Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Soul Searching

It was just a few weeks ago that I hustled my way back to the "preferred standing" area for the Resort shows. I'm not sure if it was the lousy vantage point or the pointless clothes that started to flood the runway that sent me racing for the exit. Once I was outside I kept on running until I found myself on Three Mile harbor Road and inches from the safety of our house, the one in the woods with almost no one within shooting distance. Certainly, no one fabulous with the exception of marauding turkeys (real) and some black guy who's been swimming in our pool and raiding the refrigerator. Grief is such a strange thing. It creeps up on you when you think things are finally settling down. It can be triggered by a sound, a smell or the reflection in a mirror when you think its you you're seeing. My father seems more present now than when he was alive. Last night at a Rickie Lee Jones concert I could have sworn he was sitting right next to me. His cologne was in the air and too many songs brought him more and more to life. Daddy didn't even care for Rickie... The truth is that I didn't know I cared so much for my father until he was gone. Perhaps, that affection can be applied to fashion. I'm so bothered by it lately. This month will be 2 years that I bowed out and ran for the hills. It feels so much longer. The scene is so different now than just 2 years ago. I feel guilt for casting such a jaundiced eye and struggle to keep sharing my views. Something in me feels that I should be drinking the Kool-Aid but I can't. I won't. Reading press and looking at what's being done is rough going. I keep grumbling so much that I'm forced to come back and vent. Resort was a snooze to a large degree. I watched and took mental notes. I wished that most of what I remember about it was inspiring. It wasn't. Now the Couture is happening and I feel more engaged. Stuff you read about Dior and the dissing that Bill Gaytten has gotten is grotesque. He is no less a designer than other charlatans like the team at Valentino, the clowns that ran Ferre into the dirt, the 2 girls from Pasadena with issues of taste and technique not to mention serious challenges in the creativity department. Let's not forget Marc Jacobs who's greatest talent is pumping iron and feeding the press. The slap that Gaytten received was undeserved and unwarranted. Sure there were some things that were wooden and without subtlety or nuance but there was a collection that still had a relationship to the aesthetic of the house. That's much more than can be said for Givenchy and the stuff that's being passed off as couture. Hypocrisy is the order of the day. So I'm around and thought I'd stop by and say hi to you guys. Its interesting how much people despise John Galliano but are not ready to let go of his artistic contribution. That job will be one of the most thankless we've seen in a long, long time. The field is not only rutted and flat. It's also turning to dust.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, while I will agree with you that Bill(not Peter) Gaytten is a designer, there is still a gap in singular vision between him and Galliano(Still waiting for him to come back). Sorry Emperor, just had to clear up that, I assume name typo...? Thanks

Fluff Chance said...

Yes there clearly is a gap, even a chasm, but there is still something of value and merit. I'd prefer to see him find his way than have to the voice of some tone deaf personality who relies on auto tune and the "man" to get him/her/them over. That isn't to say that all of the candidates would be legless, just that the likeliest names have press cred and little else. Seeing and vision are asking a lot these days. Sorry about the name booboo. Just had Peter on the brain.
xoFluff

Dandy said...

The sorrow you feel and the presence of your father is natural. My father died last year and it took me months to feel like the earth was not shifting beneath my feet. I expected it, I had made my peace with him and yet I was in shock. Time is the scab that heals over those wounds. Take it easy on yourself. Maybe some private writing for yourself about him when he comes to mind. Mostly, don't worry and feel that the tilt in the earth is permanent. It isn't. Your psych will find its balance again.
I won't be offended if you don't publish this. I just wanted to say it to you. Best to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're back. Although I have never met you I miss having you around.

spirou said...

Ok, but still Bill Gaytten came out with a very strange collection. Cathy Horin mentioned Memphis and I must agree. Some of the details were jarring.
Something else, completely off topic, is looming at the horizon: Greece is defaulting and will be followed by Portugal, Spain and Italy, there is a very strange feeling of doom and gloom called "reality ". I do not know how we will negotiate that one...Running for the woods may be a very good idea. Running toward reality, true feelings , loss and sadness, how hard they may be, are still healthier than feeling sorrow or battling for a fashion world we knew, that is all but gone. I watch the shows and I am untouched by it. It's over. It is truly over in all possible ways. The economic sanctions which are about to hit Europe at large will change it all.I don't know what comes next...Wild turkeys sound like a good meal.

