Sunday, May 24, 2009

Aski Kataski Fall 2009

For the fall Aski Kataski collection, designer Katsuhiro Makino did what he does best – a wonderful job of encompassing his signature elements which carry over from one season to the next and marrying it with a new theme. The harmony between the fantasy and utilitarian aspects is done with such grace and executed so well, it’s really a dream to look at.

Aside from how beautiful the clothes look, their function, which is arguably more important, is just as impressive. Not only well made but clothes that are really meant to be worn. And yes, while this should be the case for every designer, what makes Makino’s work that much more admirable is that he often uses textiles from 60+ years ago and miscellaneous antique materials to create his pieces. It is nice when people restore or reinvent things instead of always leaving the past to be just that, the past. I appreciate that this designer thrives on nostalgia but meanwhile makes the nostalgic materials all his own by creating something entirely new and beautiful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ann Demeulemeester Fall 2004

There are about a million reasons to mull over this particular collection of Ann’s but most of all because it is so good. What prompted me the most, though, were the countless parallels between her FW09 collections (both the men’s and women’s) and this FW04 one. While most of her work, over time, clearly carries over from season to season, all the trademarks we’ve come to expect and love… the similarities between the two are pretty prominent. Who knows if it was intentional or not but either way, it’s sort of neat to draw parallels between the two.

And I know that I always say it, but I really adore designers who have a long-standing, distinct and recognizable style to their work, because I think that is where true creativity lies – in being able to expand and perfect upon a unique vision without hiding behind the superficial world of creating collections around industry trends. There are few people who have done so little altering to their general aesthetic as Ann has in all this time… but for as much as it looks similar at a quick glance, there is so much that has changed within.

The FW09 collections may well have had some pony hair boots instead of leather only, and they also may have had imperious furs and haughty knits and an overall air of luxuriousness… but this one has the same base designs – just minus the frills. There is just something about Ann’s work from this point and previous to it, that makes it stand up just as well. So, while her current work might technically be more refined and posses a new-found urbane air about it, (and is no doubt gorgeous)… it was the raw, disorderly and tousled aspects of her earlier work, that you can see here, that really made me fall in love with her initially.

Amongst this deliciously neutral color palette filled with gathered and bound garments amongst a sea of structured pieces, all of which layered and styled to perfection, it’s the heavy dose of rickety disobedience that gives it that extra energy that appeals to me so much. There is not a ton of fur but what fur is there, is used wisely and provides a nice extra texture, in combination with the matte fabrics and the masterfully placed leather bits, which appear with such lovely effulgence in the right light.

This is sort of unrelated to this specific collection but one thing about Ann in general, that kind of cracks me up, is how she has decidely chosen equestrian boots and black leather gloves as the only consistent accessories that matter, for ages now (and can it really be argued?!)… but when she decides to actually do jewelry – she comes at us with the most insanely intricate and decadent necklaces/earrings known to man.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Comme des Garçons Fall 2005

What better way to kick off the new site than by sharing not only one of my favorite CdG collections, but one of my favorite collections of all time? I often look back on this collection because it covers all of the bases: unique concept, wonderful pieces and execution as well as the unforgettable runway styling and makeup. The theme is clearly that of an unconventional bride and who better to depict to us a little unconventionality than Ms. Kawakubo?

Instead of doing away with every traditional aspect, she expanded on the classic (read: insufferably boring) idea of a bride’s ensemble by injecting a bit of her CdG magic into it. I mean, religion is worthwhile just for the accessories, if for nothing else anyways, no?

The fact that she did separates and how they’re layered on the runway is commendable. The standard bridal silhouette isn’t exactly the most intruiging thing in the world and by doing this, she’s opened a whole window of new options as far as both form and function go. Aside from the separates, I also love that there was outerwear thrown into the mix. Rei is always a knockout when it comes to her fabric choices but this collection really exudes a cohesion that some of her others lack, meanwhile being comprised of just as broad a range of materials as her others are.

While what’s on the body of the women is beautiful – the footwear and headpieces are a whole separate heaven in themselves. Firstly, the boots… not only do they look amazing with the garments of this collection, but they’re pretty much the perfect boot, full stop. When it comes to headpieces, if you don’t know this about me already… I can’t get enough of them. These headpieces here are so stunning and are probably equally as interesting as most of the actual garments due to the sheer intricacy and uniqueness of them.