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Versace - Page 2

post #16 of 21
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necessary antidote to the gloomy hordes of minimalists (Jil Sander, Calvin, Helmut Lang), modernists (Costume National, Prada) and deconstructionists (Margiela, Schonberger, and, truthfully, Armani), all of whom I'm convinced do their designing after watching a gloomy Swedish movie.  Having said that.  I've never bought, and will probably never buy a single Versace piece.  For glamour, I'll stick to Gucci.
This may sound silly, but I'm not entirely familiar with these terms. What exactly makes something modernist or deconstructionist as far as style goes(minimalism I can guess at)?
post #17 of 21
Right. The categories are often blurred and sometimes vague, but I'll give it a shot. Deconstructionists are people who take ripped, 'deconstructed' clothes and arrange them so they're wearable. They are ALSO people who take apart a suit, in Armani's case, and redesign it drastically. Modernists are people who create a new style. It's not supposed to be a mix of otherstyles, but sometimes it is. A good example of a pure modernist is Heidi Slimane from Dior Homme. Then you have what I call Classicists. These are easy to spot, because they make clothes that rarely change and look like they're from a forgotten age. A perfect example of this would be Ralph Lauren, especially his Purple Label clothing. Everything they make is considered classic. Minimalists are people who like things simple and pure. They like 'base' colors and elegant (in the maths sense) clothing designs. CK is minimalist, and often modernists are too. I can't think of any more at the time, and I hope I've gotten the terms right... If not, I'm sure someone else will. --European Interloper
post #18 of 21
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I hope I've gotten the terms right...
As you say, the lines are blurred. The literal disassembly"”and reassembly in a form that highlights aspects of garment construction"”is the most obvious type of deconstructionism. The Antwerp six and Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garçons are good examples of this, although it would be a mistake to label them as merely "obvious." Armani is a "deconstructionist" in the figurative sense of one whose work displays a reconsideration of form and function, without the "unfinished" look of his more radical colleagues. To lump Armani and Kawakubo in the same category shows how unhelpful categories can be, since their philosophies are in many ways diametrically opposed. Armani's raison d'etre is finding new but flattering ways to drape fabric on the natural human form. Kawakubo's interest in the human form is as a foundation for her sculptural clothing; she prefers to obscure much of the body's natural shape, revealing parts as an exercise in deconstructing anatomy through clothing. I don't think "modernism" is a separate category so much as a broader, inclusive one. It's not inventing new styles without referencing the old; referencing the past is unavoidable. Modernists, however, are looking for a fresh angle"”a reinterpretation of some sort. I don't think you can do that without some degree of deconstruction, but somone like Issey Miyake is a modernist for whom deconstruction is a mere preliminary to the real work. So, not all modernists are deconstructionists, even if all deconstructionists are modernists. The "classicists" (for lack of a better term) are primarily interested in refining pre-existing models: that's a Brioni or Kiton kind of philosophy. Ralph Lauren is a different kind of classicist; unlike the Italian classicists, Lauren likes to explore (and exploit) varying iconographies. Also unlike the Italians, Lauren has a broad populist streak; he makes his fantasies accessible to the masses. I don't think Slimane makes any fewer references to past styles, but"”ripped shirts aside"”he's not primarily a deconstructionist. He has the constricted color palette (black white and red) and severity of line of a minimalist, but he employs quirky details (bug-shaped crests, oddly looped belts, deliberate runs in his fabrics, esoteric shirt collars) in a way that, say, Calvin Klein would not. Despite his punk references, he's too elegant to be a real punk. He employs classic lines, but exaggerates their linearity in a non-classic way. So, we might call him a "modernist" without sticking him into any of the subcategories. OK, I'm hip-deep now. Maybe LA Guy can dig me out.
post #19 of 21
The lines are actually quite blurred, and I think that even some fashion and design students get them mixed up. Certainly, the typical retailer worker will not know many, if any, of the differences. I think that one of problems with these categories is that they actually refer to different aspects of design. For example, deconstructionism refers to a design philosophy that may be used for a number of purposes: Raf Simon's political anarchism, Armani's naturalism, Rei Kawakubo's cyberneticism (if such a word actually exists). Similarly, other designers may choose other techniques to similar purpose. Thierry Mugler and Gianfranco Ferre spring to mind. It is unlikely, however, that a classicist would be a deconstructionist, and therefore deconstructionism might be construed as a subset of modernism, although I'm not sure that that would be entirely correct. On the other hand, modernism and classicism reveals the progressive or conservative bent of the designer, those terms being used without political connotations. I have a meeting to go to now, which may be a good thing, since I'm sure that I'm about up to my shoulders now. Maybe pstoller or one of you others can give me a hand up.
post #20 of 21
Both LAguy and PStoller mentioned Rei Kawakubo. I am very unfamiliar with her but from what you mentioned she sounds very interesting. Do any of you guys have any links to pictures of her designs so I can get a better idea of what you mean.
post #21 of 21
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Both LA Guy and PStoller mentioned Rei Kawakubo. I am very unfamiliar with her but from what you mentioned she sounds very interesting. Do any of you guys have any links to pictures of her designs so I can get a better idea of what you mean?
You'd probably be more familiar with the name of her label: Comme des Garçons. Her protegé, Junya Watanabe, now has his own imprints at CdG, and Kawakubo herself has an eponymous label that produces women's haute couture.
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