i am. i really am.
i have been fashion blog-hopping, and an ever-growing annoyance this past fashion season has finally reached it’s boiling point today. (please note i am not bashing any blog authors.)
on one popular blog, i came across runway photos of the Stella McCartney Fall 2009 collection, and of Isabel Marant studded leather boots.
McCartney presented large blazers over black leggings, and dolman/batwing sleeve dresses. these “new” designs were complete, COMPLETE ripoffs from the 80’s. i have a silver silk thread Neiman Marcus blazer from the 80’s and two black silk batwing dresses in my closet right now. i could have thrown on a pair of black leggings, my blazer, and walked straight down that runway. the only way people would have noticed me would have been the fact that i was 5′ 1″ and 125lbs. also, the last time i checked, black leather, studded and cuffed ankle boots (once again, paired with black leggings) is not the newest idea either.
how DARE these designers send such copy-cat items down the runway?! how DARE they assume we are [all] stupid and fashionably unschooled? if you love the over-sized, broad shouldered, extra long women’s blazer from the 80’s, use it – but add a new twist! pair it with something new, alter it, put your own touch, idea, or spin on it, for god sakes! to send a straight-from-my-mother’s-closet blazer down the runway with nothing else but a pair of black leggings is just lazy, and more importantly, INSULTING.
not to pick on McCartney, Calvin Klein and YSL have been doing the same thing as well. angular, strong shouldered looks in monochromatic shades are things of the past. i am not damning designers who pull from fashion past; i am simply trying to clarify the line between “imitation” and “inspiration”. at least when Project Runway contestant Kenley Collins was verbally slapped across the face for her nearly identical Alexander McQueen creation, she was oblivious to its existence. other violators include Balmain’s sequined mini dresses, another back-in-time theft from the 80’s…or that vintage look-a-like hanging in my closet, and Tommy Hilfiger, who should stick to his all-American, classic looks; his plain jumpsuit in March 2009’s Harper’s Bazaar is straight from the 70’s, and Dolce & Gabbana, my pick for this year’s biggest flop. pajamas? are you SERIOUS. the cut of these jammies are the same as the cotton ones my dad has been wearing to bed since i was born. did i mention my dad is 65 years old? in addition, their leather sheath with chains hanging sloppily off the hem both gave me deja vu and a headache. last and most certainly least, was their advertisement featuring three women in laughably large, structured puff-sleeved cropped coats. not only are they completely unwearable, they are also disturbingly reminiscent of, once again, Project Runway’s Kenley Collins’ plaid puff sleeve outfit in Episode 9. might i remind you she was berated for it? what in the name of good taste happened here? what happened to avant garde? i’m very disappointed to say one of the more inspiring pieces in my closet is a VINTAGE cream wool & silk Carolina Herrera dress. the present needs to step it up.
it’s not all bad – before i get a “negative nancy” branded on my forehead, let me present my winners. Bottega Veneta is doing a beautiful job this year; i especially love their new-but-old, unexpectedly draped, soft leather sheath dress. Dior is also bringing new life to nude mini dresses with embellishments and innovative details. other designers that seem to have a better grasp: Nina Ricci, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferre, Derek Lam, Celine, Alexander Wang, Lorick, and Philip Lim are all presenting top notch work this season. i’m also awed at a lot of the work featured on some fashion blogs, either DIY’s by the authors themselves, or their posts of work from upcoming designers or recent fashion school graduates. bravo!
here i reach the end of my rant. please allow me to clarify.
designers may look for inspiration anywhere they like, without incurring my literary wrath. however, if they cross the line into imitation, they should just sit themselves out of the season, and not waste the fabric, or our time. if a designer wants to pull something from closets past, do so with some imagination. you are an artist. show us something new and beautiful – something YOU. i’ll respect you so much for it, despite my aesthetic opinion.