Rei Kawakubo Interview at WSJ

Can you imagine being able to interview Rei Kawakubo? I'd be like what are your thoughts on nylon taffeta? Then she'd be like あなたは誰ですか then I'd be like umm this is super awkward, just sign my tits and I'll leave. 

The Wall Street Journal have an interview with Rei K (that's my rap name for her. Reezy is also acceptable).
You must read it so click clack it up

HOWEVER the following quote is like what?

I don't feel too excited about fashion today, more fearful that people don't necessarily want or need strong new clothes, that there are not enough of us believing in the same thing, that there is a kind of burnout, that people just want cheap fast clothes and are happy to look like everyone else, that the flame of creation has gone a bit cold, that enthusiasm and passionate anger for change and rattling the status quo is weakening.

I love this woman. She’s a creative genius but gahhhh. You’re sounding old homegirl. This belief from older designers that the younger generation don’t care about fashion is just wrong. People don’t just want cheap fast clothes and who in avant garde hell is happy to look like everyone else?

Babby Rei in Paris 1987. Can you imagine? Like really being there backstage in 87. If I was that model I'd place my hand on Rei's, turn my head, look wistfully into her eyes and whisper goddess. Then security would escort me off the premises. 

It’s an otherwise interesting and very rare interview (her last portrait was done in 2004) but Rei, babes, the flame of creation is not dead. For your perusal, a list of talented young designers who are pushing the boundaries of fashion...

Michael van der Ham. Proving that London is still a hotbed of creativity Ham’s reconstructed outfits can even be attributed to the work of Kawakubo.
A look by Michael van der Ham

Rodarte-From the land of sportswear Rodarte go against the grain and produce collections full of ideas and macabre romance. There is nothing cheap or fast about a Rodarte dress.


Sandra Backlund-Avant garde knitwear designer. This bitch is fucking crazy talented.


Camilla Skovgaard. While Christian Louboutin battles it out with YSL in court over YSL's use of the colour red on the sole of one of their shoes you've got Camilla Skovgaard doing what a shoe designer should be doing: designing outrageously hot shoes.


Tom Ford Is 50


Happy birthday sugar tits

Marc Jacobs going to Dior? Phoebe Philo going to Louis Vuitton? Hell freezing over?

The Saddle. Early aughts it bag. 

From Louis Vuitton to Dior. Not exactly a huge stretch for someone like Jacobs. Those are the rumours currently swirling around Paris anyway in what has been months of presumed hand-wringing from Dior execs
taking their sweet time finding a replacement after firing John Galliano for his boozy racial rant at Paris bar La Perle. I can only imagine their leisurely search for a new designer was cut short after their latest couture collection. It was designed by Galliano’s right hand man Bill Gaytten and Susanna Venegas and reviews, including mine were fairly harsh. Execs are probably realising now that taking as much time as needed is seriously hurting the brand. They would be right in thinking that the brand can survive without Galliano but no head designer for three collections? The cracks are starting to show and they need a big designer to patch them up. And Jacobs will do just that. Jacobs is quite an interchangeable designer. You could slot him into any of the top tier luxury brands and he’d do well. Gucci, Chanel, Armani, Saint Laurent. You might not want to imagine him designing for these brands (at YSL? Gasp!) but you know he could do it.

From a fashion perspective it's quite uninteresting to see Jacobs put in at Dior and would be exciting to see them take a risk like they did with Galliano back in the 90’s. From a business perspective, well, Dior haven't had a major It Bag since the Saddle so Jacobs could obviously turn that around with his experience at Louis Vuitton. My other criticism of Marc Jacobs being put in at Dior is that he has never done couture but then I thought, who cares? The execs don’t. They just want hot shoes and bags. Couture isn’t dead but it’s not a bread winner for most couture brands excluding Chanel who manage a neat cut from Lagerfeld’s designs. I think if they hire him most people will just shrug their shoulders and be all whatevs about it.
Dior by Marc Galliano. It's whatevs

So if Jacobs does split for Dior that leaves his post at Vuitton open and rumour has it that Céline head designer Phoebe Philo could go there. I think she’s doing great at Céline and should stay put. With only a few seasons under her belt at Céline, Philo probably doesn’t have a huge emotional attachment to the house but she has total creative control and is able to design and work from London to be with her family, rather than be based in Paris. Maybe the offer of more money may prove tempting if her other needs are met.

Phoebe Jacobs. Don't do it Phoebs (we're like really good friends)

It’s all about direction babes

Babes is my new ironic word du jour but I use it way too often that people think that I’m for real using it. Not
so babes. I like to use it when I’m feeling like a trash bag so if you compare the frequency of it’s use
to how trashy I’m feeling then I must be pure trash baggery 90% of the time.
The spring 2012 shows are soon and I’m excited. In the lead up it’s quite a good time to log on to Style.com or Vogue and look over the winter collections but I feel like I’ve been seeing them for months now. Like the Prada collection which I’m soooo over. If I have to see another shaggy plastic fish scale coat I’ll just.. I don’t know. I’ll probably just cross my arms and make a displeased hrmph sound. I didn’t hate that collection but Prada always get so much magazine coverage that the clothes become grating. And those stupid fucking hats. Infuriating. I dunno, that collection is everywhere at the moment and it doesn't deserve the coverage it’s getting unlike their last spring show which was amazeballs.

