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Versace

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LabelKing, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I was looking at the Fall Collection 2001 for Versace on Firstview, and I think it is the best. The topcoats, the suits, and the ties were all amazing. Also the details like the embroidery, and stickpins were very stunning. I think this is the best collection of Donatella Versace's. Comments?
     
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  2. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Never was much of a Versace fan, but I'll take your word for it. What has really impressed me is this year's RLPL line...very impressive stuff.
     
  3. ulf

    ulf Well-Known Member

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    Versace is Euro trash, plain and simple. Too obvious, too showy. An elevated kind of poor taste.

    On the other hand, sometimes more really is more...
     
  4. Renwick

    Renwick Senior member

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    Normally I would agree but this season Versace has some amazing stuff.
     
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  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I have conflicted feelings about Versace. Although it doesn't fit into my personal style, the diffusion lines are particularly poorly conceived, and the quality is inconsistent at best, I think that Versace's unabashedly sensual, hedonistic, overt and perhaps most importantly, sexually potent style is a 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.
     
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  6. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    I logged onto Firstview for a peek: the collection didn't work for me. I found it rather "Eurotrash," as Ulf said. There was a time when Gianni Versace designed some pretty nifty stuff, but I felt he and his labels were in decline well before his untimely demise.

    In Donatella's defense, I don't think she's made things any worse than Gianni left them. From a marketing standpoint, she's done a great job of keeping the house popular and high-profile, and some of the individual pieces have been better than most people expected. (Hey, I have some cool Versace combat boots.) But, I don't think she has any sort of real vision for her menswear collections from a design standpoint...unless you consider "urban pimp meets Miami Beach" a "vision."
     
  7. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    Point well taken, but is Versace the only such choice? Dolce & Gabbana and Moschino are, at their best, wittier alternatives to the glum lot you mentioned, managing to be flamboyant and fun without looking like Eurotrash stereotypes...unless, of course, they want to. Those guys at least know when they're being silly and over the top; the problem with Versace is, the humor always seems unintentional.
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I think that Dolce & Gabbana is only superficially similar to Versace. Dolce and Gabbana derive much of their inspiration from rural and poor Sicily, and these influences manifest clearly in their collections. Versace, in contrast, is unabashedly opulent and extravagant, and Gianni marketed his label by building marble swimming pools and gilded chandeliers. Cristal in crystal, so to speak, a far cry from Dolce and Gabbana's poor Sicilian farmer who dresses in his best (and only) suit for a wedding.

    I don't think that either label is "witty" in the same way Moschino tries to be (I'm not a big fan).
     
  9. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    Well, yeah, but you make that sound like it's a bad thing. The only way I'd ever want to be similar to Versace is superficially (and fiscally, of course). Dolce & Gabbana is likewise superficially similar to Gucci; it depends which parts of which collections we're talking about.
    I think that "clarity" is limited to a handful of fashion connoisseurs. There's a whole lotta glam going on in their collections, too. No, it's not the decadent, big city opulence of Versace, but neither is anyone going to mistake a Dolce & Gabbana suit for the "poor Sicilian farmer's...best (and only) suit," either. To said poor farmer, that D&G suit looks more like Kiton than it does his own...and I daresay Dolce & Gabbana's work has more in common with Versace's than with Paone's. Anyway, my main point was that, like Versace, they're a colorful counterpoint to the drab severity of all those "serious" designers working studiously in distressed monochromes. That hardly means they represent the same aesthetic.
    Well, Versace isn't witty at all. Dolce & Gabbana haven't the deadpan wit of a Martin Margiela, nor are they as prat-fall jokey as Moschino, but there is a sense of humor in their oeuvre that I would think is at least as evident as their Sicilian roots. Certainly they smile more often than Tom Ford. But, y'know, if I really want chuckles, I'm gonna go with Gaultier (who also cuts better than most of these guys, even if he obscures it with frou-frou lunacy).
     
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  10. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Tell me what exactly does "Euro Trash" mean? What connotations, and such does it convey to the listener, and such.

