“Gentle” may not be the most fashionable adjective in the intense, often harsh fashion world. Dries Van Noten, though is an exception: he, and his clothes, are most definitely gentle. Cacophony is not his thing. The subtle blend of romanticism, exoticism and eccentricity that exudes from any piece of clothing with his label on it; the cozy atmosphere of his eclectic shops, conceived not as temples but as houses or bazaars; the dreamy air of his shows, which are forays into a parallel dimension of pure, multi sensory joy: all of this comes from someone who expresses himself in whispers rather than shouts. “There is so much of myself as a person in the things I create, it’s almost scary,” he says with a laugh. “Sometimes I feel like I am baring it all in front of the audience.” The serene flow of his speech is accented by a piercing Belgian “r”. When he talks, he looks straight into my eyes. This is the first time I have met the famously reserved Van Noten in person, and it is the man, not the designer, who I hope to get to know.
I like designers that have a vision/a concept that runs through their collections. This just means that they’re not the type who puts out collections simply because: “It’s another season, and we have to make money!” Or they’re not the type of designers who create a collection and calls it their “own” when it was obviously ripped off from someone else’s vision/it’s a season trend (e.g. Remember when Phoebe Philo went all minimalist for Celine, and every single trendy fashion designer followed suit? Yeah, right?).
This is why I am a big fan of Olivier Theyskens. He has had conceptually-sound, cohesive, and well-thought out collections since the start. The vibe of his collection, the proportions of his clothes, even *that* camera angle of his runway looks is becoming quintessential Theyskens’ Theory. Despite the consistent look in his collections though, the clothes are not repetitive — unlike Christophe Decarnin’s Balmaincollections where that same glam-rock silhouette of the blazer (with the sharp shoulders), tight pants, a top + boots was repeatedly used. Yes, it was a hit during the first season, but he kept on doing it and doing it and doing it and doing it…It’s like watching a movie that just loops and loops, and you’re like, “When will this END?!?!” Thank goodness he got replaced. He had an initial vision, but I think he got stuck in a rut, and failed to move on.
Olivier Theysken’s for Theyskens’ Theory has just started. I just hope Olivier doesn’t get stuck in a rut. From what I see though, I’m pretty sure he won’t.
Contemporary art today is mainly about yesterday. Archiving, nostalgia, commemoration, memory, re-enactment, reconstruction, and documentation are popular themes and methods in the art world…[T]he use of this historical refuge carries the risk of a certain blindness. Looking back can obscure the view of the present and the future, and make it more difficult to be open to the creative potential of the unknown and the unexpected…
Facing Forward: Art & Theory from a Future Perspective draws attention to a number of important social and specifically artistic themes which are closely related to this hybrid “discourse of the future.”
Over the course of seven evenings, celebrated international speakers and young art historians, curators, and critics will shed new light on the future of technology, freedom, the concept of history, the position of the image, eloquence, the museum, and the city.
I watched BRAIDS live at the Horseshoe Tavern yesterday. I wish I could spend more time writing/recording my thoughts about their performance, but I don’t have time to ponder about it at the moment.
AND, I do not have the words that will rightfully describe/encompass the whole experience of being in that space and hearing them perform their ethereal/ambient/experimental/lush music live, other than OUT OF THIS WORLD.