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Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Chameleon Complex

So what lengths do you go to in order to be seen?  Doesn't it seem like overnight it's gone from "tell the paparazzi to get away from my car" to "tell the paparazzi I'll be at Cipriani's at 9"?  "No more photos please" has become "take one more and get my better angle this time"!  I suppose the increase of this 'fad' called "the Internet" has really perpetuated popular culture to hyper-fast levels whereas back in the day you got your fashionably latest from a magazine or music video.  Now they have to keep up with the 'spiders on the Web' and it's showing up in the psyche of the populace too.  Not only do we demand more visuals from our stars to keep our attention span fixated but also through their overexposure we realize just how vulnerable and human they really are.  This is in turn says to many of us in a weird 'sitcom-like' way that if they can act a fool and get away with it then so can I. 

So at a certain point you either choose to ignore, act a fool a li'l bit or launch your own 'Bieber-esque' vlog.  I guess my query is at what point, if at all, does it change you?  At what point do you stop the intended talent and perform just for the sake of shows and antics for the audience and not out of love for what you're doing?  At what point does the camera on your life make you seem like a superhero ready to take leaps and bounds off the side of a building because you had to and not because you'd really want to?  There's something to be said of truly being comfortable in your own skin and not due to the accolades, acclaim or the hype.  Hype constantly has to outdo itself until you eventually start arriving at awards shows enclosed in eggs.  Is consistency too mundane now?  Not in certain realms of fashion, where a well-developed aesthetic within some labels is the only consistent thing some media darlings and dudes can rely on.






I'm relieved that I can always rely on two shows during fashion week to peak my interest and draw a big crowd due to fashion not fluff.  Diesel Black Gold always pairs an Italian attention to craftsmanship and a slathering of a hard-edge sportswear approach with a dash of trend.  For Fall 2011 Sophia Kokosalaki and her team at Black Gold offered up a wide exploration of leathers and skins in the collection.  Shearling was shown with hairs from long to short and turned up as dyed, shorn, curly, as scarves, coats and as inner liners.  The softest lambskins to the plushest suedes turned up as slim cut Napoleon jackets, sheath dresses, wrap skirts, skinny trousers and blazers.  The collection had a slight winterized glam rock feel to it without the models looking like they belonged smashing guitars onstage in Prague.  There were definite pieces that can be well incorporated into the resurgence of the 70's for Fall but also edited to fit well into more individualized modern avant approaches.




www.diesel.com/collection/diesel-black-gold

Speaking of avant, G-Star Raw is another collection that never varies from the script of remixing America's freedom fabric avant-garde style.  I always love this show for celebrating the versatility of denim.  Fall 2011 has G-Star still offering up irreverent ways to propose fitting the body through the cut of denim while offering pieces to anchor the collection as more than just a denim brand.




G-Star has become a lifestyle brand and this collection once again showcased the range it has achieved.  G-Star's Pierre Morisset twisted and rethought denim into items that seemed concocted for city dwelling.  There were great coats for men and women with the predominant style being a 'Gangs of New York' ode to nipped waist double breasted and shawl collar silhouettes in modern camo prints and inky indigos.  There was a variety of touched on themes which fell under the umbrella of a remixed old New York explored from a workwear perspective like a quirky gentleman's cape, bowler hats and braces and remixes of tunnel digger's padded work overalls.  The womenswear seemed to be an offshoot of its male counterpart with a feminized tailored emphasis but with softer fabrics like rib insets, lambskins and knits.  I applaud G-Star's modern dance with ingenuity exampled in the patterning of the work overalls, denim life-preserver vest and execution in softening the rigidity of raw denim.  What is always interesting is the play with fabrics to lessen the appearance of denim but showcase its range and its seamless pairing with other fabrics to make interesting well-rounded collections.



video
G-Star Raw Fall 2011 Finale 

Fame makes one do strange things.  Some designers cater to the trends and the followers of trends while others stick to and progressively grow a game plan that builds their legacy as a brand.  For what it's worth, I'll put my money in what lasts longer than my viral 15 minutes of fame.

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