The best thing about fashion is that one day you can be one thing and the next quite another. Yesterday our eye sought out professional pristinity, what we want to be as we embrace growing up. Today we’re back cannonballing into the pool of eternal youth with grunge and youthquake and other messy immaturities. This pool is nostalgic though, an eternal return through youth movements past, with collections channeling the 1950s of Sue Lyon, the 1960s of Edie Sedgwick, the 1990s of Courtney love, and other youthful subversives gone by.
Jil Sander Navy
Jil Sander Navy isn’t designed by Raf Simons anymore, but his touch, the classic feminine couture that he exited with at Jil Sander and picked up with in glory at Dior, is all over this collection. Here is Dolores Haze wearing the junior miss version of her mother’s dresses. Sue Lyon as Kubrick’s Lolita, all fashion slouched, pouting manipulatively, her crossed arms showing vulnerability. Here is Kristen Stewart looking fucking cool despite being dressed like a doll, telling us through lazy posture that she’d much rather be in jeans. On top of the pretty cool ’50s cotton dresses are mainstays of the Navy label: polo shirts and crisp tennis whites.
Stripes! There’s the one-word review. Marc Jacobs explored stripes in manifold forms: black and white, red and white, beige and white, Edie Sedgwick stripes, Sonia Rykiel stripes, Where’s Wally stripes, French Pierrot stripes (with matching suffocating collars). But the most innovative, and our favorite, were the stripes (and rowed dotty squares) that recalled the op-art of Yayoi Kusama, Jacobs’ most recent LV collaborator. The last series of looks, long dresses and jumpers sequined slick like eelskin moved like Yayoi’s tentacular waves and disorienting dots. We also loved Tim Blanks’ suggestion that, “as far as radical moments of transition go, all those skewed suits with their visible bras and hip-slung skirts felt like the slyest assault on Republican propriety that fashion is likely to mount this election year.” Obama 2012!
3.1 Philip Lim
Philip Lim claimed the cut-up, as in William Burroughs, as his theme. If that means clashing and layering then okay, sure. Burroughs did star in Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy and the clothes Lim presented were ’90s like that. His version of grunge layering is bright, cheerful, and commercial. The florals aren’t Virgin Suicides bedspread mute but bright, like Gucci’s Flora, the famous Princess Grace of Monaco print. We’re a little confused by the “I upside-down-heart Nueva York” tees modeled by leggy Krups, Kings, and Kaufmans. That’s the anarchy of the Burroughs cut-up I guess.
Theysken’s grunge was in the hair, greasy mid-length wigs in shades of blond, brown, blue, and green, that hung just above rounded ’80s power shoulder. At the end of his defile, Theyskens emerged revealing his own newly chopped locks, matching in length to the model’s wigs. That’s narcissism we can approve of.