Admittedly at first when I began noticing what I'm now calling the shock value movement I regarded it with disdain. Why I call it a movement is due to its gravitational pull into so many people's closet seemingly overnight. Why I call it shock value is due to the irreverent pairings that, say even three years ago, would be considered a no-no. At that point, I took strides to understand it. In the age of social media stardom and fashion-inspiration trickling from the bottom to the top I see all kinds of strives for attention and expressions of um, style I guess. However, what impresses me the most are those designers whose usages of color, pattern and embellishment-mixing surpass trend and evolve into something more of an embodiment of artistic sensibilities rather than the desire to cause a coronary.
When done haphazardly I call it shock value movement but when done with a seasoned eye or instinct for color, shapes and motif I regard with more value than shock. Such is the case with Libertine's Fall/Winter 2013 Collection. It was a sophisticated romp of clothing that cozies up to the kaleidoscope in intelligent and beautiful ways.
Libertine showed a wonderful collection of womenswear that was peppered with great tailored suitings that were traditional but remixed. Think of your lovely mohairs and tweeds, houndstooths and argyles through the lens of the kaleidoscope. Large scale diamond embellishments were beaded and sequined on top of day coats, day suits, sweaters, skirts and dresses. Multicolor beaded skull and whimsical motifs were applied to jackets and on top of printed skirts and even silky sheers for evening blurring the line between print and embellishment. Speaking of prints, they were in vivid color and larger than life form and evoked a kind of tapestry gypsy feel to them. However, it was the color that made each piece seem special even if the final wearer would not wear all the color paired together, it was all appreciable.
Libertine's menswear was more rooted in cheeky print and tie-dying. And I loved it! Crew neck sweaters, draped cardigans, jackets and even slim trousers were donned with the tonal tie dye treatment that resembled more of a clever burnout meets an x-ray picture. This was made even more clever when the prints were scaled and paired large with small. There were also some cool sweaters, bombers and knit pants printed 'Libertine' nordic style, avant 'Neat' prints, multi cameo silhouettes and fun 'seeing eye' prints.
What I find interesting about Libertine is the fun they have with color, print and embellishment while still keeping a well-made integrity and an air of sophistication. It makes each piece have a special something to them whose value could be shocking but can't be cheapened.