Firstly, I sort of do want to apologise for ‘picking on’ Rick Owens. Whilst it’s true that I’m not a fan, I do admire his candour and his earnest and egotistical belief in what he’s doing. Rick Owens is representative of some designers from this generation, and because of that he serves my purpose well. As yet, I’m not a front row regular at Press shows, although I should be as I need to ask; is everyone sitting tight on their front seat thrones, scared of losing their footings? Will no one give an honest unbiased opinion. Why is no one pointing and laughing? Truly Mr Owens, whilst your furniture is fabulous ( and I definitely think that’s the way to go), your clothes are patronising, unwearable in their catwalk state ( you do amend these for people that go to the toilet right?) and are body binding. Don’t think Azzedine Alaia or Herve Leger, think more a Gladys Aylward scenario, and therefore tyrannical and not liberating. I am probably a Mastodon in so far that my model mates and I are largely extinct on the catwalks of today, however my memory of Yves Saint Laurent expounding the motivation behind his each and every collection is nil. Yes, that’s because he didn’t have to, his clothes did the talking, not his ego.
Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Knitted Wedding Dress 1965
I’m bored of being lectured by designers about their creations. I want their creations to wander freely in my imagination, to interpret them for myself, and to let my imagination ensnare the items that I will be wearing because they speak directly to me. I don’t need an interpreter to tell me why I like something. I also don’t need my conscience pricked by a couturier, I have all my other senses honed to that. Spare us the designer doctrines, editorialised despite any genuine responsibility to us the customer. What happened to clothes shopping being a treat, an escape or just fun? I don’t want to be beaten about the head by a banner waving designer. Please leave my body image and wardrobe aesthetics out of the political forum. Another thing, where exactly does this fashion fawning stop? I don’t care which model ‘opened’ or ‘closed’ the show. Will we get to the point where the model is questioned about the angst or joy behind her interpretation of the clothes that she’s modelling, why she particularly paused before she snapped round and headed back up the runway, was that her statement on world peace, who cares? Certainly not themodeledit .Tell you what designers, you send out the clothes. Fashion editors, you report on them, honestly and then, given the above information, we your audience/clients, will make an informed choice. Not designers, because you felt the need to validate the existence of your clothes by sewing a metaphorical poem into them. We don’t need your poem, we need you to spread before us your collections, we’ll channel the rest. It goes like this; “does my bum look big in this?” etc, etc, because if it does, I ain’t buying it. Even if it was inspired by a sonnet written by Shakespeare and dedicated to the travesty of Elizabethan Plague deaths.
I see that I’ve raised two issues. Implausible clothing. and designers that have mistaken identity. I don’t recall Ted Hughes sending out with his first editions, a tirade against spending cuts in mental healthcare scrawled across them. I accept totally everyone’s personal aesthetics, and this is not the issue. We are all free to choose the clothes that we prefer, from whichever label we like.
Beautiful (in the eye of the beholder) clothes, will speak for themselves and most of us are fashion polyglots.