Looking at the menswear collections going on at this moment is a lesson in class vs. crass. the lines are blurred on both sides of the question, but the collection that seems to be catching every ones eye (jaundiced, I fear) is the one by John Galliano. I find him to be one of the most thought provoking and unbridled provocateurs showing. This collection is something of a celebration of the reshaping and restructuring of the language of menswear as we once knew it. A little like Dior's revolution that took place 65 yrs ago, only this time, the argument for change against the strictures and structure of fashion of the past has a strong argument against his proposed new language. Ok , presentation is everything. We all know that. In this case, the presentation eclipsed what might have been valid alternatives to what has come before, as recent as what we wore that day to the collection. The models were styled beyond recognition of their sex. Teased ,dyed hair and enough make up to sink a bateau mouche is not a crime or a sin, but the fact that they have taken on a femininity in their total aspect has blurred the lines to an indecipherable point. The limbs, legs, shapes and angles of their faces are so androgynous , you have to look for other tell tale signs to figure out what are you watching. A bare chest with little or no breast is'nt much help. Breasts are no longer a feature on men or women on the runway. Long, lithe legs abounded: could be girl could be boy, could be alien. The big news in pants, unless skin tight (there was a tell tale bulge in some cases helped to clear the fconfusion), was the new dropped crotch with the visual trick of suggesting big low hangers. Cojones. Nuts.What have you!?! This particular design choice brought back a very amusing moment while speeding down the freeway behing a souped up, monster tired pick up truck. On its back high gloss chromed fender I couldn't help notice something dangling and swinging from side to side. As I sped up to get a closer look, I saw that it was a scrotum sack ( false, I think) with big fat balls hanging . I almost drove off the road, never was I laughing so hard driving that I was almost blinded by tears. This was the first time that fashion was taking it's influence from the freeway and not just the street. The truck was Puce, the hair blowing from the window were long, blonde extensions , and we were enroute to the Fab Hamptons, so it could very well have been Mr. Galliano in his Chariot of dreams. This was just a tiny bit fetishistic and not interesting in the sense of being a detail of interest. Silly is the word that came to mind. There were loads of these pants suggesting pants with loads. I don't like fashion that makes jokes of either sex. It is an expensive insult. With race and diversity on the tips of so many wagging tongues, I spotted all of ONE, UNO, EINS,UN, model of color, that color being of the dark brown shade. Need I beat that dead horse once more? DISAPPOINTING. John Galliano is so open to ideas and possibilities....what's up with that? I did see very beautiful and wonderful possibilities despite the addled confusion and craziness of styling. Cool multi colored and multi textured jackets over sheer Goa -inspired tunics and slim tight colorful pants. Crazy platform clogs that looked like fun to wear and totter around in. But there was one piece that made me gasp and want to have more than any one thing I've seen all week from Commes de Garcon, Bottega,Hermes,the whole pack. It was an unzipped, unassuming black crocodile motorcycle jacket. Artless, loaded with sex appeal:androgynous, impossibly modern,luxurious and perfectly of this moment . That one piece summed up the whole message. Fashion moves forward in how we choose to incorporate it into our lives. Any piece from a collection can alter the fac of how we look feel and appear to others. That jacket will change the way anyone, man or woman, appears to the world. That's fashion. Thats change. That's the jacket I want. That's the jacket I'll HAVE.
I was so pissed to read Ruth La Ferla's piece on the must have bag:GOYARD. I have been having a love /hate relationship with it for about 2 years now ever since it exploded onto the Status Slag Bag charts. I looked at them sideways, over my shoulder, askance and downward . All along trying to figure out their appeal. The colors are wanting and the logo / print motif is less than original, but there is a little something that captures the imagination. They got me with"the leather strap" Yes it was the strap that won me over. Skinny like a super models gams and stitched artfully to the bag with an absolute minimum of fuss. Now I'm not saying it's great or a GOTTAGET, just that it's a wee bit on the charming side. I started asking women and the regrettably misguided occasional man why they liked, had or bought one. 9 out of 7 people all said that they were gifts. They seemed to feel a little queer wearing a status bag with an increasingly recognizable logo, but what the hell. A few admitted to buying them because they were so practical. You tell me what's practical about an unappealing printed plastic tote( with a fab handle) for a $1000. That is a classic case of denial . The men were even more disingenuous. They ALL claimed their little totes, so sissy, or attaches, so FAY, were gifts. They all looked sheepish while explaining away that overpriced little catch-all. I felt I had to get to the bottom of this conumdrum. So I became more aggressive with my questioning, and started to get answers.....consistently the same answer. Why so much $ for such a bag? and where did they get it? Guess what the new test group said? They ALL bought the PLACEBO! I'd say 8 out of 10 I stopped said they bought them on Madison Ave, but not at Barneys or Bergdorf's .Instead, on the corner from a charming salesperson, who actually could adjust his retail prices. I was flummoxed. I laughed out loud along with the test subjects. We both agreed counterfeit goods are wrong, but a fab deal on a euro bloated product is just too hard to pass up. After all , our new mantra is 'YES WE CAN".
