Songzio, Jay Songzio’s Korean brand was founded in Seoul in 1993. It isn’t the first time the brand was presented at Paris Fashion Week; the first time had been in 2006. However, the perception that one can have in Europe is far from the meaning it holds in Korea; over the course of three decades, the brand has defined a native version of the dark aesthetic and traced the path of local menswear, sowing seeds that have produced symbols, together with relevant and contemporary results today.
The presentation video for FW22, entitled Metamorphoses, in which Kim Young-Dae appears – a face well-known to Korean drama fans – aims at making Songzio’s work and his personal use of black an element that is legible to an international audience.The men and women in the video walk in a natural nocturnal space, which is both neutral and disturbing. It is a rocky and barren environment, visually silent, illuminated by the moonlight. The humans who advance along with it, however, are not afraid. On the contrary, they move confidently as if they were on a road that led them to a mysterious epochal event, perhaps a battlefield, perhaps a new beginning.They proceed aware and almost brazen, with a clean stride, like warriors in a videogame. The clothes are secular-looking attires and uniforms, in which volumes of oriental tradition meet and merge with archetypes of Western elegance and power-dressing.There are suits and armours, overlapping of contrasting materials, softness and structure, lightness and padding; stratifications from which you can read the meaning of the collection’s title.Cocoon volumes and deconstructions, cuts that seem to be shaped with a scalpel and military severity. Moments of bright and full colours pierce the continuous black that is the collection’s non-colour of choice, giving rhythm to the succession of looks.
In an era and in a continent where it is difficult to identify outbursts of novelty, in the territory of radical dark, it is refreshing to discover how a different approach, which comes from the East, can brighten and deepen the discourse and intellectual speculation of a theme – that of black – which looked like it had been exhausted.
This second season of Ann Demeulemeester’s new course, with an anonymous new creative team, is a consistent continuation of the last one. Slouchy silhouettes and that androgyny born in an era in which gender fluidity was still a novel concept. There are poètes maudits, there is Patti Smith and also all the paraphernalia that over the years has made the brand unique and so recognizable.
Vests and hats, and a way for men and women to always be a little extraneous to things, a little suspended, as are the artists in the romantic version in which some like to bask. There are the writings that say Aimer c’est agir (To love is to act) written in Ann Demeulemeester’s own handwriting, and dark flowers tucked into the back pockets of jeans. A mix of yearning and adolescence. There is nothing wrong, but perhaps an underlying story is missing, a story that feels new but is still nonetheless consistent with the past. A story that gives three-dimensionality to clothes because we know that fashion has little or nothing to do with clothes.
Inside and outside because the inside is outside. And then at a certain point, Love is a Stranger by Eurythmics with Annie Lennox singing “And I want you / And I want you / And I want you so / It’s an obsession”. Strangers and love that bloom on the street. Humans walking with their heads held high, towards the sun of the future, or the end of the world.
Perhaps the end of the world is the ultimate party, the one in which everyone can play, be themselves with nothing to lose. Sometimes dark shades appear. Everywhere there is the rare sense of balance that Piccioli knows how to handle like no other. In the re-proposition of the signs that arrive from the Valentino archive, temporal overlaps are created. They become canvases for new meanings.
This is the choice to go out on the street, to enjoy the beautiful or ugly world, but it is the only one that we have. In this choice, there is no self-satisfaction, lyricism or drama. It is the spontaneous and effortless choice of youth, it is literally the only possible choice. Get dressed, let’s go out!
All together at the same party, priestesses and go-go boys, people in pyjamas, even the punk friend and the one who always listens to Joy Division. And how beautiful it is to be there all together, on the street, at night, that you want to be one of them or that one of them is at least a friend of yours. You feel like saying “yes, you are right and we were wrong, we have always been wrong, we move away and you take over because you seem much better.”
Ludovic de Saint Sernin talks about sex with a proud and appreciable defiance and ruthlessness. Appreciable at least for me, because I love sex. And he has been doing it for a long time now, ever since talking about sex in the fashion system seemed out of time and out of place.
He talks about sex in the most literal ways possible; the soundtrack of the show was Closer by Nine Inch Nails—“I wanna fuck you like an animal / I wanna feel you from the inside / I wanna fuck you like an animal”.
