Of all the fashion capitols, New York City is the most dogged with accusations of being overly commercial and derivative. It’s a well-earned reputation going back to the early 20th century when French haute couture’s supremacy was a real and unchallengeable thing and its couturiers would license their designs to American manufacturers and department stores for sanctioned copying. But if a manufacturer or department store couldn’t afford the fees, they’d enlist a copy house who… [read more »]
I was in a dour mood this morning after viewing Alexander Wang’s third effort for Balenciaga. Though mildly pleasant the collection was hollow, void of any real design muscle and totally reliant on his predecessors’ old work. Far from what you would expect from a great design house. It made me a bit pessimistic about the standards and fate of the industry and its ability to not just produce beautiful clothes but make any kind of worthwhile expression. But then, not realizing his show was today, I saw the first look from Rick Owens Spring 2014. Checking Nowfashion I saw what has come to be, in the 30 minutes that have passed since I’ve looked at it, a revelation. It is a glorious thing, a monumental feat in demonstrating the true power of fashion; its emotional and its psychological impact as well as its tactile and visual. The casting of a predominantly black step-team, their robust bodies dressed in Rick’s signature aesthetic, dancing and performing with pride in themselves and in their talent and in their own innate beauty, is a sharp contrast to the tired glamour tricks and gimmicks that get bandied about during fashion week. Thank you Rick. Thank you for the clothes, thank you for show, and thank you for reminding me that fashion can indeed be earnest and beautiful and powerful, if you let it. And thank you for reminding us what being an American in Paris is all about.