José said...

I gotta say that I just don't agree about Gaytten. The shapes he used may have harkened to some part of the Dior heritage, but nothing really came together cohesively. And who honestly would wear some of those shapes when it came down to it?

What I miss the most about the Galliano days was the creative synergy of not just the designer, but also the brilliant music by Jeremy Healy, Pat McGrath's mind-bending makeup, Julien d'Ys hairwork and Stephen Jones' millinery. With Galliano gone, that whole magical matrix is gone, and this lame attempt to mimic that over-the-top style just doesn't have the same power.

I feel really bad for Gaytten, who even meekly stepped out to take credit for what he had to have known was a mess. I imagine that he was beset with the news in a flash and had to scrape some kind of concept together in a "Galliano-esque" way. His reward is that he gets placed in the pillory for Horyn, Menkes and Givhan to throw tomatoes at while the LVMH brass paint themselves as victims of an anti-Semite's rocket flares. And yeah, it's true that the stars of the scene today seem to be there because they have the look and attitude that the fashion press arbitrarily thought was relevant, no matter what the consumers say (I'm not usually phased by the prices on fashion these days, but the Rodarte girls sure like to charge—$2K+— for what are literally balls of string!) So I get where your sympathy comes from.

But plain and simple, the decision to put him in that spot was wrong. I guess they were hoping for a smooth Sara Burton-like transition from someone who had deep experience with Galliano's visions. Fashion is in a truly sad state when it's assumed that human creativity can be pumped out and manufactured like any other commodity.

spirou said...

I just read an article on "Business of fashion ", (even though business of fashion ennoys me , too much cheerleading and pass the koolaid) the article was on Azzedine alaia who mentioned he was offered the gig at Christian Dior and refused of course, he does not need Dior ! Dior would have been lucky to get him.
Problem with Dior is that Galiano was Dior, There is no Dior. Christian Dior died a million years ago and Galiano was Dior completely. Arnault was tired of the retro look and also tired of the fact Galiano had become that fashion house . It is better to deal with a stylist like Marc Jacob than an enormous talent like Galiano. Mr Arnault has an enormous ego and an enormous empire and there could be just one emperor. We had discuss luxury before: true luxury is intelligence and living in the woods for a while with wild turkeys.

Wei Ng said...

It was, I suppose, inevitable that Mr. Gaytten would have received bad press for his collection since the press is enamoured with the idea of a miraculous deus-ex-machina coming down to rescue the crumbling fashion house from peril. It did not suffice that one among the many silent contributors to the magic of haute couture should try to keep the fire alit.

Assuming LVMH does not bring in a big name to work the PR magic, maybe something will work. While they have their places, haute couture should not be reduced to theatrics and pyrotechnics. Marc Bohan was a good steward of Dior for many years without much outcry but that belonged to a different era. As much as the collection fell short of Mr Galliano's genius, it was nevertheless a brave attempt and should be recognised as such.

Condolences, Fluff. Nature works its own healing.

spirou said...

Long conversation about it all with people in the F business in Paris. "Who cares,no one buys the clothing it's all about the accessories,home line,make up and also the perfume "(called: la bibine) Pronounce the i as an e. It means bad weak wine .And that is what fashion is now: bibine

t h e l i n e s h e e t said...

Sorry you are feeling down!

I didn't think Mr. Gaytten did such a bad job. I actually working on a post about it. There were some elements that I liked and that suggested a few trends.

I think the larger problem was with the styling, especially with the hair, makeup, and accessories. If these were done properly, it would have been a completely different collection!

It's hard to say with just looking. I would love to see these clothes in person.

Annagamm said...

Summer is here and so are the opportunities for our creative, sybaritic, epicurean moments, to satiate our senses, renew our values and realign our charted course through this experience of life.

The natural elements will recharge us with more wisdom to tackle what we will do going forward....

I'm now packing to go back to Fire Island....

And to the rest of the fashion pack, We are looking very fortunate....

Dig your toes deeper into the sand....

Enjoy!