And the garments, ranging from underwear that would defy Instagram censorship, to more structured garments that always seem to be there to be taken off (if not really ripped off with the precise intent of fucking) are so arousing that there must’ve been several erections in the front row…
So far so good, but the thing that causes some doubt is the casting choice. A parade of perfect bodies, so perfect they seem fake. Men and women who are desirable because they are so far from any normality. A world of genetically privileged super-humans who are representatives of a desirable sexual positivity; but who in terms of body positivity seem to belong to another decade or another universe. If intersectionality is a goal we should all aim for, unfortunately, we are still a long way off.
Sometimes it happens to be in the right place at the right time, and while someone had to make interstellar travel to get there, you were simply already there. In this season, in which cheeky sexuality and the seduction of the body have returned to be themes to think about and work on (and in which the 90s fin de siècle at the turn of the 2000s were undoubtedly the aesthetic universe of reference) Dolce and Gabbana found themeselves swimming in waters they know perhaps better than anyone else.
Those of my generation (the millennials) didn’t even watch Armani shows. It wasn’t that there was anything against Armani, it just seemed like a world we had nothing to do with. And while not caring about what Armani did, we slipped in über-skinny jeans from some fast fashion brand dreaming of Hedi Slimane’s Dior Homme.
Antonio Lopez was a fundamental and now almost forgotten figure (to whom, however, a saving exhibition was fortunately dedicated to the Sozzani Foundation in Milan in 2020) who contributed together with many other fundamental and forgotten figures that made fashion what it is today.
Can we talk about gender and sexual liberation without using the tone of political statements but with a sort of poetic softness that does not detract from the impact of this powerful and important message? According to Alessandro Dell’Acqua, yes, and he does it effortlessly and without pointless extravagance.
Massimo Giorgetti seems to really want to hang around. As in, to stay outdoors, and as far as possible from the sofa. How can you blame him, after all? That’s all we’ve found to be essential in this shit time. It may seem a bit basic but perhaps it’s simply true.
A sort of before-and.after party is staged at Koché. Boys and girls like divas of the Golden Age of Hollywood, between sequins and feathers and heeled slippers. But they don’t seem so convinced of the night that awaits them. This lack of fomo makes them very cool.
Each Yamamoto show is an eternal repetition of the same, an exercise in Zen Buddhism.The selective interest of the same-but-different is a sort of entirely personal and self-referential obsession, in the best possible sense.
A cheerful parade, such a strange thing, and such a beautiful thing! Sitting at the outdoor tables of La Belle Aurore, a classic Milanese restaurant that, however, looks like a Parisian or Belgian bistro if we want to see it as a tribute to the brand and its founder.
In my opinion the best collection since Raf Simons joined Prada. Period. One thing that’s not directly connected to clothes, and that may seem secondary… But, if you think about it, it is not at all the quality of the streaming of the show, in which both fashion shows in Milan and Shanghai appear live on the screen at the same time.
I already mentioned the video of My Friend by Groove Armada for Rejina Pyo’s London show, and I swear it’s not my laziness that doesn’t let me find other references. Still, even in this Blumarine show, those looks reappear, much more precise and detailed, almost reproduced.
Good good good! With this collection, Galib Gassanoff and Luca Lin position themselves in that liminal space between the fascination and mockery of the rules and codes of the upper class. It is an intellectual and authorial exercise because the two are well aware that what they identify as the dominant disposition (as in Foucault ndr), a structure made up of signs and registers of power, this belongs to a little past world (Fogazzaro ndr) that ceased to exist decades ago (I wish that was considered the mainstream!
Marco Rambaldi is needed. And there is a need for Marco Rambaldi in particular in Milan, wherein perhaps in no other fashion capital there is still a sense of decorum and respectability that permeates the collective vision and that traditionally states very clearly what is acceptable to do in public and what is better to keep private.
It is undoubtedly a good period for Etro which, thanks to an excellent way of communicating, has managed to obtain wide and persistent visibility on social networks and among the right influencers. Also dressing Maneskin – probably the Italian band that has had the greatest worldwide success ever – was an undoubted masterstroke.
