When I undertook sewing based subjects in high school, at the top of the class was a girl clever and inventive. She rescued silken ties and combined them together in a magical mixing pot manner to create a skirt of jagged and pointed hemline. If she had refined her art and collected similarly coloured materials, added a little sequins and velvet she could well have made something as sparkling and striking as the opening for the Comme des Garçons collection of Spring 2010. Although now that I come to think of it, the girl's skirt I'm referring to may have come first. The point of my rambling though is to point out the joyous, exploratory nature of this skirt, the tailoring of the shirts and dresses you'll soon encounter and more magnificent leather pieces freed from German tradition of lederhosen and with a sorely feminine but still wily and dark touch to each outfit.
If this was a tour guide I would ask for ladies and gentlemens' attention to look to the left in order to gaze upon a piece; equivalent in experience to an M.C. Escher painting. There are twists and turns at every corner but the monochrome balance has been disturbed by the removal of white. Instead in a sea of misshapen black, this tunic offers different colours and a patchwork of things to come in the collection. I suppose if a budget is tight for whatever reason and you have the talent for it you can sew scraps together like penny-pinching women have done in the past to make something new. I see pinstripes, sequins, daisy print, ruffles and delicious velour all meeting together. It's an unreal piece that distinctly feels extra-dimensional and out of place in the "real" world but I love it's place on the runway and the challenging of ideas. Not everything in the fashion industry has to be clean cut with seamless, perfect symmetry.
I can already feel my ancient Chinese ancestry yelling in disagreement with what I'm about to say, but I can sense a cheongsan vibe with all those vibrant splashed of floral, red and orange in the reinvented reminds of this shirt. It's probably the uneven overlap of the asymmetrical colour, the flourishes of material in black, white and red about the waist and the uneven hemline doing all of this to me and sort of blinding me to the wicked green tufts of hair. Since I'm half Chinese and have always wanted to be a witch whisked away to a magic boarding school this is the perfect thing for me. I suppose you can tell I'm a little sleep deprived at the moment- well whatever. If I was still in charge of 100% of my brain power I would still think wearing cool tights or leggings with this tunic would be a good idea and fairy wands are mandatory when doing so.
I went a little overboard including the details on this collection- but unlike any other before it I had the resources and was compelled to share it. There are punk safety pins in the wigs, green hair, up dos that more closely resemble cotton candy and just altogether radical presentation of models. They're thin and waif-like, pale, misunderstood creatures that seem like an army of Jane Eyre meets Edward Scissorhands romantics that dress surprisingly well. I have a funny feeling I'll be breaking out the old diaper pins I still have from when my brother and I were babes and adding them to denim jackets or even my own hair if I'm daring enough. It's just so good to see Billy the Punk aesthetic story book coming to life in fashion and I want to stick safety pins through my piercings. Is that really so wrong? Didn't think so. Also, I would give anything for my hair to defy the laws of gravity the way that they do- or to get my dirty mitts on a leather harness that has the right balance of simplicity and evil. I've just been really inspired by Fashion Pirate and her own use of leather harnesses and love of Comme des Garçons and blogging late at night often results in some funny observations. This is what my Summer will be spent doing but I totally dig it.
Until the cosmically life-changing sex education week when I was twelve, I always wondered why it was my father would sit and watch the Fashion Channel on television when there was absolutely nothing to watch. The sad conclusion I reached was the appearance of sheer tops on models unrestrained by lingerie. Unlike so many disappointments and exposures to sheer shirts in the past, this piece gains the feminist seal of approval for being alluring but still saving the model's modesty with the clever use of a black cape. I was surprised to see something more suited for a Fall or Winter collection adapted for the warmer weather but still delighted to see an artfully mangled collar, crumpled and pressed materials making neat capped sleeves. Amongst all those panels and materials, the paper-bag waist of those dapper slacks finishes everything off nicely and you have certainty in what the centre of attention is. I think it's refreshing like ice cubes in milk to see restraint in a designer that can obviously weave magic into clothing and must command a magical workshop like Santa Claus choose minimalist touches to pants and tights in this collection.
