Phoebe Philo takes a bow after the Winter 2014 show in 798 Art District, Beijing, China
What we conceived originally as a descriptive tool has wrought damage of its own. This is often the case where the Internet intersects with social justice discourses. Talk around cultural appropriation is at risk for falling devoid of meaning. Checking one’s privilege, for example, has been turned into a barometer of the problem it once identified. I think we’ve reached a similar breaking point with “problematic.” Moving forward, the solution, to my mind, is more precision. Developing richer dialogues about race, class, gender and bodies means expanding the way they’re discussed. Using a word that consistently impedes that development produces more difficulty than discourse. That, if anything, is problematic."
— Erich Kessel Jr., "Problematic" Has Become Problematic
I am so very excited for Choi Sora
Having won Korea’s Next Top Model Season 3 like two years ago, she has scored a Cruise show, a Louis Vuitton Cruise show, and not just that but a Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquiere Cruise show.
I’m just very excited at her ongoing performance on the international stage. Seeing her in a LV show was very unexpected. Obviously there is a bias that she is a Korean model and that’s why I’m all excited, but she’s not like Soo Joo or Sung Hee, but almost like a rookie model who is probably still very much unfamiliar to many people. I wasn’t a big fan of her during KNTM, but it’s always great to see Korean models continuously getting more attention. This also shows how important KNTM is to the Korean modelling industry, and I hope this LV show really kicks off her international career (she has been walking some shows in LFW, etc, but not big brands as far as I know) and I can’t wait to see more of Sora’s face in the future (SS15?).
HYEIN SEO; Sibui by Nicole Maria Winkler
"I made lots of drawings from my own imagination. I’d imagine things like a horror movie heroine dancing with a ghost to hip-hop music instead of old Camille Saint-Saëns’ music. My goal for this collection was to make the horror girl contemporary by using humor. I can’t work unless I enjoy what I’m doing, and incorporating humor was a way to do that." -032c
Low Classic AW14 x Cho Gi Seok / Raf Simons AW14 x Sterling Ruby
Fashion has referenced street culture for decades. Vivienne Westwood perfected punk, Marc Jacobs glamourised grunge, Calvin Klein made heroin chic, and Jean Paul Gaultier brought the club to the catwalk. We hit up i-D’s designer friends and family to find out. Can the streets really still influence fashion, and if so how?
"The answer to this question has changed considerably in the last decade. Fashion is on the streets faster than ever, and the streets have, more than ever, a direct and quick access to fashion. There’s now the possibility of a much more integrated dialogue between fashion and its audience and vice versa. I don’t know if it’s an influence, it’s rather a much more direct energy that you may choose to avail yourself of or not." - Raf Simons, Dior
"The street seems to have become the internet, and so many people are speaking on it at the same time. I personally haven’t been able to hear anyone clearly for a long time… But maybe I’m not on the street the way I used to be…" - Rick Owens
"Unfortunately, I don’t think the street influences fashion the way it used to. Nowadays everyone is so self-conscious, and often dress more uniformly. The volume of information available on the internet tells us what’s happening everywhere in the world, which doesn’t help us to be that individual. Probably the biggest influence from the street is a handful of the alternative dressers from fashion colleges or interesting icons from the past." - Paul Smith
“Individuality really begins on the streets; it’s about a person telling a story and channeling their personality through their clothing. That will always be a powerful catalyst when it comes to inspiration, because it’s the truest way to curate fashion outside a fashion show or a magazine. We have so many online sources that allow that image to be communicated back to designers, so the whole process of creation is really more of a circle now.” - Mary Katrantzou
“Everyone seems to be chasing their tails, clambering for something new like they’re waiting for it to happen. How to get fame and fortune fast seems to be in predominance, so everything appears to translate as rehash with no real substance. If the hang-up about getting something new changes back into creating something from a nucleolus of fresh ideas, then there’s a chance the lackluster of constantly looking backwards could find a new direction and move forward again.” - Pam Hogg
