Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tata Naka Issue 3

Hi sorry there's been a lack of outfit posts from me that really inspire- I've already fallen into the trap of wearing boring cotton shirt with sweater and jeans combinations and it's only week 5 of semester one! To ease my own guilt and spark some inspiration I've fallen back on critiquing fashion labels since I've also been a good girl saving my money for something. (or some things! ) really special as a treat. Months and months ago I wrote about Tata Naka issues 1 and 2 when my writing style was still flailing and less mature than what it is today, but even on this dreary Thursday evening I can muster some enthusiasm over an online style-based publication. Once a year, Italian Vogue pays tribute to black women and it's a coveted edition without fail across the globe.  Although I'm don't own one of these sparkling pieces of history myself, can't read Italian and have really failed to properly glimpse a glossy fashion magazine within the last year I know this is a pretty big deal and altogether cool concept. I can sense this emulated from Tata Naka taking the format of a magazine available online as a pdf to dizzying new heights with colorful clothing and pattern in contrast to characteristic skin tone and the vintage aesthetic of the roaring 1950s.

By now you should all realize I'm fascinated with prints and patterns to the point of obsession. A recently developed crush on my radar has been typography and the Latin alphabet and those combining letters with sweaters of epic, Bill Cosby proportions. Hunting vintage I find these are often in classic black and white simulating the appeal of cost effective newspapers without a skeric of color and very poor in terms of picture content. Here, everything has ballooned to dizzying heights with enlarged flourishes of neon yellow being the equivalent to African elephants raging across the savanna in the days of stereotypical English hunters screaming tally ho. I'll stop now. My point is that I enjoy in the giant motifs proudly emblazoned on skirts, shirts and dresses like I enjoy large print books enabling vision poor and often elderly library patrons something to read. Now all I have to do is wait for the matching pants to be released in the John Daley hall of fame dedicated to pants and life will be complete.

Olympia Le-Tan had a similar vision of rock n' roll, Motown inspiration for her debut fashion collection while playfully taking to the stage reviving high school experiences of yester year complete with spotlights and high school lunchbox clutches. She made a name for herself in her accessories line, so what we have here is no where near her craft BUT all the ideas are there, playful, colourful and everything I really look for in fashion. For an alternative choice on the same theme I humbly present Tata Naka photographing their collection exquisitely as always bursting with florals, Hollywood Hills statement sunglasses and dreamy smiles. Forget witches and sallow skinned models with sour demeanor and cast your eye to vibrant style and lively ensembles. The models are well chosen to really bring out the best of this interesting and eclectic mix of silhouette skirts, panels and slight geometric tendencies which I fully enjoy.

As always the shoes are to die for sitting somewhere in between Creeper platforms and chic French desert boots in visceral fluorescent yellow and equally buoyant navy blue. Larger than life fros of course dark hair are celebrated like the halos of angels and artistic painted dressed  seem to emulate the elegant models themselves. Minimalists will quake in their boots at the clashes of monochromatic backgrounds, shades of yellow brighter than neon signs in the Las Vegas strip and lashings of lilac, forest green and orange sprinkled sparingly throughout. But what really has me salivating is the knitwear (duh what else could it be?). In my defense I am preparing for merciless Winter but I remain stubborn in the face of searing winds and unprecedented rainfall I will not be confined to sweatpants and woolen ponchos and I will dress with finesse. With that pledge in mind and yellow/ black gridded sweaters have been on my mind from Tata Naka as well as Oasap and Asos too. Obviously there's quite a discrepancy between prices between the brands I've mentioned but I remain firm on my position that original ideas should be rewarded with faithful support.

I can barely discuss shades of sea foam green without immediately feeling hungry, smacking my lips in anticipation for unusual boutique bubblegum ice cream and ultimately resembling a hungry dog fed undesirable licorice from underneath a dining room table. That was a heavy and strenuous metaphor but I think you get the general idea- green isn't my usual color and indeed the only green things I own in my wardrobe are a myriad of collected skirts. I admire the combination of pastel lilac with greens and blues, mimicking the process of creating the perfect suburbia landscape, San Francisco Bay apartment scheme or general color palette akin to that of a 1940s Disney animator. This is the strength of curating your wares with multiple (but equally pretty) models under the guise of a magazine photo shoot. I realize there is an infinite number of ways to curate fashion and we're all entitled to our own ideas but I practically worship this means of photographing an already well executed collection so different from the movement and showmanship of a runway show. I find with so many designers these days good ideas can be pitted against one another in the cruel arena of the social media, comparisons may be made but to live in a realm without being compared to another person's work seems so much more wholesome.

Perhaps I've been studying a bit too hard but lately I've been thinking of ecological theory from my lectures applied to my approach to fashion and the kinds of things I buy. The gist of ecological concepts is that you have limited resources to allocate and for a poor university student the same can be said when budgeting and maximizing a creative wardrobe for a small amount of cash. While I usually hate to buy knock-offs and support blood-suckers of original ideas sometimes I have to sacrifice such ideals or simply pilfer the local second hand shops for their best printed blouses and printed pants. They may not fit runway trends but it's a good source of original garments in contrast to the clone factory provided by shopping malls... who copy distinct seasonal trends from runways anyway but at shockingly bad quality and poor execution of design. I feel bad for the original pioneers of creativity to the point where I remember they can carry heavy price tags which would reimburse them quite happily anyway. 

I always look forward to the release of patterns and prints of the fashion world alongside that of artistic endeavors in a familiar collage frenzy instead presented in clean grid lines. As you can probably guess I think Tata Naka combine these two elements perfectly with abstract paintings and art deco inspired refinement parked next to vivid color palettes. It's only a matter of time before I raid the local hardware store of their paint swatches and I create the perfect spider's web using my pre-existing magazine clippings in a teenager girl shrine devoted to prolific capsules of imagination in the form of clothing.   There may be many a multitude interviews between of designers and journalists probing to find definitive inspirations for a certain collection but everything seems easily expressed in pictures and correlating their appearance on showy dresses. This is where amazing and eloquent fashion bloggers (as in lol, not me) step in and create photo sets capturing the essence of clothing and appropriate setting weaving together narrative with fragments. One day I'll perfect this skill but for now I'll settle for words. 

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