Even if you don't necessarily agree with the Avant Garde nature of Comme des Garçons tailoring and deconstructed idea of the humble jacket- at least join me in praising the designer for the execution of ideas. I struggled with the most basic of concepts in sewing class and at most, handled making my own kimono and it already seemed I was lost in a sea of different panels. Can you imagine the effort and hours that must have gone into making each jacket, cape and tunic top? All these things wouldn't have been made on a whimsy either- there would have been meticulous planning for each turret and lumpy pattern. Plus, with all that craziness going on they still decided to challenge the fashion world by making the tiniest polka dot biking shorts I've ever seen wrapped around stick thin legs.
Being a messy teenage girl living in solitude and without guests for far too long, I've grown accustomed to my clothes being clumped together in familiar piles on the floor. Now if I were to somehow imbue those piles of clothing with life through electricity or sew them together and hope for the best, I may be able to create something as jaw-dropping and conversation-stopping as this jacket. That's a rather large over estimate of my abilities for someone stuck without a sewing machine but that gives an insight of my room to my dear readers. It's hard to know what you're looking at with a piece as perplexing as this because it looks like a Transformer robot stuck between transformations- but I do like that little curtain of sheer material about the waist of the model. Even a young Tavi Gevinson couldn't make an outfit as multi-faceted and intriguing as this single statement jacket Now if only I could find it on eBay for cheap then I could really invigorate all those thrift store treasure finds with a little artistic designer class...
It's a shame from the perspective of collection assessment and piece nit-picking that the model is in half shadow and will forever be frozen like that in this image but it does create a nice creepy and mysterious atmosphere. All photography criticism aside, and after squinting at this image for long enough and cocking one's head to the side you can make out giant polka dots on the left lapel in contrast to the black daisy print scattered across the rest of this dinner jacket. Eventually at one point in your life, growing through the stages of adolescences into adulthood you have to dress in formal attire; so why not choose something that fits the criteria but still stays true to your aesthetic spirit and nature? I like to think the comical pairing of sullen spots and daisies is meant to imitate a theatrical and dark magic practicing lady bug that only eats the blackest of flowers or whatever and from which inspiration sprang in the mind of the CDG designer. That's unlikely, but if I want to imagine lady birds as teenage witches in covens then that's perfectly reasonable. Just don't tell the head of arthropods in Biology as far as my university degree is considered- OK?
And like the magical, everyday anomaly we have all born witness to time and time again we see the collection move from the dark, black and moody (night) to something light-hearted, airy and bright (day). Yes I'm comparing this collection to the dance the sun and moon play out everyday and I don't even have any frilly poetry or literature on my desk. My English teachers are probably tap-dancing with happiness right as we speak but I can't really think of anything else when we loss the magnificent leather harnesses which are replaced with shimmering pearls of white boleros stitched with shimmering sequins, large statement floral pieces in the hair and crinkled, starchy materials. It was just without transition of any in-between stages of clothing that there was significantly less red, lumpy jackets and ragged hemlines and instead the clothes became so romantic all of a sudden. Like the clothes you imagine a young heroine might wear when clasping a rose to her bosom and sighing theatrically. Those types of clothes tend to draw attention to themselves in a sea of darkness.
Of all the jackets showcased within this collection, this is probably my favourite for that eccentric swirling lapel. My mother and I spend an unhealthy amount of time in the department store home wares section once we've bought our fill of clothes and George Jensen usually has something in sleek silver that kind of reminds me of this. Also, because I'm such a rebel and I like wearing messy hemlines with fluffy bits at the bottom this makes me want to plunder all the second hand stores hardcore for the perfect kilts and pleated skirts to shorten. I've been reading a lot of Rookie to be fair so the schoolgirl trend is whirling around in my mind still and it's an accessible way to imitate this style- which may be with or without a flower. I always envisioned that my flower crowns and stuff would be as symmetrical as possible because I'm pretty anal and uptight about all that but now this has sort of tantalised me to the lop-sided. I'll go away with weighty arguments for both sides as far as hair decoration is concerned and feel all the better that Comme des Garçons showed me the way.
If my mother cared to look over my shoulder while I blogged, I can tell she would be outraged at the massacre of a perfectly good trench coat into a Halloween themed dress. For her sake it's probably better she didn't get herself worked up over this amalgamated creation which seems to feature the shoulder details and collar of an anorak but is in fact, the daintiest and lightest dress probably in all of creation. Excluding Victorian dresses preserved at museums of whatever. Anyway can we all just admire and marvel at how delicate this dress looks? I'd actually be afraid of touching it in case I miraculously damage it beyond repair with my body's natural oils. The overall effect is absolutely angelic if you can ever mistranslated the word halo for hairdo in which case this really is a cherub with a golden hairdo.
