Saturday, March 7, 2015

Scatter #48

    Round and round we go, and here we are once again at Scattertime!

    Its continually amazing to me, even with all my years of working with textiles,  and studying apparel that things like this, so simple in concept and make me swoon a bit.  Just a few inexpensive fabrics, wrapped and twisted, just a narrow piece of chain, and what might have been a perfectly fine, but unremarkable turban, becomes a work of art.  The combination of colors is painterly and the volume perfectly enhances the face of the wearer.  I've said it before, few things can compete with the classic notion of a turban for its sheer versatility in regards to what it may express about the person under it.  And yes, I will admit it, I think he's dreamy.  But that's not why I posted this image, or at least not the main reason. (smiling)
    In 1955, Jean Cocteau was being honored by the French government and at the formal event he was required to carry a ceremonial sword.  The firm of Cartier made this remarkable sword for him, since there was no way he was going to carry just any old sword.  Carrying some of his signature imagery, the profile face,  and the lyre, it was done in gold with enamel work, an emerald, some cabochon rubies and a single diamond.  If you're going to stay true to an aesthetic, this is how its done.
    If you were going after being a babe in 1900, this is how you'd go about it.  Everything here is calculated carefully to draw attention.  From the vast hat with its wired ostrich plumes, and pink ribbon, to the skin tight fit of her dress, to her ermine muff, she is carefully crafted to delight and entice.  I've no idea who she is, but I strongly suspect she was an actress.  The exaggerated nature of her clothing would suggest that this might even be a costume for stage performance.  Anyone have an idea who she was?
    I'll admit that this one is a toughy for me.  Produced by PHLEMUNS for the F/W 2015 menswear collection, its a take on a jumpsuit, of course, but one with challenging proportions. But I would be a hypocrite if I didn't put this out for view since I so often talk about the edgy and avant garde.  What does work for me is the upper half and the loose cut, what doesn't work for me is the ankle length of the pant legs.  Your thoughts, folks?
    In 1992, Thierry Mugler, who had a great time playing with various versions of rigid structure clothing, sent this and a number of other things along the same lines down the runway.  When I recall that this was long before 3D printing it becomes even more of an interesting experiment in form and function.  The upper section at least would've been cast from carefully created molds, after taking a mold of the model's body first. Its still a remarkable piece of sculpture.
    Swinging my vision over to the other end of men's apparel, here we have a fella on his way to some New York Fashion Week event.  And he's decided to go with Polished Hipster for his look du jour.  Really, nearly all of his ensemble is unremarkable, and really doesn't convey much beyond being style conscious, and weather appropriate.  The only items that bring any sense of self into the sentence are the headphones, and the clutch.  And on a psychological note, the increasing importance of cool headphones as an accessory, and personal identifier says two things to me, we have elevated the importance of music to a level unimagined at any other time in history, and our desire to shut out the noise and distractions of the modern world is so great that we must not only wear headphones, but they need to be big ones.  Curious, that.
    This is here for one reason alone, because it is a truly jaw dropping example of the couture art, and in particular, the work of the beading ateliers. When you combine this ancient handwork art, with up to the moment technology, like the computer controlled laser cutting in evidence here, we get an intersection between old and new that is breathtaking.
    Okay, so, you want to show a coat on a runway, I suppose this is one way you can do it.  Though I seriously doubt many people were focusing on the coat.  Runway styling can often, as I've said before, get way out of hand.  Now I'm not averse to looking at gorgeous people nearly naked, far from it.  I simply thing that in the context of a fashion show, where the purpose is to focus people's attention on the designs, that this is a needless, and gratuitous, distraction.  As for the coat, wrap thingy, its hard to tell from this image exactly what is going on there. It appears to have a large hood, but I couldn't say for sure.  I do like the textile a lot, and styled differently, I would probably be fully on board with this. Harumph.
    This is a pair of  women's Indian wedding shoes from 1800.  Constructed of plates of silver over a wood base, with a line of hanging bells between the pattens, and gold caps on the toe knobs, these would have been for a very wealthy bride indeed.  And its another example of how we, psychologically both literally and figuratively elevate women, but keep them subservient, by making it difficult to move.
    There is a growing softness to the way that men's clothing is being constructed, and worn.  Perhaps its an expression of how men are re-imagining themselves, as we move further into the 21st century. Everything about this looks simple, easy, comfortable and approachable.  The message conveyed is peaceful, and inviting in a non sexual way, as though this fellow would be a good person to hang out with.  But overall, the look is an amalgam of rural and urban that I like a lot.  I could totally kick this out of the park if I wore it.
    This wonderful ensemble from 1878 was worn as a wedding dress.  Made up in ribbon striped silk and solid color silk taffeta, its a delightful piece.  At the time this was worn it was still very common for ladies to wear either their best dress, or to have something made up that they really could get a lot of use out of.  The white wedding dress was already around, but the tradition was still being born, so the majority of women would be married this way rather than all in white.  The white wedding dress was mostly the province of those who could afford a lavish garment that would not really be worn again.
    And rounding out the scatter for this week the undeniably charming 12 year old Maria Antonia.  It would be 3 years still, before she married Louis XVI, becoming Dauphine of France and altering her name to the more French Marie Antoinette.  But she was already a clothes horse, who loved dressing up, and had a decided preference, even at this young age for clothes in the French fashions.  Of particular note here is how well described the bodice and sleeves are by the painter Martin Van Meytens.  He accurately renders the steep point of the bodice, and the very low rise of the top, that allowed the chemise to be displayed, showing of whatever embroideries or lace were in use.  Also the sleeves were a curious, but widespread fashion.  The pleating and folding of multiple layers of lace gave a strong sense of structure to the sleeves, and allowed the wearer to show off how wealthy they were by the insane amounts of lace such sleeves required.  Its important to remember that there was no such thing as machine made lace in 1767.  It would take nearly another 100 years for that to happen.
    This sweet faced innocent girl could have had no notion of what was in store for her.  She was the youngest of 14 and was more likely to have been married off to some provincial duke than what actually went down.
    And that, as they say, is that for this weeks Scatter.  HAve a grand weekend, All!

1 comment:

  1. Fun! And as for naked-guy's garment, it isn't - even - a coat. There don't look to be any sleeves; it's just some sort of shawl. What people won't do to call attention to themselves. ; )