Fashion loves to apply labels to everything but labels require rules and it seems for the moment that the rule book has been tossed out the window.
Fashion is one of those areas where I’m supposed to know what’s going on inside the industry. Lord knows I’ve been watching fashion shows and shooting fashion shows and reviewing fashion shows long enough that at times I feel as though certain designers are part of the family. They’re not, mind you, but when one watches so closely as to know their child’s shoe size, it is tempting to suggest perhaps they not share quite so many details. After all, what does any of that have to do with the clothes?
Looking at the calendar, I see that New York Fashion Week is less than a month away, starting on February 6 this season. Once upon a time, that would mean stocking up on ink pens and notepads, double checking to see who moved to where while I wasn’t looking. Now, however, I have to start paying attention in mid-January. With brands such as DSquared2 and ETRO showing on the men’s calendar rather than the women’s, waiting until February is a luxury I no longer have.
By the way, Dior men’s show didn’t involve any actual walking. Models stood on a conveyor belt. That says so many things about the current state of fashion, but I’ll save that commentary for another post on another website.
Part of what has been both a delight and
On one hand, such a stylistic upheaval seems to appeal to personal autonomy in style. One can wear whatever they wish and no one has any right to judge them for their choices. That should be a good thing, right?
On the other hand, however, what we’ve seen happen over the past year is an increase in people wearing whole runway looks from a specific designer. While we might like the idea of autonomy when faced with that actual option a large number of people revert to single-designer looks because they’re uncertain what’s safe to mix. The move has been great for designer’s bottom lines but ends up giving people fewer choices than they had before.
While we were shooting the Brown Paper Project last year, we asked the same group of models to bring clothes from their closets that they would never consider wearing together as an outfit. We then proceeded to style them with dramatic makeup and occasionally outrageous hair. One magazine expressed interest in publishing the shots, but after holding them for several months and doing nothing, we took them back and are re-editing them to fit our current experiments with waveforms.
I chose this set with model Samantha Lefler to edit first because, of all the stylistic choices we made, her harlequin-patterned tights were probably the most memorably eye-popping. They actually presented a bit of a challenge, though, when it came time to apply the square waveforms. The diamond-shaped pattern is actually a rotated square and that created some mathematical challenges. In the end, I left a couple of the images without waveform modification, partly for reference, but also to emphasize how dramatically the waveform alters the image.
I don’t know that I’ll re-edit all ten sets in this manner. Looking back over them, some of the style choices could easily become completely lost if I apply square waves to them. This set with Sammi, though, is well worth some time and examination. After all, if part of fashion now involves seeing how outrageous we can be, then we are raising the bar.
As always, click a thumbnail to view the entire collection full-sized and please, use a device larger than your phone; you’re missing all the detail.