Sunday, January 29, 2012


May I remind you: It's 2012. It's so de rigueur to go slinky and slim, or hip-grazing and flouncy. Let's study shapes that are architectural--flares, spires, arches, boxes. Forgive me if I'm using this word all over the place, but it feels especially modern to see shapes other than the hourglass.

I just finished an article in February's Bazaar called "Spring's New Look," comparing, of course, Dior's watershed 1947 New Look with styles from the spring 2012 runways. This year we saw updated versions of the paradigm shifting collection of "exaggerated womanly looks that outmoded the spartan wartime silhouette and provided the broad strokes for the elegant uniform of the baby-boom era". Now, Rochas, Dior 2012, and Jonathan Sanders might have created looks that could have appealed to a clientele in 1947, but in this post, we're going to obsess over the very-new millennium looks.

Balenciaga hooked me, hard. Classic and of-the-moment at the same time. The fabrics look like neoprene-silk. The shoes, phenomenal; sculptural and almost utilitarian in their reference to boots.

Simple, uniform hair and an artillery of wrist decorations.

More Balenciaga- this helmet-like hat might prove too theatrical for life off of the set, but it reminds me of a shield, or hood--perhaps a wartime reference. The patches of fabric sewn together inspire an image of  rationing; an important factor the original New Look followed. The altogether surplus of fabric seen with the Band of Outsiders look (right) could possibly reference the end (or hopeful cessation) of conflicts abroad with the inclusion of extra yardage-- a shape reminiscent of tunics-- and red and white pants that mimic the colors of a traditional bidah. 
Phillip Lim 3.1 took things to an airier place. The fluid cuts spoke volumes of modernity. The wearer is not weighed down by constraints, or notions of femininity. She is bold while being relaxed, pulled together without ties or attachments. The ends always taper to a slim, defined point.
Celine's collection was also a study in strength and shape. I'm reminded a bit of nun's habits here--or the idea of a uniform. (Note the shoes are the same.) Wouldn't be too terrible to have to wear either creation day after day. As little as two generations prior, our grandmothers might have had just one day dress. We're not so far away in time.     

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