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.