amsterdam fashion week: linda valkeman

as i previously stated, there are some charming things to be found in fashion weeks other than those most mainstream.  considering myself a longtime resident of the elegant ghetto (which is a state of mind as much as an address), apparel celebrating these references holds a special place in my heart.

linda valkeman’s fall show not only contained my personal requirements of ragged garments & exposed seams, but featured some of her own handmade materials as well.  they give off a “i haven’t a penny left until payday, but goddamned if i’m not gonna look good by harvesting my old fabric scaps and dryer lint”-chic appeal.  ow.  i love in particular the drapey pieces that feature cuts to expose a back, as above, or a midriff:

redefining sexy-comfortable, i believe, is a priority for many women who still believe wearing leggings with uggs is okay.  (yes, guys revere fitted.  but not like this.  i’m not saying we all dress every day to impress men, but geez.  when you wear this uniform, it gives one message only: i give up! i’ll never have sex again, and to seal this pact, i’m rollin’ to the store to get some lean cusines.)  but i digress.

if you have a moment, linda’s website is quite fun as well, especially her biography page, containing those 7th grade-style “i like”, “i don’t like” lists.  don’t you want to make one now?  let’s hope all circumstances align to keep her tripping along the same path…

the mcqueen alien feet make another showing

some singer i don’t know called kelis wore this getup to some event in los angeles.  a lot of people bitched about it. well, hmm.  it is godawful ugly.  (and i’m still not sure why those were the hit shoes of mcqueen’s show…these were my favorite.)  but let’s think.

do we really want to see another flowing pretty gown that the likes of nicole kidman wears to awards shows and while everyone crows about her beauty, they all go home and forget it ever happened?  do we, as people who claim some relationship with the fashion world, want to move on from the standard versions of what is “beautiful” and “acceptable”?  shouldn’t being marvelous and successful in fashion terminology mean adapting your own creative style?

i don’t argue that we all find different things vexing when it comes to personal preferences.  however, the fashion-ies ought realize they should laud anyone who tries something challenging, keeps us moving forward and out of a uniform.  or we’re stuck in leggings & riding boots forever.

stuff i like: facial tattooing

while i was frolicking down some lane, i passed a girl with a facial tattoo.  most who are daring enough to go here do the mike tyson & restrict it mainly to the temple area.

however, there are also nice variations, such as that chick in the news some time ago who claimed the tattoo artist defrauded her by giving her more than what she asked for.  (i actually quite like this layout.)

in my youth, getting a tattoo was still somewhat daring lifelong experiment for those not bikers, which has now evaporated away with the likes of “it” girls covering their bodies in trite pictures and quotes to remind us of their sex appeal.  even chanel is selling temporary tattoos similar to the ones on the runway from their spring show, making it an “it” of the moment. (i will add the disclaimer that mainstreaming body art & self expression is not without its merits.)

anyway, though not new, facial tattooing requires both gumption and edginess, and i suspect it will be soon be on fashion’s radar, exploited in future seasons to come.

street observations: hair edition

yesterday as i was aimlessly pacing the streets, mourning my 1.2 day loss of an internet connection, i came across several creatures particularly fascinating, as they had inky heads, but were not goths . for several years now i have been won to the cause of black hair, yet never particularly bought into all that heavy velvet and commitment to hours in one’s room writing poetry.  

it has seemed a difficult gap to cross…because of its history, it will be necessarily identified as macabre and brooding, yet surely not everyone who likes the color spends their afternoons discussing nightmares and stitching high lace collars.  and perhaps i have met them, as they were all dressed like hipsters, complete with plaid & leggings, ripped blue jeans & brown workboots, and a striped sweater.  

it is quite interesting, to finally have this somewhat radical hair color incorporated into part of a “normal” or “everyday” uniform, as part of a lighter, and even cheerful look.  though i suspect there are only a few moments to touch it now, before it crawls away again into some dark place.

