conscious merchandise and the surge of popularity and influence of bloggers (as witnessed during the dolce and gabbana show where a front row seat was reserved for popular internet celebrity tommy ton of jakandjil fame), more and more people have become exposed to fashion and the culture it cultivates. as a result, the fashion landscape has become more competitive and ideas are churned out in almost supersonic speed so as not to be left behind by a growing number of competitors. while the surge of ideas that is produced in this arena is remarkable, the rate of which it comes out becomes somewhat damaging. it doesn't give those ideas enough time to evolve organically.
the lifeline of trends have become so narrow that in three months time when the pre-fall collections are debuted, the ideas that stemmed from this show season would've already been forgotten, even discarded. for fashion to not collapse under its own weight a sense of restraint has to be put into practice. that form of restraint manifested itself through designers who stripped off their collection with unnecessary artifices and focused on the things that really captures the essence of their respective houses.
nowhere was this more evident than at dolce and gabbana. after almost thirty years in the business, dominico dolce and stefano gabbana returned to the core essence of the brand and by doing so presented one of the strongest collections of the season. after several seasons which saw the design duo toying with ideas such as surrealism, madonna, seventies london and contemporary art, they went back to sicily. the island where the designers drew their early inspirations from and helped cement their status as the go to label for provocative, subversive, sensual designs. i mean, let's face it, anna magnani is a far sexier and more potent muse than jesus luz's sugar momma.
other well established houses such as givenchy and balenciaga continued to redefine its storied legacy by injecting it with a youthfulness and modernity that continues to dictate the direction where fashion is heading. and fashion's most infamous enfant terrible/showman, lee mcqueen, managed to crash a whole website from the amount of people wishing to see his show aired lived on what else, the internet. which unfortunately robbed millions the chance to witness one of the most poignant show of the season.
younger labels such meadham kirchhoff, louise goldin, sharon wauchob and ohne titel, houses that are just establishing their identity therefore have more space to experiment with their vocabulary, they nevertheless have managed to gain enough confidence in their young age to assert their own personality in this highly competitive arena.
and as usual, fashion's greatest intellectuals, miuccia prada and rei kawakubo never ceases to give us a cerebral challenge as to what fashion is, what it can be, and what it should be. by always challenging our perception of fashion, these two women never fails to become a huge voice in the discussion.
although there were some strong collections presented during spring/summer 2010 collections, generally speaking, the word to summarize everything as a whole was "adequate". there were plenty of sellable clothes that designers sent out because it was a sure way to have customers who are still frugal because of the economy to open their wallets. but perhaps that is where the problem lies. designers were so focused on putting out the best of what they know how to do that it left little in terms of experimentation and development. a new course that could've taken root, detoured in favor of guaranteed commercial success. in these still uncertain times, one cannot fault the designers for playing it safe, albeit it to their respected strengths. last season when the wound left by the crash was still fresh, there were talks of how in times like these, a creative surge erupts, unfortunately it seems that that seed has yet to sprout.