    Also still I am not changing my opinion about Versace's 2001 Collection. Personally I find it quite elegant in a flamboyant way, and utterly decadent.

    Dolce and Gabbana I rather don't have any feelings about. But then did they not make a one buttoned double breasted jacket or was that another designer? Also another flamboyant brand is Roberto Caravalli(sp) which is primarily women's fashions.
     
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  11. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Points well taken, though I'm not a big Gaultier fan, mainly because I think that his tailoring abilities are greatly obscured by his obsessions with S&M imagery (leather buckles on jacket cuffs again?) and kitsch (jackets/shirt combinations? C'mon JPG, you can do better than that.)

    I'm left with the image of Martin Margiela, (and because there are no photographs of him, and I don't know anyone who's seen him) I imagine him to be cadaver-faced and long-bodied, deadpanning:

    "I veel make very big tuxedo. I veel make coat with pocket that only look like pocket. Yes, that veel be funny."
     
  12. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    The term was coined to refer to young Europeans with a whole lot of money and very little taste. They would flaunt their wealth in gaudy excess, but"”unlike the stereotypical American counterpart"”would do so with a sense of jaded superiority that vaguely suggested royalty. The look was model-slim with a perpetual Mediterranean tan, well-oiled hair, an ostentatious display of gold jewelry and cleavage (male and female), and a permanent sneer. They wouldn't have had the energy to fiddle while Rome burned, but they would have paid someone else to do it (and griped about the fiddler's technique).

    The American beautiful people have long since copped much of the look, but they can't really do the Royal Scowl, so they're working on a Morally and/or Militarily Superior Smile. (It's not very effective, but what do you expect of the nouveau riche?) Example: the Hilton sisters.

    That's actually a pretty good description of the "eurotrash" look.

    Ah, yes, Cavalli. Sort of like Versace with a rock star fixation. He does men's fashion, too, but it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two lines.
     
  13. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    Well, different strokes: I think that's what I like about him. In a way, it's the reverse aspect that gets me: he can indulge his quirks and fetishes, and yet his tailoring will be superb underneath it. Plenty of others have managed the fetish part, but the tailoring is cheap. (At least women have more quality designers of tawdry clothing.) Also, once you get past the signature weird pieces, he makes some pretty sharp "conservative" (by his standards) clothing.

    I should note that I have a soft spot for Thierry Mügler, too. Maybe I just like '80s French designers.

    Peter Lorre's voice in Boris Karloff's body?

    I thought I had seen a photo of Margiela in an article on his work at HÃ[​IMG]rmès, possibly in Vogue. Maybe not. If I ever find it, I'll scan it for you.
     
  14. Joe G

    Joe G Senior member

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    I hope that 2001 wasn't a misprint, because I think the current Versace line, picking up all of the hip-hop crap that Sean John just recently ditched, but not doing it as well.

    Peace,

    JG
     
  15. European Interloper

    European Interloper Senior member

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    And now, true to form, Europe, complete with Euro Trash, interlopes.
    Versace this year is trying to pull off what it calls a Cuban Aristocracy look. This, true to everything Versace does, envolves many things that glitter, are tight, and are gauche. The look is, as many have said, extremely Euro Trash; who are basically the equivalent of Noveaux-Riche on this side of the water. (sans sneer... ahh yes, the fine product of an extended history...)
    This season, however, is one of Versace's better seasons. They never quite get there, like Dolce or Cavalli (whom I love for the summer) does, but they got close. If ever a Versace range is good, the moral goes, buy a bit.
    Versace have some luxurious hip-hop hoodies. I bought some of their jewelry... It's the small things, the one-offs, that Versace is good for, and it's often those one-offs that make a look so uninfringably cool.
    European Interloper
     
  16. Renwick

    Renwick Senior member

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    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)?
     
  17. European Interloper

    European Interloper Senior member

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    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
     
  18. pstoller

    pstoller Senior member

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    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. [​IMG]
     
  19. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    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.
     
  20. Renwick

    Renwick Senior member

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    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.
     

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