Here's my round up of what I'm looking out for at this seasons shows...

Balmain-Olivier Rousteing
Since Christophe Decarnin left the house due to health reasons Olivier Rousteing is now the head designer. I’d like to think that he’ll forge a new direction for the house but I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I mean, where will Emanuelle Alt get her pants from? Certainly not Balenciaga.
Left: Olivier Rousteing. Hnnng. Right: Carine Roitfeld and Emmanuelle Alt in zebra print Balmain skinnys. 


Sophmore Mugler show
As head creative director, Nicola Formichetti admitted he’s not a designer but I have a feeling he believes this gives him an edge and a freedom that trained designers don’t have. There’s no doubt that he’s talented and perhaps he’ll bring Mugler to a new, much younger audience (with a little help from Lady Gaga of course) but what he's doing isn't fashion, nor does it have to be. Mugler is a different animal now and is more of a product than it used to be under the creative direction of Thierry Mugler. Instead of feathered dresses and motorcycle bodices it’s mesh tops and mint flares (which I’ve commented on before. Le meow). Sure I think the new direction is disappointing but at the same time what the house stood for is mostly forgotten and most consumers have little knowledge of what Mugler was like (except for people I guess who went to fashion shows in the 80’s. How amazing right?).
     From this............................................................................to this. Yeah, it's $6000. Get yours now.


Chloé-ClareWaight-Keller
So Chloé threw out Hannah Macgibbon after a few seasons and brought in Clare Waight-Keller. CWK was at Pringle of Scotland which is a nice enough label but Chloé has a cool factor that Pringle doesn’t so presumably CWK jumped at the opportunity. I’m guessing Chloé CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye wants to bring the brand back into the fold because it’s slipped since Phoebe Philo’s departure. Though Macgibbon produced some great stuff it never reached the realms of say, the Paddington bag or the knockout dresses Philo designed.
What's with these black and white studio portraits of designers? 


Dior-Bill Gaytten.
More fun? More clowns? After Gaytten’s Miami movement train wreck I don’t know where it’s going to go. I’m kind of hoping for more train wreckage because it’s highly entertaining. And it throws into sharp relief how talented Galliano is and what he was capable of doing (even when he was apparently high and drunk).
Galliano always talked about how the couture shows informed the ready to wear collections. Certain shapes or colours would spill over from couture to ready to wear. I always got the impression that he used this as a defense for couture. Something to ensure its relevancy. I wonder if Gaytten will do the same.
Tootle. Exactly as I remember it

Gay For Grey

I wish I was straight just so I could go gay for grey. Then I'd stay gay coz gay sex is hot. A few months back I posted about my obsession for grey and it seems I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I used an image of this mentally sound woman below as my crazy barometer and I think I've joined her rank.

Just chillin on my cream leather lounge suite in my hand-knitted wool jumpsuit. Whatevs.

BEHOLD!






Just to clear things up: This is not a look. Strictly blogging purposes only. This is all the junk I've been buying this winter. The shoes I'm saving for summer, the pants I got over a year ago from an op shop, the bag is by Herschel (which ps cost me $80 from Revolve Clothing and is $150 on Asos. What a mark-up) So yeah I kinda need some colour in my wardrobe before I start looking like some eccentric rapist. Oh and my room is a fucking mess right? Yeah I don't care.


Other things of note. I got some books last month. Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty and 100 Dresses. The McQueen book is Regina George flawless and 100 Dresses is good too. My September issue of Aussie Harpers arrived too. Meh. Oh and not pictured is Tina Fey's Bossypants whom without there would be no Regina George.







lol. colour

Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2006 'Neptune' Review


THE RUNWAY



THE DETAILS


THE DISAPPOINTING



THE EDITORIALS





THE VIDEO




This week my Savage Beauty book arrived in the post. As you can imagine I was very excited to tear it open and gawk at all the pictures. It's an amazing book that any avid lover of fashion and art should have. My initial thoughts were that there wasn't enough information on each piece but rather than have a fashion historian critique the clothes they speak for themself. I haven't scoured the book thoroughly but I think they tried to have at least one piece from every collection but I could be wrong. Initially I thought there was nothing from the spring 2006 'Neptune' collection but there were two beautifully tailored black jackets.

And it was Neptune that got me to writing this post. After I'd flicked through the book and marveled at McQueen's genius I started to wonder what his worst collections were. Like any artist's body of work, some collections are burned into our psyche forever whilst others get lost in the mix. But did he have any? And should I be using the word 'worst' in the same sentence as McQueen?

I decided to hunt the web for some reviews and they were mixed...

For two seasons now Mr. McQueen has produced collections that are manifestly commercial - again, causing insiders to complain that the British bad boy has become lazy. This season his clothes have a hard, clean look redolent of the 80's.

