Monday, March 10, 2008

032. Falling flat.

I hate to be repetitive, but the fashion this spring has been unusually bad. There have been a few good ones: Alexander McQueen (although it rested rather heavily on outsider-designed hats), Ralph Lauren, Givenchy, Moschino. But I have to give it to Nylon for making the best of a bad situation by picking the best of the worst to showcase and doing a damn good job with photography. Other magazines (whom I shall not deign to mention) have spectacularly failed in piquing my interest this season, interspersing vile editorials with humdrum print ads. Now that the screenwriters' strike is over, have the design teams for major magazines taken their place?

But I do have to admit that no publication is to blame for the shoddy fashion jamming up the catwalks. A few interesting designs here or there, but I'm not going to defend the bullshit. Anyone who tells me "We decided to break it all down and start at the bottom so we can build ourselves up again." - yeah, great idea. You've just created the fashion equivalent of the amoeba. Why don't you take us right on back up the evolutionary chain so I can wear something pretty again.

In essence, from what I've seen, many spring collections have tried to rest on flashy colors that border on radioactive. The shape and detailing on garments is minimal. That’s okay because minimalism can be chic, but it’s annoying when you don’t have that one unusual piece that stands out from the crowd. Shoes are going to be the saving grace of fashion this spring.

Now, about them shoes. A fashionable outfit depends on contrast (currently: drab clothing vs. interesting shoes), and I’ve noticed that as heels have risen in height (I believe we will be walking on virtual stilts by 2010 if this trend continues to grow – no pun intended), they’ve also risen in creativity. A little while ago, bags were the It accessory. They were and always will be a fab brag piece to flaunt, but shoes are fast returning to their spot as the collectible item of choice. Let me see if I can rack up a few examples.

Here is a Chloé shoe from next fall. It is certainly something to look at. Not only is it produced in a vivid aquamarine, the front is plastered with some exotic variant of a leaf. I don’t know if this is a hail to environmental campaigning (there’s been even more plant-oriented clothing around lately, and not just because it’s spring). But this is a different take on footwear. Normally you’d just see a shoe that matches or complements the more extraordinary fabric, but this is the uniting component of the outfit.

Prada’s token spring heel is even more flamboyant. I must say this shoe is much more aesthetically appealing (to me), but it is perhaps even more extreme, with the heel radically altered to form the shape of a flower. The shoe is practically becoming the staple of the collection, whereas Prada’s shirts float on ethereally by.

Marc Jacobs’ latest shoes are bizarre. That’s all. They’re just bizarre; and they’re a disaster waiting to happen. That isn’t to say I don’t like them. I enjoy the exotic birds of fashion. But these shoes are extreme and I have visions of tripping in these, catapulting down stairs, dancing through my head. They’re another poster child for the “Look at us. We’re subscribing to the Shoe Extremism trend. Here, let us endanger your safety to prove it” movement.

I admit I am myopic when it comes to fashion. I'm young. I am only well versed in approximately the last half decade in fashion; I don’t presume to be an expert on trends. But clothing seems to be taking a new direction. Whether this leads to good or bad things, we shall see. I have hope that Nicolas Ghesquière will carry us through.

1 comment:

Dryad Girl said...

I loved Prada's collection. I want the Faerie bag, the Faerie dress, the tulip-heeled shoe. I care not that most people don't the entire line; that it got panned by critics. All I know is that someone designed a clothing, shoes, and hangbag line especially for me. Or that's the way I feel about it. ;)