Thursday, January 29, 2015

From Beneath The Fantasies

    The first posting I did on facebook yesterday sparked a thought I wanted to expand on today.  We allow that the couture is a realm of fantasies and experimentation, that operates, essentially without any limitations.  As such its capable of presenting us with thoughts, and emotions we do not usually encounter.  Now, there was a time, 50 years and more back, when the couture was a reverential profession, and the presentation of a couture collection was treated with the utmost seriousness, and restraint.
    During the past half century that situation has changed immensely.  Now it is typical for a collection's showing to include model styling that oft times pull attention away from the very clothing that is supposed to be the point of the entire exercise.  But that said, there is something else in play here.  There is a deeper, and sometimes darker revelation exposed by these intense and and operatic shows.
    More and more often, when I look at the way that a couture show is styled, I feel a sense of unease.  Partly, I suppose, because I am a man of a certain age, and these things can be quite challenging.  But partly, and I think chiefly, because there is a dystopian set of images that are getting presented with greater, and greater frequency.

    I am all for testing the limits of what we call beauty, and I have often written about the avant garde and its essential role in the Attire language.  Too, I am also often struck by the eerie beauty that can be brought out by couture runway styling.  What I find disturbing is that we seem to be relying more and more on this dark aspect, this discomfiting aspect as our default, for how to bring these expensive and experimental garments to the world.

    What does this say about us as a culture?  Surely the industry that is the Couture, and the larger retail clothing industry, do not only present ideas for us to pick from, but respond, as we all do, to the subtle shifts of the mass consciousness.  So, that being true, what is coming up, and out of our collective subconscious that is so murky, and uneasy?  Is it simply a reaction to the growing stresses of an over-populated planet; and a populace that does not seem to be able to come to terms with what we have wrought?  Or is there a still deeper layer of meanings?
    I cannot pretend to be wise enough, or have enough knowledge of psychology, to get to the true root causes; though I'm certain there are many reasons for this.  I can only say that I find this disquieting; this growing darkness that seems to peep out on the runways.

    I will be looking with depth, and consuming interest, at how we choose to show our wildest fantasies of ourselves, to see if this continues.  I suspect that it will.  We are a global culture trying to be born, but with most of the power elite working desperately to keep it from coming to fruition, outside of their tight-fisted control.  Perhaps that's the answer.  Our personal sense of dismay at what we are racing towards, is making itself manifest, even on Couture runways.

    Who knew that there could be serious revelations to be had in such a rarefied climate as the Couture?

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