It's 1221

fashion’s crown of thorns direct from japan fashion week
24 March, 2009, 9:41 PM
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While the folks around here are sporting beanies and hoods to fight the raw winds, the ladies walking the runways of Tokyo seem to be channeling Mexican boxers and the original JC. Similar to my perspective on the fashion industry, Japanese designers Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagit at Mintdesigns and Kazuaki Takashima at Né-net positioned Fall 2009 on the fashion battlefield. These designers are speaking Alexander McQueen’s language and presenting collections intended to challenge the way we think about and use fashion; after all the mindless consumption, it seems like these are reality checks and even go as far as slapping the industry in the face to “get it together.” Today, as I was attempting to find a few spring pieces, I fumed over the disposability of fashion (intended because it’s cheaply made and intended because in a month there will be new stuff to hawk and shop) and the price bubble that the industry pumped so full over the course of the last few years that the current climate necessitates planting two feet on the ground. The lightening fast turnover rate of new styles may be fun if you are waiting to snag a [insert high-end designer name] dress/shoe/bag for a teeny-tiny fraction of the price at [insert your favorite fast fashion mecca], but the process is cheapening everything. Today was my day to feel really jaded. I’m looking for something sustainable in fashion–something and someone with longevity. Boy, oh, boy, we not support longevity in fashion (or in music with flash in the pan acts hyped to death). This craze for the new is so damn tiring and it doesn’t end; yeah, it’s sometimes fun, but little reminders like staging a runway show in a boxing ring like Né-net or the crown of thorns at Mintdesigns reminds me that there’s a war to fight for whoever started in fashion looking for individuals voicing a strong call to arms. Clearly, I am hungry for a wide-scale fashion revolution. Meet me at the rally?

Né-net Fall 2009 

Mintdesigns Fall 2009

All photos: WWD.


The List: Part Duex

Barbie’s Birthday Party… or I was Born VIP, Thank You

 Valentine’s Day marks the original glamour puss’s birthday and she’s celebrating the big 5-0. New York Fashion Week promises a runway show for Barbie with designers Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang and Anna Sui dolling models up.  When I was a kid, I had this video, Barbie’s Birthday Party commemorating her 35th birthday with a celebration at Epcot. No words can adequately express how floored I am to a) have thought about that video and b) to have found it. Turns out, when the video came out, other top-tier designers made mini-me outfits for Barbie and then the looks were auctioned for an AIDS charity. Word. Barbie did everything and it’s a little sad that all she is getting, so I’ve heard, is a fashion show; I would imagine she would like her 50th to be an affair for everyone to enjoy and as a chance to give back–if only she were real. 

Cynthia Rowley’s dress for Barbie’s 35th bday, 1994, WWD photo

Cynthia Rowley’s dress for Barbie’s 35th bday, 1994, WWD photo

 The British Are Coming! McQueen hits Target

I started with a feeling, a girl and her spirit, and ran with it… It’s an eighties punk aesthetic that evokes the anarchy and social change of the time… I thought of what The Duke Spirit‘s lead singer, Leila Moss, might wear on stage. She has brilliant stage presence, very energetic and compelling.

-Alexander McQueen 

McQueen is one of my personal favorite designers, consistently wooing me with his chiffon concoctions of romanticism and riotousness in his signature line. McQueen clothing will be within reach at a local Target, and in an interview with New York Magazine he discusses the soon-to-be unveiled collection. Not one to hide his ambition to increase his name recognition in the United States, McQueen seized the opportunity to move beyond the racks at Saks and get into the closets of mainstream America. For New Yorkers, it will be available Valentine’s Day Weekend, and for the rest of us, March 1st. Here’s a peek of what’s to come and the complete look book is at Nylon:

Get Engaged with Alexander Wang

 Downtown designer of the moment Alexander Wang teamed up BK-based jewelry designer Paris Kain of Abraxas Rex for his own line of little treats for Fall 2009. Showing on Valentine’s Day, the collection of silver cuffs and earrings is unorthodox, to say the least.  

 “‘We’re working with ways of wearing earrings that aren’t typical,’” Wang told WWD. “‘How they work on your body, how they hang. We want to push the meaning of embellishment and how people interpret jewelry.’”

 That doesn’t help us much, but the overall look will be in keeping with what he has planned for his Fall clothing collection; moreover, both the jewelry and clothing collections will be a different look for the poster-boy of slouchy cool. Wang added that the collection will be “‘animalistic’” a la Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

silver cuff with big ol’ pyramid spike and earrings the size of the Ritz

Translation: silver cuff with big ol’ pyramid spike and earrings the size of the Ritz

“‘The shapes we’re working with could just as easily be from a thousand years from now or a thousand years ago,’” said Kain, who added his signature barely-there diamonds to add a little sparkle to the bad-ass wares. 

 OK, no more talk of Valentine’s Day.