Walter van Beirendonck spring / summer 1998
30 Wizzkids performed a line-dance, showing a brandnew Boyswear collection, the newly developed W.&L.T. monster-sneakers and a funny ‘variation-on-cowboy hats’ by Stephen Jones. 30 Black Beauties dressed in black with accents of green, orange and pink, with Marilyn Manson-style make-up and posing with Godzilla grace. White Trash: 30 models on high stilts (50 cm) walked with alien grace across the red square. Long white silhouettes with red and pink lighting accents. Make-up: white transparent gauze masks and gloved catsuits with Swarovski rhinestones.The girls wore maxi red hair-hats by Stephen Jones, that made this ‘prototype for the future’ even more perfect. Birds from Outer Space: 40 ballroom dancers, including 20 girls in dazzling evening dresses and classy hairdos, green-red masks and green rubber reptile gloves, 20 boys in black overalls with shiny numbers on their backs and rubber masks, performed techno-latino dances. They were joined by Walter and the entire backstage crew for a big party on the catwalk.
i-D: 40 things to remember when fashion gets too much; by James Anderson
1. Being ‘on-trend’ is a mediocre aspiration that will never make anyone remember you.
4. Words like ‘edgy’ and ‘directional’ should be used sparingly, otherwise you sound like a tacky fashion ‘expert’ off breakfast telly.
9. If you are going to blog about fashion, make sure you can string a sentence together.
16. It is better to buy one stomach-churningly expensive piece of clothing that you love - even if means you can’t pay the rent next month - rather than an array of cheap things which you just, sort-of, quite like.
35. Never, ever describe yourself as a ‘fashionista’ if you want anyone to take you seriously.
37. Don’t be worried by negative reactions to what you wear: all the best fashion statements are misunderstood or maligned at first.
38. Fashion is one of the most effective forms of instant communication and self-expression, but it doesn’t compensate for having something interesting to say.
40. Don’t believe everything you read about fashion just because it’s been published somewhere reputable: process the information and always make up your own mind.
Design by Edward Curtis (London College of Fashion)
Laura O’Grady by James Rees
Nowadays the princesses all know kung fu, and yet they’re still the same princesses. They’re still love interests, still the one girl in a team of five boys, and they’re all kind of the same. They march on screen, punch someone to show how they don’t take no shit, throw around a couple of one-liners or forcibly kiss someone because getting consent is for wimps, and then with ladylike discretion they back out of the narrative’s way.
On the posters they’re posed way in the back of the shot behind the men, in the trailers they may pout or smile or kick things, but they remain silent. Their strength lets them, briefly, dominate bystanders but never dominate the plot. It’s an anodyne, a sop, a Trojan Horse - it’s there to distract and confuse you, so you forget to ask for more."
— Sophia McDougall
Hyein Seo - “FEAR EATS THE SOUL” - Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts Third Year Bachelor Collection 2013
a “studio visit” with me on Rocket Science (images by Adam Kremer)
Patrik Ervell Fall/Winter 2013
Choosing among things, in a consumer society, is what allows us to feel autonomous (no one tells us how we must spend our money) and express, or even discover, our unique individuality — which is proposed as the purpose of life. If we can experience ourselves as original, our lives will not have been spent in vain. We will have brought something new to human history; we will have been meaningful. (This is opposed to older notions of being “true” to one’s station or to God’s plan.)
The quest for originality collides with the capitalist economic imperative of growth. The belief that more is better carries over to the personal ethical sphere, so that making more choices seems to mean a more attenuated, bigger, more successful self. The more choices we can make and broadcast to others, the more of a recognized identity we have. Originality can be regarded as a question of claiming more things to link to ourselves and combining them in unlikely configurations.
If we believe this, then it seems like good policy to maximize the opportunities to make consumer choices for as many people as possible. This will give more people a sense of autonomy, social recognition, and personal meaning. Considering the amount of time and space devoted to retail in the U.S., it seems as though we are implementing this ideology collectively. The public-policy goals become higher incomes, more stores, and reliable media through which to display personal consumption. This supposedly yields a population that is fulfilling its dreams of self-actualization.
But when you add the possibility of ego depletion — the loss of well-being due to overtaxing the executive decision-making function of the mind; it’s explained in this 2011 New York Times piece by John Tierney on “decision fatigue” — to this version of identity, it no longer coheres. Trying to grow the self through exercising market choice simultaneously generates a scarcity of “ego” resources, which are depleted by this sort of reflexive approach to performing the self as a rational decision-maker above all. “When you shop till you drop, your willpower drops, too,” Tierney writes. The choices become progressively less rational, less representational, less “original,” and more prone to being automatic or being manipulated by outside interests, thus ceasing to be emblematic of the “true self.” Instead of elaborating a more coherent self through a series of decisions, one establishes an increasingly incoherent and disunified self that is increasingly unpredictable and illegible to others. We lose the energy to think about who we are and act accordingly, and we begin acting efficiently instead, with increasingly less interest in coherence, justice, consistency, morality, and so on. We want to make the “convenient” choices rather than the ethical ones, the ones that we believe reflect the truth about us.
In the future, we’ll have an economy based on the labor of sociality in social media networks that are subsumed by capital: that is, we’ll fight for attention on Facebook, etc., and that effort will be harvestable as data by the firms that own the networks, who will sell us tools derived from that data to abet our struggle for more attention."
— From Ego depleted by ROB HORNING