A popular trend amongst some fashion bloggers and technique used by some of my personal heroes has been to shoot self-portrait photographs of their wild outfits outdoors with well kept lawns and wooden fences as their minimalist backdrop. I think the strange mixture of green corrugated steel, wooden panels and wrought iron gates made for a great setting for the Marques'Almeida collection of Summer/ Spring 2012 with strange grunge appeal. Their friends dressed in the torn and threaded collection which gave the photographs a personal warmth and touch about them as well as the glazed over eyes and natural wind-blown hair. As much as I do love seeing the plastic reality of fashion runways, there's a wonderful gravity and charm reality about this particular collection.
Although the pinned inspiration board for designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida featured many pieces soaked in black, dark slogans and black and white images of sullen looking sirens, it seems they took an entirely different approach in terms of colour but still has the same torn and ruined aesthetic. I'd love to decorate with my own cork board and collection of inspirational images, but that is what my blog is for in a way, as well as a means of recording wonderful creations from designers. I don't see many visitors in the way of fashion-obsessed and crazed anyway, so I don't see the need to show off my true colours either.
With the loose hanging threads of bleach sickened denim jackets, capes and shift dresses and ghost-like girls walking towards the sun, I'm given the impression of spirits crossing over to the other side and a ghoulish vibe. As much as I do dig this sweet little grunge oozing collection, I'm not tempted to but from it but the concept shoot looks so artistic and stunning I thought there would be others who appreciate the arty aesthetic more than I do or old enough to be reminiscent of Nirvana. I may bleach and rip some thrifted denim jacket or vintage Levi's jeans for myself, but that's as far as the After-School Girl Gang collection overlaps into my own personal wardrobe.
When interrogated by the lovely people at Opening Ceremony who are in no way threatening or malicious, Almeida revealed that the collection was modelled by friends of the designers with the concept of 'these two girls who hang about with nothing to do'. I love the notion that I too will soon have nothing to do but savage my keyboard and bring about an avalanche of blog posts to spoil my readers with, hang about in the city and search stores for curiosities and employment and read novels while sipping fancy teas. I don't think I'll be dressing with such a Nirvana inspired aesthetic, but I do have some dip dyed shorts in bleach to wear over black tights and leggings that may make an appearance should I be treated to the presence of warmed weather this Winter.
I haven't yet seen a designer dabble in dismembering and destroying cable knitted sweaters in such a fantastic way, and I must admit the messy and curled mop of the brunette looks equally lovely when worn with the pieces all in white. I should point out that there are other pieces in this collection that aren't pure white, but having a single shade used in the presentation of this concept shoot does impress the removal of these urban girls from school. As soon as I got home from high school I would dump my pack as soon as possible and rip off my uniform in Hulk-like fashion; I never did quite become a wolf roaming in a pack of adolescent teens but in another life I could have become like an English council estate girl or Nirvana fan with nothing better to do.
I love nothing more than to look tragically morose and ragged without my morning coffee, but my photographs never seem to have such a powerful impact and artistic finesse to them. Instead I look a slack-jawed philistine and as if I have taken a large suckered puff of some shady substance. But it is possible for mere mortals and those not a part of the modelling trade to look beautiful too so thank you Almeida and Marques for giving me hope and aspiring me to wear my denim cut-off shorts with a little more pride in this coming chilly season. It's about time that I wore my punk love on my sleeve, along with the other tattered tresses of my denim shorts as well as printed jeans in splattered graffiti and scribble prints.
Alice Newell-Hanson was the lucky one to conduct those interview, and described the shoes as 'something Mariah Carey wore on MTV when you were in middle school'. It appears that I'm not as old as many of the other consumers of the Opening Ceremony website (I certainly don't have the bank account or credit card to gain access to all of their lovely goodies either). While I can really do nothing at the moment but go through therapy and wait patiently to get my own credit card and weep as I can't afford shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood or the Diego bucket bag from Alexander Wang. Aside from this crippling age barriers between myself and those lucky others who shop from Opening Ceremony, the After-School Girl Gang collection and shoes reminds me a lot of clogs from Funkis that were all so popular about two years ago.
Fitting British singer Ed Sheeran's number one hit 'The A-Team' would make for a haunting soundtrack to these images as well as the coalesced cork board of inspiring images that helped shape the collection. One of the coolest second hand shops in my area has had these stunning vintage wedding dresses in their display window for quite some time now; I think I'm attracted to this image for the same reason that billowing white skirts can so easily become trashy and infused with mud from traipsing about town. Tavi Gevinson at fashion week in New York wore a vintage dress with floral crown and commented on how wrecked and ruined the hem became; but didn't at all hamper her enthusiasm and spirits. Instead she admired how the piece evolved as she experienced different scenes and sights.
Concept shoot by Sophia Aert.