(Images from NYtimes. All credit to Loris Diran)
Loris Diran Fall men’s 2017 collection is exceptional. Beautifully cut, with some of the cleanest lines that I’ve seen so far in a collection for Fall 2017. In fact, almost perfect. Because it utilizes simplicity within it’s minimalist form, yet despite the subtle aspects it also projects a blunt in-your-face appeal. Which is so hard to create as a designer, as a fine balance, such as Diran’s collection, is usually only achieved when one thinks less about their action in creating form. Known in Chinese Taoist philosophy as Wu Wei, the action of non-action. As according to commentary of Drian’s Fall 2017 show, it was mentioned that his influences have been of the Eastern spiritual beliefs and philosophy that have impacted on this collection, which in-turn has been weaved into Diran’s conceptualization with precision. Also one can see, although possibly not conscious, the 1999 movie ‘The Matrix’ stylization and contemporary fusion of the cyberpunk warrior and Japanese anime.
Loris Diran’s titled ‘Back to Black’ Fall 2017 collection abridges the duality of black and neutral grays – against the equally achromatic whites, which have been expertly arranged in this Fall 2017 collection. Wool pants, blazers/jackets, jumpers with cotton long shirts and t-shirts. Accessories, such as satchel bags and aesthetically styled tactical/combat gloves. Tough, resilient inner city wear for the neon lit urban jungle, as a backdrop against the facade of crumbing buildings that is our post empire world.
It was just recently pointed out to me that the newly released movie ATOMIC BLONDE featuring the actress Charlize Theron from a visual perspective reminded them of my 2012 book FIEKE WOLF. After some quick research, I found that there is absolutely no comparison to the storyline at all. The movie is based on a comic called “The Coldest City”. A cold war (1980s) story.
(Images from WWD. All credit to Dusan)
In a financial bubble world, that we are all currently part of, which means central bank planning (money printing) expansion of credit and debt mixed with larges dashes of technocrats attempting to manage and coordinate the populous of various countries in the West that have merged socialism with crony capitalism. You have two aspects, one, inflation, two, an inundation of a sameness. In other words creativity begins to decline replaced by a plain structure. Which as we all know is the rigid tantalization of socialism as an aesthetic i.e we all look the same. One cannot deny the influences from economic and social dynamics on art and of course fashion. Thus in simple terms the expansion of credit and debt within our society, as an example, has produced too many artists and too many designers, fashion or otherwise. The decline (and it’s dilution) in originality within fashion has been testament to this in the last five years. Plagiarism and the reworking of ideas that were laid down in stone when money, or at least loans, were hard to come by. So you worked harder in creating an impression.
Dusan Paunovic’s Ready to Wear Fall 2017 collection encapsulates that drab, conditioned and reflective aspect of a society that has lost touch with creativity. Despite that fact that Paunovic is backlashing against fashion with his take on “anti celebrity fashion” his price tags are not. I don’t mind contradiction, it can at times be an interesting selling point. But social commentary or a gimmicky leftist backlash does not fit the program, especially when your prices start at $500+ for a t-shirt. Beyond tedious.
The above t-shirt design “Temples of Pandæmonium” by Adrian Glass (image above). Styled with a Poème Bohémien hoddie. Enquires: firstname.lastname@example.org
- My new book ‘CATACLYSMAL’ is OUT NOW on Amazon. An ebook format that is available for download if you have a Kindle device or app. One of the conceptual art ideas from the book is The Beacon Hypothesis, which was obviously my design but within the book it is the creation by one of my characters who is part of the Catalysmal story.
- New art on the way, already a preview of one of my new pieces can be seen on this Instagram account.
- I am currently writing a new book, at this point in time it will be three short stories.
(Images from Viridi-anne. All credit due)
Since 2000 there has been a slew of avant-garde inspired designers that for the most part have and are still inspired (even if they are or aren’t aware) by the early 1980s cutting edge fashion. The numerous labels of today that produce ‘avant-garde’ styles owe a bow of respect to early and mid eighties experimental fashion from London to the Belgium designers – and of course, all are pale in comparison to the refined and updated (for it’s time) styles by the Japanese designers of the early 1980s who descended on Paris, more so it was Rei Kawakubo, who decreed, with her asymmetrical and elegant Wabi-sabi styles, that it is just “black, black, black”.
Viridi-anne, designed by Tomoaki Okaniwa, is one of the more established artisan or ‘underground’ avant-garde labels from Japan. Producing clothing mainly for their Tokyo flagship store and online retail companies. Their clothing is a mix of cotton and linen, exceptionally well cut and detailed. The problem with homogenized artisan styles, such as Viridi-anne, is that any uniqueness, whether it is from detailed stitching, folds and cuts, will be overlooked. This may pose as a challenge as more and more labels will appear overtime. To create a significant impact on the industry any newer label will need to mix raw determination and experimentation. Which in turn, will be seen in their designs. So far this has been elusive.
I received a message from someone who read the Alexander Wang review for NY Fashion week (Fall 2017). They wanted to know what was the script reference from that was written into the review of that show. I found this clip on youtube which is the visualization of that particular scene/script.
The movie is ‘Baby Face’ (1933) with Barbara Stanwyck playing a woman struggling in life. This is as close to reality within melodrama as you can get pre the Hays Code which was the beginning of Christian morals moving into Hollywood, it took awhile to be totally implemented, but a lot of incredibly risqué movies came out of Hollywood from the 1930 to the 1950s. The 1960s was more so split into the underground ‘Grindhouse’ cinema and the onset of drive in theaters, thus a small movie industry were able to avoid that most ridicules coding system you could wish that was intended to suppress creativity. The 1980s saw straight to video ‘nasties’ and the beginning of a backlash against censorship and movie coding that also ran into issues with the more extreme aspects of feminism and/or social construct theory that once again played on censorship cues (that began with religious dogma). All the while both aspects fed off each other well into the 20th Century and to a degree into the confused 21st Century – as Hollywood panders to the highest bidder via hashtag populism, with creativity caught within a loop of backlashed tedium. So, the above scene from Baby Face is as significant then as it is now. It’s about power play and how that effects our lives, regardless of our moral or ethical perspectives, whether they are leaned or predisposed from evolution. The harsh reality of survival is part of human nature.