Fashion Month was overall a total bore. Aside from some fun at Rick Owens, J.W. Anderson (this and this and this), and my fav NYC upstarts, I honestly can’t even remember what I saw. It was all the SAMO, SAMO, which is a term that rolls through my mind all too often these days. Nothing is the new black because everything is happening all and at the same time now — it’s always fashion week somewhere in the world; next season’s trends are curated on The Outnet; and, as we stylites are watching the runways, the rest of the world keeps on getting dressed and going about their lives (what is Nadia Tolokonnikova wearing right now?).
What’s most valuable in net-mediated culture is to be of the moment (what’s trending tomorrow). In terms of my personal aesthetics, that’s only lead me to further devalue the now. I’m wary of statement skirts and slamming Slimane because #SS14 is already passé and I just signed a check for “rent October 2013.” Culture, especially fashion, moves so fast that participating in the now feels like living in the past. In this Internet Standard Time (IST) zone, I find solace engaging with the stillness of distant datedness. In terms of fashion that means pre-net aesthetics.
Archivings is a tumblr of scanned fashion magazine images from the early-’90s through the early-oughts curated by Shahan Assadourian, a fashion communications student living in Toronto, ON. The designers featured are both common (Hermes, Martin Margiela, Raf Simons) and obscure (Hiroko Koshino, Number (N)ine, Calcium), many of them Japanese, all of them sharing the same brainy approach to form. Shahan says he’s drawn to the late nineties as a “time of peak creativity” in fashion.
Many of the designers Shahan samples are no longer producing, and before he started archiving them, weren’t documented online at all. “I think scanning them helps them live on in a way that is not nostalgic but rather stating that it happened, that this is history” Shahan explains. “Thanks to the internet, today’s fashion shows are so accessible to people. They may not even be interested in fashion but now they’re able to include that in their bank of knowledge. Pre-internet fashion was only exclusive to the people who were interested in fashion and bought collection magazines or who worked in the fashion industry and went to the shows themselves.” Archivings makes accessible the once-elite knowledge of fashion decades’ past and makes my temporally-sensitive tastes smile.