Archive: September 2013

Pope Liberace II is my Pimp : Garage presents Vestimentality

 

Vestimentality

Last night I went to a panel discussion about Garage magazine’s Vestimentality project at Somerset House. American writer and cultural critic, Cintra Wilson, was commissioned to write tongue-in-cheek – who am I kidding, downright rude! – manifestos for brands such as Versace, Givenchy and Tom Ford. These slogans were then worked into a final collection of garments by knitwear duo Leutton Postle.

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Sculpture and the City

A short blog post today, because I’ve got a lot to do before I officially start my course tomorrow (eek!).

I had an art and design filled day yesterday. I finally visited the London Design Festival on Southbank – images coming soon! Afterwards I walked down to the Tate Modern and spotted the Endless Stair.

Endless Stair Tate Modern

I decided to walk through London. I told myself I’d catch the tube home once I stopped seeing interesting things. I ended up walking half way round the city, and only left because it started to get dark and cold.

During my wanderings I accidentally stumbled upon a series of art installations. I’ve almost photographed all of the Sculpture in the City pieces – by accident.

Fear and Clothing

When I tell people that I study the History and Culture of Fashion I experience everything from eye-rolling to audible snorts of derision. I’m not pretending that I’m studying medicine, aerospace engineering or quantum physics. I’m choosing to study a cultural phenomenon, and writing about it as a scholar. Of course I do understand, and anticipate, this reaction to the “F” word. It’s just clothes, right? How can clothes mean anything? The term “fashion” has so many definitions and the industry encompasses so many disciplines – journalism, buying, visual merchandising, PR, retail, designing, modelling – that for those who don’t understand the business of fashion it’s difficult to shake the image of Lady Gaga out of people’s heads.

I think people scorn fashion because it seems frivolous and unimportant. At the beginning of the documentary The September Issue, Anna Wintour tells the interviewer, “I think what I often see it that people are frightened about fashion; because it scares them or makes them feel insecure they just put it down. On the whole, people that say demeaning things about our world I think that’s usually because they feel, in some ways, excluded or, you know, not a part of ‘the cool group’, so as a result they just mock it…There is something about fashion that can make people really nervous.” Later Wintour explains that her siblings, one of whom is political editor of The Guardian, Patrick Wintour, think that what she does is, “very silly”.

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Fashion and other lies | Or, how I started writing again

The Diana Vreeland documentary, “The Eye Has to Travel”, inspired me to write again because I felt conflicted after watching it. On the one hand I was inspired by her genius, her wanderlust spirit and her creativity. On the other hand, it emphasised the liberties fashion takes with the truth.

I didn’t intentionally stop writing, it just kind of happened. I think a lot of bloggers go through this. They just kind of forget what it was that they loved about their blog in the first place, or real life intervenes. For me writing became a routine, and a chore, rather than an opportunity to be creative. I started to feel like I was writing about things just for the sake of having something to upload and not because it was something that interested me anymore.

I was finding it increasingly difficult to find inspiration. I love fashion’s connection to history and culture, but I also love the art and theater of it. I like the ridiculous (and the un-wearable), the innovative and the shocking. I suppose it’s what consistently drew me towards Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and John Galliano. However, I started to feel uninspired, like it was all just a little bit too corporate and predictable for me. Friends that I’d graduated with knew their place in the industry. They knew that they wanted to be stylists, journalists or in PR/marketing and for a long time I just felt lost.

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