How do you organise an amazing show without Gucci or Balenciaga’s budgets? Rejina Pyo’s answer is precise and simple: she offers the audience something they (most likely) have never seen before. No sooner said than done. The designer’s show took place in the London Aquatics Centre designed by Zaha Hadid, the one where Tom Daley and the whole English national team train (and we wonder why diving is the gays’ favourite sport).
In London, sex is (finally) fashionable (Aharon Sharon?). Sex has finally been showacased in collections created by women for women. Hurray! In the past, rather than sex, it would have been a matter of asking oneself about the role of the body and about creating clothes that did not cover it, but now it is rather showing that nudity is not synonymous with weakness.
There were very specific rules to be respected in order to access the Charles Jeffrey show. Six rules to be precise, which are worth reporting here:1. Abstain from sex for at least 12 hours. The portal demands self-control.2. Stay wakeful and refuse sleep during this time. The portal demands deprivation.3. Leave all emotional baggage at the door. The portal demands an offering.4. Speak to no one in the hour immediately preceding the rite.5. Bathe thoroughly and liberally before arrival. The portal demands good astral hygiene.6. Don the appropriate ritual gaudery. The portal demands an effort.
If Charles Jeffrey is both a laugh and a blaze, Richard Quinn is the aristocracy of extravaganza. It’s maybe because of his family name, which is very suitable for puns that include the word Queen, such as on the complimentary whiskey for the guests bearing the words ‘Salute the Quinn’.
When I found out I was supposed to watch the show from a movie theatre adjacent to the actual show, I was disappointed. I thought it was the place where they seat the losers. I was wrong. In the ICA cinema, there was, perhaps, the coolest fashion crowd I’ve ever seen at a show.
Instead of ‘We should all be feminists’, Goddard says that we should all be (baby) girls. And I totally agree. These oversized baby dresses worn indiscriminately by men and women is obviously a political statement. Yet, light-years ahead from the preponderant tone of the US ‘woke’ militancy.
‘How would Carrie Bradshaw dress if, instead of New York, she lived in the dystopian world of Mad Max?’. If there was an über-cool 2000s metaverse, my high school classmates would have dressed exactly like in this KNWLS show.
A fun show with very precise and legible aesthetic references. This can be considered a very good overall result. However, there is a serious story behind it all: the femicide of Sarah Everard, and the consequent words of the Labour MP Jess Phillips, who declared: “Killed women are not vanishingly rare, killed women are common”.
There is an unwritten rule amongst those who take part in fashion shows: when you see performers walk down the catwalk in a suit barefoot, the best thing to do is to get up (without drawing too much attention to yourself) and run away as quickly as possible.
Vivienne Westwood has a thing for pirates since basically forever. The first collection presented on a catwalk in 1981 was titled Pirates and since then became a fundamental example of postmodernism. It was also the show that created the look of Adam Ant and of a whole London club scene of the period (but that’s another story). The fashion show for spring summer ‘98 entitled, Tied to the mast was also inspired by pirates’ aesthetics and mythology. And it is precisely from there that this new collection takes its cues.
That’s where sex had ended up! Well, actually, this is not sex because there is no attempt to seduce or anything really sexy in Nensi Dojaka first show. However, the 2021 winner of the LVMH Prize presented a collection in which the total awareness of the body and the declaration that this body is not afraid to be deployed, is a crucial factor. In the 90s, (from which a lot of Dojaka’s aesthetic inspiration derives: Belgians and Helmut Lang, Japanese geometric patterns, pyrotechnic corsetry), it was said that ‘strong women should scare men’.
I don’t think it was intended… It must have been the gorgeous garden just off Pall Mall where Bora Aksu’s SS22 show took place. Full of lush flowers and attended by your typical London fashion crowd; the type that never shy away from excess, and always welcome a bit of punk… But, the first thing that came to my mind when Aksu’s show started was the masterpiece that is the film St. Trinian’s.
If I had to choose a piece of clothing that perfectly represents middle school for those of my generation, I would have no doubts: the Champion nylon trousers with press buttons along the sides. We all had them and wore them practically every day, along with Nike sneakers and any old t-shirt.