If you haven't already heard of Christian Cowan-Sanluis then you probably will in the next year or so. To put things in context his Fall collection for 2014 was requested by the personal stylist of Lady Gaga. More recently he's been credited as the inventor of the selfie hat integrates with tablets and can spin a full 360 degrees. All this would be impressive at any age, but Cowan-Sanluis is only 21. At this point after describing the accomplishments of someone belonging to my generation in this case the exact same age as me, I begin to feel terribly inadequate. It's childish I know but one can't help but pale in comparison to talented young designers, especially those from London who usually go on to become regulars at Fashion Week. Recently the young designers have been the most innovative in terms of how they present their showcase. Molly Goddard turned heads with her most recent installation imitating a life drawing class complete with naked middle-aged man and my second favourite was this ode to the American mid-west.
Cheap plastic fedoras dusted in glitter can be found in any discount and party store from here to halfway across the world but it takes a true genius to see their potential. Or rather, someone who will willingly embrace the tackiness of it all and turn it into something great. Had John Waters not become a director then maybe he would have created something in this likeness, if he ever got over his obsession with leather jackets and punk that is. In a room the models sat atop a pile of hay bales while the crowds circled around them like planets in orbit around the sun. That sounds like a really nerdy comparison but I feel it's necessary when describing *~celestial bodies~*. You will never convince me that there is an excessive amount of glitter or that blond wigs embodying the spirit of Dolly Parton in her heyday aren't the perfect mascot for this collection. Everyone has been so excited about the 1970s trends seen on the catwalks but I have yet to come across anyone who recognizes this collection as the ultimate tribute to that decade.
Close ups of the models reveal just how much thought and effort went into staging this presentation. For one thing wheat was as an obvious choice in terms of accessories but I loved seeing each puffed grain immortalized in gold for earrings, rings and necklaces. Likewise they became the crown of some god-like creature or humanized a rather amusing pair of spectacles. I'm envious of both Cown-Sanluis' imagination and dedication towards his craft. Interestingly he saw himself as a budding entomologist but decided to pursue the arts rather than insects and found creating womenswear more satisfying. The simple reason being that his pieces could then have a life of their own on the backs of models and women around the world. This genuine affection for his craft is apparent when he is able to create something so strong and cohesive. Each of the models looked stunning and rather than a simple blanket approach to the models, each of their identities and diversity was celebrated. It's so important that creative genius is not tainted with some sort of prejudice or controversy and really misdemeanors seem to be easily forgiven in fashion.
While many would not consider Daisy Duke denim shorts, terry-toweling bandeau tops or hessian sack bikinis as suitable clothing for Fall I myself am guilty of dressing in the pursuit of fashion rather than comfort. Anyone whose become obsessed with the industry will share the same guilt but I willingly embrace the eccentric from time to time. Simultaneous to the obvious Western theme the clothes also had a witchy aesthetic when photographed for the official lookbook. Basically this collection is everything I dream them and just that little bit more exciting than the Saint Laurent Spring 2013 presentation. Unlike the Saint Laurent show these clothes have a kind of duplicity, rather than carrying the witch/ western aesthetic simultaneously. This has largely to do with the materials and cuts in which Cowan-Sanluis has elected to be just that little more daring and racy. One would hardly bat an eyelid if these images were circulated thousands of times on micro-blogging sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr by the next generation of fashion designers and editors.