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Monday, August 15, 2022

The Fashion Industry’s Gangs

When I arrived to the Fourth Arrondissement at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, the throng had formed into a pulsating mass of humans, squashed together and pushed forward, on the verge of exploding out of control. Security guards were shouting and slamming a pair of elaborate iron gates in an attempt to keep people out, while guests wanting to get in were yelling straight back at the guards.

Marine Serre, on the other hand, is much more to many people. She is a type of evangelical prophet, sitting in the bright centre where value systems, clothing, and identity all come together. She was one of the first designers to take on climate change and elevate upcycling to the level of wearable art. Aside from that, she has cultivated her own fanatical, fashion-obsessed cult of followers.

It’s simply a shame that the weather outside was so dreadful. Because the clothing themselves were fantastic, and because the audience was riveted to the walls of the gallery where her presentation was place, the garments themselves were fantastic.

Old tartan scarves and houndstooth, as well as bright fair isle and argyle knitwear, were given a post-punk makeover as fashionable pencil skirt suits and sweater dresses, as if former punks had seen themselves in the mirror and opted to go to the ball instead of hanging out with their friends. Several of the trailing gowns were created from a mashup of grunge-era T-shirts. The collection included anoraks quilted out of toile de Jouy that had been regenerated, as well as camo-damask corsets blended with domestic linens.

They were quite attractive. Rather, it is the fact that they are mostly composed of debris from the previous planet, that they tell a tale of renewal and possibilities, that lends them their gravitational attraction. As a result, a devoted group of followers has gathered around him.

It occurs every now and then in the world of fashion when a designer succeeds in changing the rules of the game. In this day and age, when corporate expectations and quarterly results have become part of the culture, and market research has permeated far into the design psyche, there is still a need for design thinking.

Vetements, a fashion brand founded by Demna and Guram Gvasalia that disrupted the big brands of Paris in 2015, attracting its own bands of dedicated fans to grunge venues in far-flung parts of the city and catapulting Demna into the fashion stratosphere as designer of Balenciaga, is the type of passionate infatuation that has recently attached itself to the brand.

Infatuation with Yohji Yamamoto can be traced back to the 1980s when he was a member of the Japanese new wave, which challenged accepted assumptions surrounding beauty, structure, and ambition while throwing up stunningly thick layers of deconstructed history in his designs.

Unlike, for example, the techno deco of Lanvin, where Bruno Sialelli has been struggling to distil any particular point of view, or Rochas, where Charles de Vilmorin zigzagged between dangling New Romantic sleeves, austere tuxedos, and disco lamé with enthusiasm but no obvious logic, they have the muscular allure of content to them.

In terms of visual stimulation, there was a lot to look at, and a lot of it was silly, however the ultimate simplicity of two shrunken cardigans combined with loose pants provided a grounding. Then Mr. Anderson spoke about the Industrial Revolution, feminist art, and primordial man, all of which was simmered together in an illogical statement of how we came to be in an irrational period in an irrationally amusing, but logical, kind of manner, in which we arrived at an irrational time.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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