Imagine an army of girls inspired both by Emily Bronte's literature and the aesthetic appeal of Johnny Depp dressed as Edward Scissorhands and the end result is the Spring collection for CDG 2010. How fantastic is that? I'm probably over romanticising this, like I do with every experience I have but with high-frill necked collars, a rough tooled appearance on the leather and a messy dolly dress in yellowing cream my mind has a habit of running away with itself. It's a shame October is over and I can't make a run of Halloween themed outfit posts but with steamy inspiration like this maybe I don't need to- just the knowledge of who makes an awesome body harness in leather. I can probably make ends meet if I searched hard enough in the thrift stores for a delicate and prissy dress far removed from my own style, but that's what makes it so good when worn with the black and leather. And if there's one thing I have too much of in my wardrobe, it's black.
I have two and a half hours before I excitedly run off to a punk/ hardcore concert and have nary a leather harness or punk aesthetic up do to wear on this marvellously hot day. While I am a little sad I'm going off to something exciting for once but don't have a special outfit planned I am consoled by the fact anything special with my hair will be magically undone by the magic of musicians controlling crowds and masses like cult leaders and my hair will be a mess no matter what I do to it. Also a harness may be a signal to the legions of men at this concert that I am trying to pick up or something which is the exact opposite of what I really want. That's why I love the complicated layering and intricate nature of fashion bloggers dressed in combinations of old and new clothes that are simply bamboozling to behold. Because it's not conforming to anything already existing a lot of the time and while many people dress to attract perhaps an admirer or too I don't like to see it that way. I prefer to see the creative expression of personality and moods shining through in an outfit and a personal experience sort of being lived through physically. That's what's so especially exciting about runway presentations: we get to see into the last six months of a close knit and like-minded team of people without it being related to sports or whatever.
I'm sort of at a loss as to what is the purpose of that strange hidey hole sticking out of the right hand side of the dress. I like to romanticise this dress with the notion it's for carrying abandoned kittens around in. I'd then take the trend one step further by ordering the chunkiest knitted scarf possible from Etsy, sewing vintage plush cat toys to it and wearing cat eye glasses to fully become the crazy cat lady of my dreams. And then, you know, leather gloves or something to be demure and shit. Anyway-what I'm trying to say is that the polka dot print is either associated with something sensible in a vintage secretary manner, or over the top and prissy like Minnie Mouse. This balances the print in sensible grey but still incorporates the trademark warping panels of this collection that I've come to know as a Comme des Garçons trademark with a gorgeous hemline. The misshapen bodice of the dress is also enough to fend off ogling males from that area of the body but in a an artful and subtle way.
Long trailing skirts in demure and muted tones always make me think of Victorian stemming trends such as steam punk; especially with the little addition of ruffles at the end of this trailing maxi skirt. Even though it's constructed from many differently shaped panels that distort the large spotted print the end result is still a skirt and a magnificent building block for many a potential outfit. I'm pretty jealous of people who can afford to wear sweaters all year round if they so choose and I would probably try to wear a skirt like this with my collection of jumpers, as well as vintage tops and pretty blouses. The leather harness at the top does make a bold statement about the shoulders like a reinvigorated female David Bowie without the lightning bolt makeup and the matching belt is cute too. I admire fashion bloggers or indeed the busy people behind the scenes on runway shoes such as these that work through the fiddly buckles and finer details of accessories tirelessly to complete an outfit. Kudos.
It's beginning to look a lot... like... Christmas. If there's one thing I do like it's a good excuse to wear red and white throughout the year festively but still in a strange and unusual way. I have a strange feeling that something like this worn during that blissful month of December may garner many nicknames shared with famous reindeer of Santa's sleigh, but at least you can't be accused of being a Grinch at this time of year. I sort of fantasise about the black leather harnesses more than the red myself since they could be smothered in small roses made from ribbons, attached safely by a hot glue gun but then again the red does present a more crisp and challenging piece to work with. In the last few weeks I've sort of flipped between adoring pastels and stark red with denim and white thrown into the mix so an accessory as bold and brash as this would be good for my more rare, amorous red-loving moments.