Posts for January 2008
Wardrobe Oxygen reminds us to dress our age, not our shoe size.
If you slap a logo on some gold, does that make it jewelry? Not to
Style Eyes finds tropical hair inspiration.
You've never had a subscription like this before! Grooveeffect explains.
The Fashion Bomb attends the fourth Absence of Color meeting.
This week, a creaky wooden building in the Lower East Side hosts the Capsule trade show where emerging menswear labels get sized up by New York's hippest retailers. Capsule, like any tradeshow, is charged with the energy of the unknown and the anticipation for what could be. One thing is for sure, the era of the urban gentlemen is in full-effect, where even the downtown hipsters will be dressing like dandies, as soon as Odin, Opening Ceremony, and Oak get their hands on these lines. (As an aside, we don't think we've ever seen so many handsome men occupy the same space at the same time. It was like a fourth dimension.) This year's show was sponsored by We Are The Market, a long-time Coutorture partner.
After the jump, our top five favorites at the show and a gallery of the event for your viewing pleasure.
"At bottom," Martin Heidegger said, "the ordinary is not ordinary; it is extraordinary." Poetry Magazine's new piece on Martin Heidegger's "The Origin of the Work of Art" explores how art enlivens the experience of our daily lives. And while Heidegger privileges poetry as the truest form of art, there is an argument here that lends itself to fashion. Heidegger's essay uses a painting of a pair of shoes painted by Van Gogh to illustrate how art helps us achieve a new understanding of the numinous essence beyond reality. Poetry Magazine sums up the issue for us.
Looking at Van Gogh's painting of a pair of shoes, Heidegger suggests, something different happens. For the first time, we become aware of the two dimensions or axes in which a pair of shoes exists. On the one hand, we are struck by their physical reality: their weight and texture and color, all the qualities we tend to overlook when we wear them. At the same time, the painting allows us to imagine the life in which these shoes belong. Crucially, these two aspects of the shoes—what they are and what they do—are inextricable in the painting. In this way, he suggests, the Van Gogh painting demonstrates the double purpose of art.
We think that by using a pair of shoes, even a pair of peasants shoes, Heidegger and even Van Gogh are suggesting at something far more interesting. You see, while Heidegger contends that shoes are a practical matter, utilitarian in nature, tasks, Van Gogh raises them to art. But we wonder what happens when utility in fact meets art. What happens when the utilitarian is not simply represented in art but is in fact art. We happen to think that nexus is fashion. Footwear can transcend that artifical divide between utility and the sublime hope of art. And what is more poetic than that?
Yesterday we attended The Supima Premium Fabric Show where an edited group of companies revealed their Spring 2009 fabrics. The companies, based in countries all over the world, all use 'Superior Pima', a high quality cotton that makes up less than 1% of the cotton bales produced globally, and so we perused the variety of options available to designers using this textile.
One of the most interesting companies, we thought, was Arvind Mills. Arvind Mills is one of the top three producers of denim in the world and counts Lee, Wrangler, and Tommy Hilfiger as clients. Primarily based in India, the company thrives on its denim production but also creates khaki, shirting, and knits. It was all very American (we love our denim), the fact that the Arvind booth was chalk full of designers where the others had one or two ambling onlookers. Also popular were the presence of organic cottons and alternative textiles. While some companies, like Ecotex, specialized in green textiles, others simply had eco-friendly options (clearly a sign that the offering is not only responsible, but also now profitable).
Later in the day, we attended a lecture by David Wolfe, creative director for The Doneger Group, on forecasting trends for Spring 2009. Among Wolfe's predictions were a move towards 'undesign', Wolfe's way of describing the classics, and a steady reliance on menswear as an informant to women's trends. If there's anything that calls for high-quality cottons, it's menswear inspired basics.
Last week, we met with English designer Sue Stemp for a pre-fashion week interview and tour of her studio. This will be the sixth collection for Sue Stemp, who is known for her English boheme sensibilities and New York know-how. This season, Stemp draws inspiration from the famous restaurant, Maxim's, for its art nouveau interior and its social scene in the 1970's.