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Friday, March 9, 2012

Supersize Me

I seem to recall a discussion in my college fashion history class that focused on the socioeconomic and hierarchal role of excess.  Kings would try to outdo other kings in their monarchal robes fabrics complete with lavish furs and wedding gown-like trains.  Queens and noblewomen would try to outshine each other with their outrageously ornate headpieces and body-orbiting gowns.  More fabric, more folds, more depth usually meant more importance, higher social status and more money.

Translated nowadays and excess can mean more cost which means one would need more money to afford it but it doesn't necessarily mean better social standing.  Although it can be appreciated, there is more to be said of the quality and spirit of the execution rather than the size of or excess of what's being executed.  It's a peculiar dichotomy that I exhibited while dissecting a growing trend I saw in the recent Fall 2012 Menswear collections.  There were quite a few designers that showed oversized silhouettes in their collections.  Now, while fabric yardage was used in abundance, the gentle nudge towards fuller shapes with modern cultivated cleanliness was the quality in idea to the roomy flows of warp and weft.  

Great coats, cocoon shapes, trapezes, parkas and even ponchos were given the modern sweep in leathers, wools, knits with artistic and technical finishes and touches.  What's key is the gravitation towards volume and length paired with trimmer proportions in pants and tops to create a variety of silhouettes.  It makes the idea of excess much less about the money and more about the mind.

Hands-free Devices - Capes and Ponchos


L to R: Dior Homme, Just Cavalli and Nicholas K


 L to R: Simon Spurr and Issey Miyake


 Distorted- Dropped sleeves, puffed parkas, excess drape and cocoon-like shape


 L to R: Y-3, Y-3 and Walter Van Beirendonck


 L to R: Just Cavalli, Raf Simons and Ports 1961


 L to R: Robert Geller, Dior Homme and Calvin Klein


L to R: Libertine and Neil Barrett


Proportion Play- Extra voluminous trousers, shapely sleeves,  oversized overshirts & repurposed excess cloth


L to R: Y-3, Siki Im and Lanvin 


L to R: Michael Kors, Duckie Brown and Lacoste


L to R: Robert Geller, Duckie Brown and Louis Vuitton


*All Photos courtesy of Style.com

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