FASHION TREND: Modern Sensibility and Craft

FASHION TREND: Modern Sensibility and Craft
We have at the moment a strong crowd of designers not merely believing in clothes with a modern attitude but also showing us what they mean — and without turning craft into some fetishistic pile of stuff that no intelligent person would consider wanting for a second. I include in the group Raf Simons, Stella McCartney, Alber Elbaz, Rick Owens, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, Miuccia Prada, the Proenza Schouler boys, Phoebe Philo, Thomas Tait, Narciso Rodriguez, Christopher Kane and Olivier Theyskens (thanks to the insight of Andrew Rosen at Theory).

Proenza Schouler


Well, that’s a very healthy list. Who could want for more? You see taste and modern sensibility and craft being measured in a lot of interesting ways. I finally had a chance to look at Barneys’ new series of catalogs, produced by its creative director Dennis Freedman with photographers like Nathaniel Goldberg, Juergen Teller and Ilan Rubin (an accessories catalog called “Arm Candy” — crazy about it), and I like the directness and the diversity of personalities. It’s not labored. And the brown-paper binding, similar to the way Bruce Weber does his photo books, is appealing.


On Thursday, when I went to see Jeff Rudes, the founder of J Brand, and the company’s first ready-to-wear line, I was prepared to be skeptical. Who needs another contemporary-priced blazer and pair of chinos? Well, give the collection your eye when it starts appearing in stores in December. Donald Oliver, the creative director, has done a great job incorporating useful elements of quality (nice linings, say, and Japanese fabrics) into garments like notched-lapel jackets and cool sweatshirts done in black leather or a linen-cotton blend.


Finally, get your mitts on the fall/winter edition of Bon magazine, which is produced out of Stockholm and London, and edited by the brainy Madelaine Levy. She, too, is not interested in seeing craft turned into weird consumerist fluff for p.r. people to pour nonsense over. The issue contains a lively round-table chat with Ms. Levy and several editors, and I loved the smart piece by Laird Persson about Giorgio Armani’s enduring influence, with photographs from his advertising campaigns over the last 20 years.



There’s lots of other great stuff to read in Bon, but I leave you with this thought from the round-table chat. Ms. Levy observed: “I find it difficult to shop. I know too much, somehow. I know too much about what amazing things I could buy if I put even money into buying something. And I also know too much, from the shows and the re-sees, about how things will look next season. I already want them, so I can’t find the things I want to wear now. And I also know, perhaps, a bit too much about how ephemeral it all is …”
From The New York Times
By Cathy Horyn

Monday, October 24, 2011 · Categories: Trend Analysis, Fashion, Runway, Fashion Blogs
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