what's in a blog? Does one inform? comment? critique? or blog off steam? I'm looking around at what other fellow Bloggers have to say and trying to find the value in it. There's lots out there ,maybe too much . I like the intelligent ones that enlighten or ask us questions . I'm not that interested in the ones that just report, gossip on subjects, or just write to hear themselves writing. When I was a kitty , I prowled around a well known school for writing. I was too lazy to take the intro courses in English in order to move on to the writing classes so I did the logical thing and switched disciplines. Art seemed easy enough. First history then fine arts. We didn't write about it, about artists or philosophize on it...we did it. Blogging now strikes me as the same sort of thing. I like it when a blogger talks /writes about what they do, what they know and not to sit back and make specious judgement calls on what they read, hear or just think about. I'm always asking "where's the beef?" I want to be challenged, enlightened or amused. I don't want to be bored or worse yet, very bored. Fashion, society and the culture surrounding it is by nature, inherently thin. Like making a meal of a half eaten saltine. Nibble and there can be some memorable specks , take a big bite and you're left starving. One needs to deliver a box, preferably unopened and not yet stale. What I see alot of from the well informed and studious fashion blogger is reportage of a rarefied sort. Not easily digestible if you're not chummy with Karl, Galliano ,Marc or the couture contingency inParis. It's all very interesting to know the workings of a couture house, it's many layers and it's oh so hush hush clientele. In the end it feels like a Mara-Lago member naming names and intimating his/her/its place in the hierarchy. This is another tiresome example of the exclusionary laws of fashion , society or high dudgeon. I get agitated and switch channels for Housewives of Orange County. Never housewives of New York City. That sort of low comedy doesn't even register on the Bottom Feeder scale. Which reminds me. I saw the ersatz Countess de Lessepps at a popular restaurant literally impose herself on a table of impressionable men and hold court for the next 2 hours. I never saw one of those boys open his mouth, except to guzzle another mouthful of a Cosmo....a drink way past it's prime as is She. I kept thinking , it's friday night, she's got a few kids and let's not forget the Count sitting all alone in that big staff infested summer "cottage", wondering where's Mommy. and she's here hijacking a table of strangers, talking about a regrettable show that's was over before it started. That kind of junk writing is what I don't want to read. But there you have it. When i ask friends ( I can count 1 or 2 on a good day) what they want from a blog, they say they want to be amused and learn something they didn't already know. Get the inside scoop, as it were. They want to have a good giggle and come away more knowledgeable than when they started. I want shared information. I want to be given a seat at the table. I'd like a taste of the meal and not to scramble for a crumb that's squished under foot. An opinion can go a long way. You like it, disagree with it or are challenged by it. An observation ,like the lens of a camera just gives you a look. It's this or that. My shrink says my big little issue is that I was never really heard as a child by my parents, so I write in an attempt to be heard. I like to say what other people only dare to think. To find kindred spirits, but also to call it as I see it, complete with a keen assessment. So my bits of this and that on fashion designers, fashion flaks, fashion faux-inistas, are just my way of saying what I feel, to shed some light through the noxious smoke screen of this business and help others who have the same questions to have them answered or at best addressed by someone actually involved in this business. There is nothing more unsatisfying than an armchair specialist or a sunday painter of this layered Night Gallery called Fashion and the World of Style. I have more to say on this, my reasons for starting to BLOG and will touch on it more later. The day is too beautiful, and unbeknownst to many, cats like to swim. Especially in a fabulously designed pool tucked away in an intimate and luxe private hideaway. LATER. Fluff
For one thing, NO SWEATING is a powerful turn on. That's a toughie, though. Few of us,excluding me, can venture out in 350 degree heat and not glow the tiniest bit. Hairlessness is one way to beat the heat. Short of that, wearing almost nothing can be very compelling. Some really COOL ways to dress for the inferno are very simple crisp shirts paired with a short to the knee or just below slim skirt. The sleeves are absent or rolled up to the elbow. Sleek cotton or the thinnest Tasmanian woolskirt and drop dead closed- toe slingbacks in reptile look absolutely HOT, in the cool sense of the word. This is working girl Chic or just dressing like you MIGHT have to work. Short , boy cut hair or a mane that's been twisted by hand and caught with a tortoise-shell chopstick is perfection. No make up is needed because the heat will bring the color to your cheeks and an overall glow to your arms and legs. If you're totally casual, then the tiniest trapeze in a very bold print....perhaps Marimekko, particularly "vintage" , bought by Mom in the 70's from DR (DesignResearch) in Harvard Square. This look calls for espadrilles, earth bound ones or Bottega sandals high or low. Forget a bag on a day like this....just a tiny wallet that only holds credit cards or cash that fits in your pocket. Nothing cumbersome or heat seeking. Sexy in a blast furnace is an attitude that it's a perfectly lovely day to be out and about in the city. You notice I didn't mention jewelry of any sort. Whatever you might wear should be so minimal and sleek it should almost be imperceptible to the eye. A set of 5 wire thin hammered gold bangles on one wrist and matching loops in your ears. Or a very simple steel braceletted watch. Better yet one rather thick gold ring on your middle finger and not a thing more. The sexiest look of all is moving confidently and ALONE on the sidewalk.