“If the music scene and street fashion can work together to start a powerful new movement, it’ll have a positive influence on fashion. Unfortunately these days, new music genres don’t seem to have much connection with fashion. Since both fashion and music are an adaptation or a mixture of the past, maybe we just have to wait for a new turning point.” - Jun Takahashi, Undercover
“Street influence became world influence. The unstoppable tsunami of news and images of facts, events and happenings in our world, in all different fields, are permanent inputs into our heads. Fashion designers are the catalysts, and our collections do reflect what the world is telling us and how we experience this moment. ‘DREAM THE WORLD AWAKE.’” - Walter Van Beirendonck
“This mostly happens in a strong way when there’s a movement, like the hip hop culture, techno music, women’s lib or the free-floating 60s. I can’t predict the next collective hype, but I can see how the street is continually editing what fashion proposes. Right now I notice a tendency for less provocative clothing, a desire for looking grown-up and composed. In cities like Berlin there are so many young designers that the line between street and design is almost blurred. People turn to personal vintage, things from their parents or items they find on faraway travels. Individuality seems to be a trend, and it provides ideas for new proportions, colour matching and all kinds of things.” - Jil Sander
“It’s obviously getting harder and harder, because street style has become contrived and controlled, but outside these environments you can find some of the most inspiring people.” - J.W. Anderson
"Miss Dior"ㅣHan Hye Jin in Christian Dior SS14 shirt dress; photographed by Hong Jang Hyun for Vogue Korea March 2014
During the hectic exam month, I decided to take a break and watch a new Korean fashion show. It’s called “Sold Out,” hosted by two of Korea’s top supermodels, Lee Hyun Yi and Han Hye Jin. Eight designers participate in the competition, divided into two teams, to create an item of clothing based on the week’s theme, which will be presented on a runway in front of 100 audience who will decide if they want the item or not. The audience tap on their smartphones “sold-out” if they want/like the clothing as the model walks down the runway, and if 51+ people tapped, the clothing is considered “sold-out”. The team with the most “sold-out” clothing wins.
First of all, I was very excited for this show. Not only for two of my favourite models, but because it’s a great source to learn more about some of the upcoming, contemporary Korean fashion designers. The group consists of variety of talents like those who have started out from Project Runway Korea (Yoon Choon Ho of ARCHE and Lee Ji Seung), or those who are already taking over Seoul Fashion Week like J KOO, or even those who have their own small independent brand and reaching out to smaller group of audience.
While watching the designers arguing with each other and the models in an intense competition, I started to think about the purpose of the show and what it is intending to portray about the fashion culture of today. The sole goal for the designers is to create designs that would immediately appeal to the consumers, which emphasizes the importance of viewing fashion through the business point of view. To create designs that would be commercially successful, therefore wearable, approachable and can be worn to portray various styles (i.e. two models walk down the runway wearing the same clothing item, but styled in two different ways to show its versatility). The designers work around the only goal to create clothes that would sell the most (“가장 많이 팔리수있는 옷을 만들자”). Even the television show name emphasizes the idea of fashion ‘to sell’ and ‘to buy.’ Some designers even mentioned how they set aside their personal style and brand image, but to focus more on creating a design that would appeal to everyday fashion consumers, to evoke a desire for them to want to buy and wear in that few minutes on the runway.
This idea is where the competition comes from and where the new television show came from, but I cannot but think of how it further goes along with the idea of fashion as a “profit-making business” (of course, not for all designers, but Ghesquiere’s conflict with Kering is a good example). The idea of “designing for money” and for the mass consumer market, sometimes without compromising with the brand’s image. It relates to the growing phenomenon of street fashion and, as Bertie Brandes puts it, the increasing trend of “immediacy [as] the new exclusive and patience [as] unequivocally out of style.” Even the fact that the audience members have to make an immediate decision at their first encounter of the clothing item in the short period of time on the runway, by just tapping on their smartphones exemplifies the current obsession with speed and insta-everything (and Jeremy Scott’s offering consumers able to purchase items immediately after the Moschino show).