Others just THINK We’re Poor

22 Aug

Sometimes I worry that fashion (like jazz music and pretty much all art after the Impressionist period) is moving beyond my comprehension. Or maybe it’s just the wealthy.

Riddle me this: would you wear an [extremely] expensive suit that looks like it’s on loan from a hobo, just so you could secretly know it was expensive? Or perhaps the better question is: if someone described your designs that way, would you be flattered?

That’s how John Waters described the “undercover glamour” of Comme des Garçons designs at the CFDA Fashion Awards this past July. The people who wear these designs were described as “superior and even slightly insane.” (Additional compliments include “unnatural,” “never funny,” “scary,” “ridiculous,” and “ferocious”.)

Putting aside the dubious quality of the praise, it seems to me that fashion, even high fashion, is meant to be worn. I do believe that fashion in some instances can and does approach art. But isn’t wearability–not only in the physical sense, but in the sense that people want to wear it–the essence of a garment? If a garment is not only cheap-looking, but also difficult to deal with, according to the care tag…

Do not dry clean; do not wash; garment may fray, fade, change shape, [cannot] be pressed. Friction may cause the flocks to rub off or a slight fuzz may develop.

…what exactly is the attraction? Is it simply a new height of exclusivity, to be so rich you don’t have to show it off? But if that’s the case, wouldn’t you just buy cheap-looking clothes that are actually, well, cheap?

Save those pennies for this instead

Incidentally, he also managed to compare CDG designer Rei Kawakubo to St. Teresa.

Not known for her style

I’m not sure how Rei took the compliment (I can only assume gracefully. There were a lot of people there), but if it were me, I’d prefer my glamour be the uniform, not the camouflage.

(Top image from the Fall 2011 Ready to Wear Collection)

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