fashion week lodz: paulina plizga

(images via fashion windows)

paulina plizga’s work for the s/s 2011 season might not have been particularly wearable, nor, often, exciting as a whole, but disseminated into little pieces, much becomes intriguing on its own, with enough promise to bring the right type of seasoning to an otherwise mundane outfit. 

based in paris, the designer describes her work as a sort of melange of “trash” and “couture”, my usual favourite words making an appearance with regards to fashion.  further details of the intricacies of her studio, in fact, to be fair in response to whatever i’m about to say, prove more compelling than what was on display here. 

though she does has some good ideas, and, as i said, the details unto themselves exciting enough, put togther, it seems a mashup of all that quirkiness we’ve come to expect from designers using the above key terms.  perhaps this merely isn’t the best sampling. 

i like re-purposing items, using garbage, but neither do i go in for ke¢ha’s particular brand of “look at me!!!! road kill!!! homeless garb!!! glitter!!!”  there needs to be some sort of symmetry, something that goes beyond mere torture porn of the eyes, given out for the exclusivity of shocking those in pearls.  maybe paulina does that, but i don’t see it, not as yet.  but i’ll be open to looking in the future, hoping there’s something more here. 

updated: with new images

ukrainian fashion week: jana simonenko

(images via ufw)

unfortunately for us perpetually unlucky kids on the shores of opt, one of the absolute best of ukraine’s s/s 2011 collections comes dancing out of the atelier of a designer with no discernible website!  readers, meet jana simonenko’s beguiling presentation. 

working with rope-y, fraying, fringe-y, and unraveling materials, the designer created a picture of luxury and elegance undone, but, unlike competitors of a recent parisian fashion excursion, was able (largely) to keep the decay decadent.  like the roman coliseum or some grecian columns, this was art with time passed, subtly and classically, without wanting to reproduce some inappropriate measure of youthfulness in order to achieve once again, notes of beauty (were they ever there?). 

that isn’t to argue, of course, that the house was roundly successful in execution.  point of fact, the dress below is more than a little clunky, an excess of too much complex winding and not enough understanding it is to clothe a body, not adorn it as some china vase.  and, of course, the stirrup pants above are off for reasons that, if aren’t obvious to you, i won’t take the time to discuss. 

at other moments, though, those more winning, pieces like the dress below came out and stunned; yes, a little magnificent for some, and not really appropriate for some actress to wear on the red carpet of a middling film premiere (one can just picture it pulled out for something entitled “seven second delay”, “happy hour”, or that which is similarly droll), but presented in the right (that is to say, artful) environment, it would be divine. 

and so goes the rest of the collection.  not for everyone, surely, (indeed, for the more experience lady) but supple and enticing looks that are among this season’s best all the same. 

japan fashion week: bortsprungt

(images via jfw)

yes, it is a little difficult to envision how a company, named after what sounds like it might be some obscure beetle from the wilds of africa that does questionable things with decaying bits of hardened human flesh, can make a line of such cute and sweet little dresses.  such is the mystery of the land of fashion. 

bortsprungt is a japanese-based company designed by one yu-ya, who chose to bedeck his s/s 2011 runway in suburban mundanity: bed, sofa, lamps, that held a bit of a sinister air, perhaps because of the stripes tights and little twists on the babydoll looks, or perhaps because i’m re-reading lolita and it re-awakens in me the disturbing trend of fetishization of the very young in the fashion industry (which remains appropriate as ever). 

it’s hard not to be drawn into his charming, charming picture of domesticity: don’t we all like the idea of being that marvelous little thing skipping away to school without anything heavy descending on our heads and…yet. 

a text like lolita reawakens that dirty side of youth, the unpleasantness (beyond, merely, h.h.) of unwashed hair, of parental control, of desire to be one’s own person whilst still sujected to the whims of others…is this really so sexy at all? 

as the weeks go on and we see more of this, one can’t help but wonder if soon they’ll be selling the bottled blood of virgins for those aging to bathe in, to live eternally in the fountain of youth.  because we all of us want the life of lolita, right?  oh, maybe…bad example.  taylor momsen!  oh, wait…miley cyrus!  oh, uhhhm.  nothin’ sexier than all that. 

ukrainian fashion week: andre tan

(images via ufw)

for that lady (and there are so many) who has had a few years to acquire the cash money she so lusted for in her youth, yet desires to look as if she’s scrapped it all together by merely babysitting after school (and again, there are many), andre tan’s s/s 2011 collection will be happy to collect!

this was a runway replete with references to that young girl that still lingers in so many of the moneyed classes (or at least in the ages of breasts and lips), but with a little sophisticated (she isn’t without sexiness after all; see last parenthesized remarks), in order to for us to imbibe, in her, the just-budding career girl, rather than the hello kitty admirer. 

anyway, homeboy has been at his craft since age 11 or so, attended central saint martins, interned at hugo boss, and established his brand c. 1999, the next year receiving acclaim for being “ukraine’s youngest designer”, that rather dubious honour.  we’re all acceptably awed by his acumen. 

the best pieces, then, were the simplest (see below); when he didn’t try to go too far into one cute pasture or other, trying to evoke some tired mirage of how the “modern” girl is supposed to look, with all her budding career, sophistication, and whatnot (see above). 

herein lies the problem with our youth-obsession, as opt sees it.  yes, perhaps the encouraging of youth to develop into something extraordinary upon the moment of taking a first breath leads to parental pride and all that, at times some precocious act we may all be suitably surprised with.  and then….to have that crowning moment so early, what then?  to have such hushed voices speaking to one’s work, does that allow a normal maturation which leads to…really better things than those done upon first blush?  do we simply want work churned out before the brain has fully formed, only because the subject is young now, and it’s novel?  or do we want to wait, and have something better?  i think we know our answer, and it looks like this.  fine, acceptable, but entirely forgettable. 

updated: with new images

lafw: angel johnson

(images via can)

although unable to find angel johnson’s own personal page (though i’m not that compelled to really dig today), i did find an edifying link describing her line as “uphold(ing) individuality…bringing a modern chic charm to your wardrobe…mysterious, surprising, inspiring and provocative…for the strong woman who stands out effortlessly.”

did you learn something new?  anyway, i’m a little confused by the line, which at times veers toward the sexy schoolgirl, now perhaps in her teen years, taking advantage of what was once stifling to be explicit as it can, complete with sheers, metallics, and some very abbreviated hemlines. 

however, at other moments, such as the cocktail dress above, while perhaps a spiritual sister to the other garb, in the sense that metallics are heavily used, i’m not necessarily seeing the correlation, as is the case of the religious dress (which is the real knockout here, even if it looks nothing alike the rest) on the pitbull model at bottom. 

individually, the pieces are endearing and if i walked into a boutique hawking most of this, i’d probably want to buy it all, but wouldn’t necessarily have an inkling that the separate looks came from the same designer, much less season.  

los angeles fashion week has provided us with some intriguing work this season, but oft times it feels more the shucking off of cool ideas, lumped together in one place.  and, unfortunately, this is what will keep the city second tier; perhaps the designers’ need stricter rules, or something to teach them they would benefit as well, if they were more careful about runway edits.