I never presume to speak for everyone. I can only speak for myself and hope that there are some people who are in agreement. The life of Yves Saint Laurent was not that different from anyone else's except that he changed most every ones who knew him, knew of him or have only just been introduced to him in the last 12 hours. He was a man who gave his life to his muse. That muse was beauty in all of it's shapes and colors; glorious and terrible. His journey is a long and fabled one which began in obscurity and now rests at the center of this culture's collective consciousness. A fashion designer creates for very few people for a fraction of time . He created for a world of people and has left his mark for centuries to come. The gift that he gave was weighted in joy and a crushing pain but was profound in its size. To list all its parts would be as futile as trying to count the facets of a rare and almost perfect gem. All that matters is its refraction of light, depth of color and clarity. We are so lucky to have lived during his time . Others will be fortunate to learn of his prolific talent and influence long after we have gone. If black is the color of all colors combined and white is the total absence of color, then the world turned white on the evening of June 1, 2008 with his passing. Yves Saint Laurent was every color in the spectrum.
Every summer there's a new LOOK that every girl (thankfully, not everyone) adopts. In the past it was big belly pleated, pseudo-tennis miniskirts with a flimsy, machine made, lace trimmed tank top. The skirt is worn low and the top is worn too short so a nice overly well fed GUT can hang over the front and sides. Remember that one? Still wake up in the night screaming when it enters your dream or presses up against you at Popeye's? There were the platform flip flops and the just plain old crappy ones on filthy city scum covered feet. The multi-colored toe nail polish always added a well needed dash of color to stubbed toes, bunions or my favorite: a combination of all of the above with a couple of hammer toes tossed in for interest. CROCS took up the mantle shortly after. I think that is about 7 too many words spent on that UBER-trend. I did have the pleasure of meeting the CREATEURS of said shoe. They are a fascinating couple. Very charming and clever husband, totally shocked to this day at their success and his some what brittle wife, who has used them as her platform to scale the social heights of a tiny southern city . So far so good, everyone asks her how they can get a pair CHEAP at most dinner and cocktail parties she throws most nights of most weeks....... I was invited to one and you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting someone with a pair on or a gift bag with the latest camouflage colored pair peaking out. God love her...... This summer's disturbing new trend which looks like an amalgam of a couple of old ones that have cross pollinated is the" Humble Printed Shapeless Cotton House Dress CUM Shift over Black Stretch tights that end at the Calf. I can't imagine the benefits beyond getting dressed in the morning takes 2 minutes. you pull on your knee length panties and toss on a house dress. When NYC starts to heat up, and it will, there must be some overheated lower halves that can't be sanitary. Go to yoga in this or go to day care but don't go to town. I will say it's perfect for a tween or a an expectant mother , but beyond that it's a cheap alternative to getting dressed. Economics aside, it's a remedy that exacerbates the sickness. Wear the dress with your crocs or flops and leave the tights for all the starving ballet dancers. God knows they need something to cover themselves. The coolest summer trend that never dies and always looks great is a nice big warm smile.That tends to work for everyone. If I missed a glaring STYLE DON'T, let me know. This kitty loves to learn new tricks. It gets lonely out here.....the pressure is crushing and I'm always chilly.