vampire stories have been popular some time now and it seems there are no traces of anyone shutting up about them.  if black hair begins to catch on, combined with the blood and fetishism of the recent runways, it will likely be a very short gateway back into combat boots, dried flowers, and rainy nights.

couture week: valentino

valentino’s couture show pictures are up & apparently getting comparisons to balenciaga. whatever, i say. it is difficult not to reference some other designer. (victoria beckham copies roland mouret with commitment & i’ve heard hardly a whisper about this. i suspect she probably lured some of his former designers)

anyway, this show is fun! it has bright colors, eye masks, & alice dellal on the runway! (of course, alessanda fachinetti was fired for trying to appeal to the younger crowd. ahem.)  also particularly smashing to me is the blue eye/shoulder makeup.

some people have argued that the show “doesn’t look like valentino” or whatever. they should probably get their heads out of the archives of yesteryear. fashion is supposed to keep things moving forward, after all. is everything really about replacing each former designer with another who can exactly replicate the previous person’s work? while, of course, “taking it to new places” (or whatever the mainstream fashion critics are ever repeating)  perhaps sometimes, and this is an idea even i struggle with, a show is merely about finding unchallenging, lovely clothes…

(sorry children, i wrote this post 2 days ago, but my internet was down & wasn’t ready to publish until today.  instead of going to a place with wireless, i decided to walk around & gather fodder for some forthcoming stories.)

fur crisis with dude figure skater

when i first read the article about this guy wearing fox fur on his costume & his rejoinder to the flak, i was going to ignore it.  basically, to sum up, he did the above and various sources bitched about it.  he said the following:

“I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it’s not something that’s the No. 1 priority in my life,…There are humans dying everyday. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti.

“I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it’s my choice.”

“Every skater is wearing skates made out of cow..Maybe I’m wearing a cute little fox while everyone else is wearing cow, but we’re all still wearing animals.”  (via yahoo news)

after realizing that this is not going to go away, however, and also with some of the fashion people’s responses to these articles, i feel i have to comment.

this is such a stereotypical retort to these criticisms…helping people is most important, and btw, others wear animals too!  yet it never quite hits the mark.  i don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that there are humans in the world suffering grave atrocities, yet is it really all about finding someone who has it worse?  aren’t we, as an evolved race, supposed to look at things on the planet going wrong and find a way to fix them?  are we not going to help feed the homeless in our neighborhood because women are being trafficked as sex slaves in another country?

isn’t he merely distracting us with the mention of other global troubles, without really noting whether he takes the time to participate in them?  (and if he does, good for him.  doing any kind of charitable work is an amazing gift.)  i feel, so often when the people of peta (an organization whose overall message i support, though i do not condone all of their actions) bring a complaint, the first response of some is to start mentioning human causes & as we look closer, learn that they really do nothing at all.  if one thinks humans are the priority, do something about it.  are you really going to complain that others are trying to make the world a better place, trying to end the suffering of any living being?

furthermore, i don’t believe he does get it.  he’s distracting from the cause here, not even giving credence to the people who have made this a mission for themselves.  in the end, trying to discredit their arguments.

finally, i wholeheartedly hatehatehate and detest the, what about the cows thing, he is bringing up.  i mean, if something is an injustice, is it okay to sit back and watch it just because someone else is doing it too?  how do we advance as a society, as a human species, if we can’t move away from cruelty into compassion?  people looked the other way when nazis sold the possessions of jews during the second world war…it was wrong, but well, it was the times.  did that make it okay?  it seems now history remembers those bystanders as the cowards they were….

i could continue, but it’s high time to wrap this diatribe up.  no, we don’t all have to believe the same thing and in fact it is important to have different pet causes so there will always be people working on the many problems of the globe.  however, as far as i can tell, he is acting an offhandedly selfish individual who is both disrespecting the beliefs of others and irresponsibly using his celebrity to try to poke holes in their arguments.