25.1.08

The Big Four: Not Just An Agatha Christie Novel.

Mercibeaucoup, Japan Fashion Week SS08Mercibeaucoup, Japan Fashion Week SS08
Mercibeaucoup, Japan Fashion Week SS08
garçonshinois, Japan Fashion Week SS08
garçonshinois, Japan Fashion Week SS08
Everlasting Sprout, Japan Fashion Week SS08
Dresscamp, Japan Fashion Week SS08Dresscamp, Japan Fashion Week SS08
The recent splashings of florals over the SS08 runways (Balenciaga and Dolce and Gabbana notwithstanding) mostly did nothing for me. I'm all for dreamy floatiness and a slightly off-kilter approach to things, but wishy-washiness is not a route I'd really like to go down in the pursuit of 'femininity'. A few of the most recent Couture Week presentations are also leaving me with a bit of a case of colour fatigue, with the exception of Givenchy and Chanel - I'm rather loving the fierce sharpness of the former and the deliberate, awkward softness of the latter- a new thing for Chanel.
The natural progression of things when I decide I don't like ____ idea, is that I move on to loving its polar opposite- and indeed I do like all things muted and attitudinal right now. However, considering the possibility that what I didn't like wasn't the ideas themselves but their execution at the Big Four Fashion Weeks, I decided to investigate a few others and promptly fell in love with the offerings at Japan Fashion Week SS08 (selected pics from some shows above).
I've often wondered on what basis London, Milan, Paris and New York are given such a high status as THE main centres of fashion design worldwide, ad infinitum. It's not that the output from these cities isn't often great. And it certainly isn't that I don't love to click through style.com or vogue.co.uk to look through pictures of whatever's been put out in those cities- but I do wish fashion reportage was a little more inclusive of information about what's happening in other places, especially when those places happen to have produced some of the most creative, forward-thinking designers of the late 20th century (including one of my personal heroines- Rei Kawakubo) and have a long history of excellence when it comes to the making of modern clothing. I'm not sure whether the exclusion of Fashion Weeks in other countries from wider public notice is a result of the fact that the designers stick to operating in one country and don't have a worldwide business model (which means they might not cater to international buyers). The local media might be doing a bang-up job of telling the wider public in that country what's going on there, but it often means a lot of us are left wondering what happens in fashion weeks outside the Big Four. I've spotted interesting things in pictures from Madrid, Hong Kong, Copenhagen and Tokyo among other places, in the past...definitely enough to make one wish that the world of fashion revolved around more than four axes, and to see that it doesn't have to.

Anyone who wishes to look at AW07-08 pics of Japan Fashion Week should go here. And many thanks to Japanese Streets for all the pics above.

15 comments:

susie_bubble said...

I think the fashion world is sloooowly realising that fashion dosn't centre around those four cities.... it's still a very slow process but I think progress and effort is being made to showcase talent from all over the world with the superb organisation of other fashion weeks....Rio, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Copenhagen to name a few...

enc said...

I love all this crazy stuff. I want to see more of it, and from all the cities in the world.

The Clothes Horse said...

The "awkward softness" is nice, I like the colors on the runway, but for real life spring I think I desire softer colors. Great coverage.

the iron chic said...

Ice cream and apple hair!!!!!!!
Nice!

Stephanie said...

ohmygoodness. I like the foam apple headpiece thing. Not that I'd wear it, but I really like it. Maybe I could rock it as part of a halloween costume as a spin on "bobbing for apples" or something. Wow.

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

the clothes are cool but the head pieces are just wayyy too crazy for me!

fashionaddict said...

Finally, someone who points me in the right direction as to where to view Japan Fashion Week online, so that I don't bankrupt myself buying magazines like Gap Press and so on. I think lots of people would like to look elsewhere, but there isn't a lot of good, accessible starting points out there. Or maybe it's just my "search" skills.

And I'm with you on colour fatigue, but at least not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon even if the magazines are endlessly running it as the trend of the season.

said...

those hairstyles are so... out there, i love it!!!! cute post!

shredz said...

I reckon fashion is slowly becoming a global thing. There are inspirations from all over the world, so it can't really be constricted to a few major cities! Great post, FYI :]

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Susie: the fact that the news is getting out there is a positive sign, I guess..but as you said, it's a slooow process..
ENC: I know, I'm starting to feel a little denied too, but it's nothing a Google search can't fix.
The Clothes Horse: I really did like that collection...the flats put a different spin on 'couture' for me.
The Iron Chic: I actually chose those pics to put up because they reminded me a bit of Emily Blackapple's paintings of girls with fruits on their heads.
Stephanie: It's definitely a new way to look at it..
Jen: I personally wouldn't mind having a vanilla softie for hair :)
Fashionaddict: Sadly, we don't get those mags here anymore- I tumbled across the collections sites while doing a google search for one of the designers.
Re: the colour fatigue thing, I have a feeling that I'll be craving starkness and purity very soon...it's a mood swing..
Maverick: they were just a few of the looks shown at Mercibeaucoup..and thanks for the compliment!
Shredz: Good design, no matter where it comes from, deserves a wider platform. I'm just glad it's starting to happen now..

riz said...

I agree with Susie, but I think it has a lot do with a perception and conflation of a Eurocentric worldview and a sense that fashion is made in these cities exclusively, or that the fashion here is exceptionally 'refined.' I like the many points you bring up in this essay - esp: "wishy-washiness is not a route I'd really like to go down in the pursuit of 'femininity'. "

Very interesting.

riz said...

I agree with Susie, but I think it has a lot do with a perception and conflation of a Eurocentric worldview and a sense that fashion is made in these cities exclusively, or that the fashion here is exceptionally 'refined.' I like the many points you bring up in this essay - esp: "wishy-washiness is not a route I'd really like to go down in the pursuit of 'femininity'. "

Very interesting.

atelier said...

I love to see the contrast between that fashion week and others, pics are quite revealling about the place it took place, Japonese are so fashion-forward!

Elisabeth said...

Haha, the ice-cream head gear made me smile!

I'd also love to see fashion from more than just those cities!

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Riz: That's a point I should have noted straightaway, really. Though I've always thought that fashion in Tokyo or Seoul was seen as being just as good as in Paris or London...and calling my random rambling an essay is being too kind, but I really do have reservations about adopting overtly 'feminine'/romantic looks. Some of that has to do with plain old practicality, I guess- Mrs F puts it much better than I do.
Atelier: Great comment- it's fashion forward all right, but I love the avoidance of cliches in the clothes.
Elisabeth: It does look like something out of a cartoon, doesn't it? I think I'll keep a more regular eye out for things, rather than just relying on the odd blog to see pictures..

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