Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by KingJulien, Mar 21, 2012.
Early 1980s comme was very different and much closer to the Yohji aesthetic than the newer stuff.
I guess I need to have a look at more of her women's stuff to get a more holistic view of the brand. So far my view has been filtered heavily through places like Stylezeitgeist and photos like these ones posted here. I guess even the more recent men's shows don't really match the aesthetic pushed via those two places either. Her current predilection for prints of objects and text etc. is only captured by the street style set with them completely embracing it while places like SZ focus on her more austere pieces or the austere iterations of things like pants and jackets.
When would you say Rei started embracing colour and prints? Late 90s? Early 00s?
I'm truly not well-versed in CdG & Rei's evolution, and beyond the 83-85 period I'm absolutely clueless as to what collections were significant and how they were received, iconic ones such as Lumps and Bumps aside. Literally everything I know about the subject comes from books I've read on Japan's influence on Western fashion, and I mostly skimmed the sections pertaining to CdG.
You have to consider the impact the apprenticeship system has on perpetuating the designer's legacy - CdG now has all these subbrands and off-shoots like Homme and Black that I don't believe are designed by Rei but still fall under the name. I believe those are what most often shows up here and SZ.
To get back to your original question though, the photo that spurred so much discussion in RFT was exclusively pieces from SS97. The early 90s still had a good deal of black from what I've seen, but I was still yet to enter kindergarten when most of this happened, so I am not the best to comment.
Yeah, I believe most of the stuff featured in the slideshow comes from 2000s collections (save from the dreaded "lumps and bumps" dress...).
Kinda related, I've been browsing old material from the 80s-90s and it's pretty amazing how the looser looks (CDG, Yohji but also alot of others obviously...) almost appear undatable, outside of time. I mean, I could put an editorial from the late eighties next to something from 2011 and sometimes you'd be hard pressed to say which is which.
Oh by the way Aitor Throup has not done any work with Veilance, at least, not to my knowledge. He has done work for CP Company and Umbro though. He is this guy -
I brought him up earlier because he spent a lot of time doing research into creating what he considered to be new or updated trouser (and i guess other clothing items) forms based on how the body moved. So it tied in to the whole functional/utilitarian masculine fashion thing we were discussing earlier.
Yohji Yamamoto’s and Rei Kawakubo’s joint show of 1981 took “the catwalks of Paris” by storm (English 38). Their garments, appearing to “have been picked up from rag-bags,” stood in stark contrast to those of an industry founded upon the principles of “visual sumptuosity, glamour and luxury”. The new ‘anti-aesthetic’ pioneered by the duo, many argued, was a “[response] to the global recession of the early eighties” (English 38) - rather than the “big shoulders…and makeup” of “Mugler and Montana” (English 40), which embraced displays of consumption, Yamamoto and Kawakubo’s collections featured “asymmetrical black yardage” in a “variable gray scale” that was “more ‘poverty du luxe’ than luxury fashion.” (Dimant 96) This ‘deconstruction’ of the “sartorial conventions of high fashion” (English 39) challenged centuries of Western tradition that adhered to “a structured and tailored fit,” and extolled “virtues of…glamour and status” embodied in ‘conspicuous consumption’ of clothing as a “visual display of wealth” (English 41). Harold Koda, a fashion historian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, compared the trends of the early 1980s to those of the 1890s, a period which “saw decadence as an aesthetic ideal”. That he also deems the “new concept of dress” pioneered by Yamamoto and Kawakubo as an embrace of the “aesthetics of poverty” (English 40) is telling of the couple’s rejection of the “haute bourgeois looks of the 1980s” (Walker, Less is more: The new minimalism). The distaste for glamour is further characterized by the prominence of black in their work. Deemed “modest and arrogant at the same time” by Yamamoto, this signature usage of colour along with a “mastery of distressed cloth” served to create works that were part “protest against elitism” part “fusion of populist culture and radical design”. (English 48)
While I don't touch on it in the above, I think it's more that they've kept very closely to their aesthetic roots. It is not that it is undateable, but rather that it all draws so heavily from the same inspiration that the designs could have sprung forth in any given order (That last sentence isn't articulated well at all, but hopefully the gist is apparent). Additionally, the drapey black stuff isn't mainstream in the same way that say Céline and Prada are. It is a body of work that is far more self-referential than what is typified by the larger houses, who are subject as much to financial backers as fashion critics.
Perhaps looks outside of classic tailoring goals (i.e. shoulder to waist V etc) are still foreign to our eyes, so we have a "all rook same" thing.
Or it could just be that with less hard shapes, there is less of the characteristic silhouettes that date clothing.
Arg I hate when cool photos like those are like 640x480 resolution
Trying to find good fashion prints is horrible. You basically need access to Getty or you're SoL
I agree 100% sipang. Been thinking about why that is for a while now and still don't have a satisfactory answer.
I think that the clothing may age well because they do a very good job of hiding the body of the wearer, becoming almost just pure geometry. Loose or baggy fitting clothes that are cut to the body wearing them can age because there's more of a relationship between the body and the wearer and hence can be linked to periods of time and general social trends, but these other clothes are just forms made deliberately to obfuscate and transform without much rigid structure...
The fact that they are not mainstream and so don't generally enter the fashion trend cycle and/or have any ready Western cultural association probably also helps in keeping them this way too.
I know, I feel like the fashion industry is stuck in the '90's in this regard. I'd buy so much more stuff online if it were presented better. South Willard is one of the few places that gets it right. Patrick Ervell's site is cool too. But overall it's just a mess, even high budget sites like Mr Porter have garbage presentation. Which is counterintuitive seeing as they go so far as to have videos of the models, but it just doesn't work.
Moo's first Yohji purchase will start the Hypecycle, don't worry.
I'm building a tool right now to make navigating collections easier for my own use, might release it once it's slightly polished and pray I don't get a CnD . It takes images from a bunch of different sources (NowFashion, Vogue, Style.com), finds the highest res for a given collection and has a fully keybaord navigable UI with no pageloads. Got so sick of one 640x480 image per 2mb slideshow page
in one way, and this is pure speculation, i think the idea of street photo shoots for mass consumption is rather new. and because it's for mass consumption, there is a competition to attract more viewers, so it becomes about volume of traffic. so what you end up with is louder pieces, peacocks parading in the streets, and a focus on visual statements rather than crafted and less pungent looks and collections are ignored aside from pieces that help drive this machinery. blogs entering this space formerly dominated exclusively by print and later digital content producers have only accelerated this process.
Me, I blame
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