Saturday, 1 June 2013

in the in-between

so i stumbled across this glorious SHOWStudio project aptly entitled "Studs" yesterday. it was done in october of last year, but somehow still rings with such relevance and unapologetic truth. it explores rather poetically the idea of a third gender, nodding to fashion's preoccupation with pushing gender boundaries in a series of editorial photographs and a fashion film. it's beautiful and i think more people should know that it's a thing. 

a thing of wonder sprinkled with Nick Knight magic dust.

right after though, i read this interesting, albeit short feature on the New York Times The Cut blog. the article and accompanying interview is all well and good: James Worthington DeMolet, a stylist who has done work with big publications that include titles like GQ, Teen Vogue and i-D, is starting what is being called a "social-themed fashion magazine" whose debut issue will have a "Neo-Feminism" theme. the issue will apparently cover "neo-styling" tips in feminine-seeming menswear like Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Raf Simons. 

frankly, i was very intrigued by the idea and was thinking of donating to the Kickstarter.

and then i got to the comments section (as you do):

"You know who can't make fashion feminist. A man. Men have dictated what women are supposed to look like for centuries now. It hasn't gotten us very far."

this is interesting, isn't it? i not only thought that both brought up good points, but it also served as a sharp reminder that the biggest designers working today in womenswear are in fact, men. the names that immediately came to mind were: Raf Simons, Riccardo Tisci, Alexander Wang. don't get me wrong, i think they are all incredible designers in their own ways.

it's just that... as men, i also think they will always be missing an integral part of some sort in understanding what it is that women inherently want (or are able) to wear. it's difficult to see that because of the fantastical, shiny image carefully built up and maintained by the media and their PR strongholds. (which, one must question - aren't these outlets also controlled by men?)

it is for this very reason that as much as i swoon over the work of these aforementioned so-called trendsetters... it doesn't even begin to compare to how i feel about the work of those whom i feel are more sincere. the work which i feel is truly made with women's interests and i suppose to some extent, lifestyles, at heart. 

that's the kind of designer i always feel like i must be. there's enough mediocre frivolity about.

"COMME des GARÇONS is a gift to oneself."
- Rei Kawakubo

Fashion sighs after trends. I want timeless elegance.
Fashion has no time. I do. I say: Hello Lady, how can I help you?
Fashion has no time to even ask such a question, because it is constantly concerned with finding out: What will come next?

It is more about helping women to suffer less, to attain more freedom and independence.
- Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji's sensitivity and self-awareness of his position as a man designing for women makes him an exception to me. the fact that he addresses how "fashion has no time to ask such a question" at all was extremely thought-provoking - fashion is fleeting, flighty and incredibly fickle. once in a while, there will be the odd soldier in the industry who would appear to stand for something steadfastly but let's be honest, we're all only out to make a living. the cynic in me practically pours, not pinches, the salt on every review or press release that i come across.

i don't really have a point. feminism is new territory to me and i sometimes catch myself fetishizing androgyny as much as anyone else in fashion, but i don't know... i only try to be as sincere and convicted as possible in my support of those who don't fit into any gender boundary. i also know that my eyes squint and i side-eye when i read reviews that praise a beautiful collection (as beautiful as can be in a high-quality image on the internet, anyways) and then find that casual, offhand comment about how the models could barely walk in their heels.

it's all out grumpy shiba-inu status if the creative director is a man. 

needless to say, i never did end up donating to said Kickstarter.

having said all this, however, while i'm on this mad quote-a-thon:

"At the end of the day, it's just fashion."
- Marc Jacobs

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