"I've done Victorian, I've done romantic," he said. "I wanted to bring sexy back. It's what is missing right now. And Alaïa was sexy for me. It was classy sex." He added, "I have so much respect for him, and I don't even think he will mind." Mr. McQueen is also someone who can get below the fashion surface. Despite the rightness of the minimalist silhouette this collection was all about surface. It grasped the notion of sexiness technically but not with feeling or belief.-Cathy Horyn of the New York Times
[NYT]

Is this the fashion moment for warrior queens in curvy tailoring as sharp as a compass point; or for Grecian tunics cinched with leather harnesses? Alexander McQueen thinks so. He carried his show of Glamazon models by force of energy. But turn the pounding music off and what was there? An image that Azzdedine Alaïa created in the 1980s when the power woman look was a challenge to spacey flower children and a genuine reflection of burgeoning feminism.
The collection, played out in black and white with touches of silver and gold, included taut tailoring with tiny, fluting skirts, gilded chains filling in a scoop front or a goddess gown suspended from a silver harness. But at a moment when women are reasserting their right to look simply beautiful, McQueen's premise went against the movement toward fashion grace.-Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune
[NYT]

Alexander McQueen has changed. The commanding impresario who once took delight in scaring and astonishing his audience with stadium-filling shows and designing at the brink of scandal has—if we're to judge by the past two seasons—joined the regular ranks of ready-to-wear designers who line up their models like soldiers and march 'em on out with the collection.
For night, the part of the show McQueen said was inspired by Greek goddesses, things took a turn for the disappointing—tiny pleated silver lamé dresses, white crystal-beaded gowns and pieces made in bandage wrappings of white or gold elastic. The slot formerly occupied by his showstopping extravaganzas is now serviced by metalwork body costumes with all the finesse of something left over from an eighties sci-fi TV series. Gone, even, are the staggeringly made, couture-grade fantasy gowns that have brought so many brides banging on his door. Though some of his moves are clearly being made in an effort to sell—no criticism in itself—this show, from a designer whose capabilities have won such respect, was a letdown.-Sarah Mower of Style.com


What made Neptune such an anomaly in McQueen's career was it's straight-forwardness both in the clothes and the presentation. 99% of the clothes were wearable. Like, off the rack and straight on your back wearable. No gowns and no real show-stoppers except for a white silk cape embroidered with a phoenix on the back. According to McQueen he wanted to bring sexy back (his words, not mine). I think a lot of his 90's collections featured sex but it was raw, aggressive, nails down your back sexy. Neptune to me was like Hollywood sex, like Versace and in that respect it felt hollow. I completely missed the Alaia references which I feel so stupid about now because they're so painfully obvious. The short skirts, the body-con bandage dresses.

The commerciality of the collection was quite shocking too. He showed everything you would expect from a standard runway show. Daywear, easy to wear separates, handbags, even swimwear. And no runway theatrics. No dress-painting robots, no snow-covered tundras or merry-go-rounds. I wonder what factored into this decision? Was it a financial decision? A push from Gucci Group execs to get some cash injected into the brand? I doubt it. Perhaps it was a psychological break? Season after season people had an expectation that a McQueen show was going to be an extravaganza. And for many seasons he delivered. The Man Who Knew Too Much preceded Neptune and that too felt like a bit of an artistic breather. Instead of dark romanticism he opted for sexy Greek goddesses, not exactly a thoughtful or mind-bending subject.
After looking at this collection several times now I do like it. I don't love it but there's some beautiful pieces and it should also be noted that there's an immense amount of detail in the pieces that is easy to miss. The beading and embroidery is flawless. My favourites were: The all-black jacket/skirt/tights combo worn by Emina Cunmulaj (which p.s. what happened to her? She's so beautiful), the black cape/dress with gold chain belt on Gemma Ward, an immaculately tailored jacket worn with leather shorts and a boxing-style belt, the long white cape-dress.
And the worst? I can't use that word. Call me a wimp, a pussy. Call me biased but McQueen was a genius and I love and respect his work so I'm going to say his most disappointing looks. What appears to be a white silk crepe wrap shirt with obi-style sash was just boring. The same shirt appeared again in black but this time with silver sequined pants. The slinky-somewhat sloppy-beige wrap dress. I think it was mostly the shirts that had me lost.

So while Neptune pales in comparison to McQueen's other collections I still feel that it has classic McQueen references such as harness-like details, leather, sharp tailoring and some ingenious draping. If you get a chance I recommend you watch the video. The show proved he was capable of doing wearable clothes and removing the typical McQueen runway theatrics forced people to focus only on the clothes instead of getting swept up in say, a video installation or what have you. The repercussion was that people felt ripped off. Most notably Sarah Mower who called the collection lazy. I agree with that statement to a point. I think perhaps it was mentally lazy and some of the pieces weren't structurally challenging. But also, why would McQueen need to prove he could do wearable? Anway, I hope you enjoyed reading this. I know it's quite exhaustive but I wanted to shed some light on one of McQueen's less notable collections because there really are some amazing pieces in here.