Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yoichi Nagasawa Spring 2003

Nagasawa has been on my mind lately after pulling out an old piece of his from my closet the other day. Though he did get ample recognition in the time he was most prominent, and was much appreciated as a successful and boundary-pushing designer, he is not really mentioned much nowadays in comparison to the other Japanese designers from the same pivotal era, I am not sure why.

I guess I have just always assumed that because he took a more mature approach to his work, that he lost much of the ambivalence and aspiration that his work formerly exuded. Whatever the reason, made some great pieces when he was in what I would consider to be his prime. Oh well… I guess none of that really matters but I always seem to find something to complain about, isn’t it?

Getting down to the collection itself; this particular one isn’t groundbreaking or anything, but I have always been really fond of it, none the less. I enjoy the manipulation of the fabric a great deal and the cohesive progression of the dyed pieces. One thing I enjoy best about his work at and before this point was the focus on form and deconstruction, which is I suppose what he ultimately shifted away from.

What I have always found most endearing about this collection is the descent of everything from the dye itself, to the actual fabrics which descend to morph into another fabric with a seamless transition. The strappy legwear is such a sweet complimentary contrast to the clothing. I really love the styling as well; it shows off well the ease of the pieces and how lovely his designs were.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Boudicca Fall 2002

One of fashion’s most underrated labels, Boudicca, have my respect for a ton of reasons, but mostly, of course, because their clothes are and always have been stunning. The duo, who are also partners in love, have always persisted diligently toward their dream while remaining independent and staying true to themselves. Everyone wants to be able to succeed with their dream in life, but how Zowie and Brian have found their path – despite shunning many corporate sponsorship opportunities – is truly something to admire.

While they’ve had more conceptual and extravagant collections than their Fall 2002 showing, I really wanted to post this one as it’s a personal favorite… possibly for the very reasons I just stated. I love their ability to bring dark and enchanting fantasies to life within their pieces and to give a very theatrical feel – but I also adore this collection for it’s harnessed fury, so to speak.

All of their signature elements are there but it’s the modesty that really adds the extra allure for me. Their cuts are always severe and clean and in this collection, we’re really allowed to focus on that. Not to say there is a lack of detailing, but rather the amount of detail is perfect. The geometric detailing works so well with their sharp designs; I love the peel away effect on some of the pieces in particular and particularly how the panel underneath is completely contrasting. The asymmetry is also fantastic as it’s done so well. And finally I have to mention the black on black work is lovely also; the contrasting textures add a lot of depth and volume to the silhouettes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


‘Wearable’ is a word thrown around far too often in the realm of fashion and I just have to say how absolutely ridiculous I think this is and how annoying it’s become. Of course some things actually are unwearable, such as really brittle couture gowns or things equally as perishable, but the majority of things are indeed wearable despite an unusual surface or silhouette. Technically, everything can be worn; the whole point is to look deeper than that.

I guess it breaks my heart a bit when I see someone call a collection as a whole ‘unwearable’ solely based on their impression of the runway presentation and styling being outrageous, without even a deeper look to try to grasp the clothing itself. Is this as deep as we are looking now? I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that something can be outrageous, overly dramatic, overly embellished, ridiculous, whatever… and still wearable. None of the aforementioned adjectives which describe the aesthetic alone should ever be considered synonymous with the actual feel, function and quality of the item itself.

Something can look absolutely uncomfortable or very strange, but for the wearer, is completely comfortable due to the thoughtful construction and materials of the item. If books shouldn’t be judged by their covers, then neither should all clothing. There’s an entire school of designers out there currently who are specializing in modifying the human silhouette but also put an equal amount of thought into what is inside/underneath. I worry sometimes that if this term is too loosely used, that the designers in question could be pigeonholed despite their relevant talents.

Since Gareth Pugh seems to be the designer du jour who’s being widely dubbed as creating unwearable clothing, I’ll use him for my example. When people say his work belongs only on runways and museums, I have more than a sneaking suspicion that these people haven’t actually worn or even handled his clothing. His runway presentations may be very severe – but his clothing is much more impressive technically than his reputation eludes to. I’d like to try to show how disarming the majority of his pieces actually are, off the runway. :)

I’ve had this jacket since about November, if I remember correctly, and I’ve found that I wear it about once per week on average. As you can see – this unwearable beast is simply just a short, embellished blazer. The embellishments are attached to only the outer (of 3) layers of fabric. These triangles are indeed pointy to the touch – but don’t effect the movement or anything of the piece. They’re solely decorative and don’t interfere a bit with the functionality whatsoever.

^ Here is what I mean about not being able to really judge, based on a quick glance at the exterior. As seen above, the blazer is lined with Gareth’s signature star print. Also, the sleeves have a different lining in them, which is more smooth to the touch, as you slide your arm in. It is a shame that some people are missing the amount of thought and creativity put into these garments.

Here are a couple of the other Gareth things I have got, if you’re wondering about the more basic pieces. I adore them all very much and I wear them very frequently. If you have any questions, please ask, as I have rambled enough, unprovoked. :p