Listen, I know I am ridiculous and paranoid and maybe-probably-definitely overly sensitive. But when someone on your Twitter feed says something unkind, and which kinda-sorta-references a thing you wrote on your blog and then shared on Twitter, well sure. I suppose it could be a coincidence. I suppose they could totally be referring to something else entirely. But you’ve followed this person for a while, supported their work even, and you know enough about them to see they are scary-smart and sharp-tongued, they don’t pull any punches with their opinion and they absolutely do not suffer fools.
And then they tweeted something vague but also strangely pointed? And maybe which had nothing to do with me, but it somehow, on some level, made me feel like the fool who was being punched? Was I? Probably not. I am too small to notice, they don’t even know me and they don’t care. But I felt their ire and annoyance anyway because even if it was directed at someone else today, if I ever fall across their radar, it could be me tomorrow.
So I suppose this could a proactive ensemble, as well. Or a protective one. It could also be a “hey you, I admire you and respect you and am totally scared shitless of you” tribute outfit. I think it might be a little of all of this. I still think you’re super cool, even if you think I am a ninny. It’s fine. You’re probably not the first. And if you don’t think of me at all, well I don’t know if that’s better or worse. But at approximately 300 words and with a whole-ass wardrobe post with each piece carefully chosen and dedicated to you, well, I obviously spent a weird and fraught bit of time thinking of you.
“Christian Dior was passionate about the divinatory arts and signs of destiny. His autobiography is punctuated with often fateful encounters with visionary personalities: “It will be extraordinary. Your house will revolutionize fashion!” he recalled of a prophecy come true.”
“Tarot cards are among the keys to accessing the magical realm, to explore the unknown while fearlessly looking deep inside oneself. Maria Grazia Chiuri immediately felt a connection with these imaginary worlds and this visual language whose symbolic lexicon is rich in complex and fascinating characters. In uncertain times marked by a palpable desire to reconnect with the world’s soul, Maria Grazia Chiuri wished to explore, through the spring-summer 2021 haute couture collection, the mysterious and pluralistic beauty of the tarot in a series of dresses featuring virtuoso constructions; manifest proof that couture remains the ultimate territory of experimentation and possibility.”
“Fascinated by Italo Calvino’s novel The Castle of Crossed Destinies, Maria Grazia Chiuri chose to design her collection using the wonderful Visconti-Sforza tarot cards for exceptional creations symbolizing the major arcana. A tale celebrating the magical beauty of the divinatory arts.”
“A clairvoyant asks to draw a card in a deck designed as a catalogue of possibilities, a cryptic dictionary of the world. The High Priestess, the Empress, Justice and the Fool, are notably sublimated through excellence of savoir-faire celebrating the art of weaving: lace is inlaid with hand-painted embellishments, golden velvet is enlivened with the signs of the zodiac and precious jacquards are sprinkled with stars, while a cape in multicolored feathers showcases 3D volumes.”
“A series of extraordinary evening gowns features abstract constructions, some with veritable bas-relief openwork bodices punctuated with illustrations by Pietro Ruffo. In this spirit, the Roman artist created a singular deck of cards in which characters disclose the graphic energy of the symbols.”
In researching something-or-other last week, I fell down an incredible occult couture rabbit hole, and I wanted to share my findings with you in case you hadn’t already seen some of these mystical catwalk marvels from designer Lenny Niemeyer. The collection is from a few years back, São Paulo Fashion Week on August 29, 2017, to be accurate. But it was totally new to my eyes, and I was pretty thrilled to have serendipitously stumbled across these wondrous pieces!
The 2018 Summer collection was meant to be a “tribute to feminine strength,” according to the designer, and takes inspiration from Swedish artists Hilma Af Klint and Emma Kunz, visionary artists born in the late 19th century and pioneers of geometric abstractionism who arrived at their innovative artworks through “conscious collaboration with spirit.”
The artwork of both painters can be seen through their “remarkable elements such as lines, spheres, and triangles”, present in the collection’s tessellating geometric prints. Soft colors such as Sky Blue and Rose Morocco provide a mysterious counterpoint for the vibrant hues of Tomato Red and Lime Green. Additionally, fashion critics noted an “80’s revival” which “shows strength through low-cut swimsuits and draped garments.” Complimenting the mystical mood are accessories showcasing different stones and sacred shapes, perhaps recalling the phases or the platonic solids, providing even more esoteric personality to the season’s pieces.
I’m finding the runway fashion a little lackluster at the time being, so I thought I might round up a small collection of the “fall looks” I’ve been sharing on Instagram. You might argue that my sartorial contributions are nothing to get excited about either, but that’s just like, your opinion, man. But also you’d probably be right–they’re 95% monochromatic (or just black, if we’re telling it like it is), they are relatively shapeless and unstructured, and I am neither a model nor a photographer, so my imagery consists chiefly of one pose over and over again, reflected in a smudged mirror.
Well, so what? I’m a real person! And this is what I really wear! And I think you can get a much better sense of clothing as it really is and how it truly fits if you get a chance to see it on a random schlub, as opposed to someone who’s all made up and has great lighting and a photographer to find their best side.
Scroll on for a few of my favorite ensembles this season, and I will share with you the details on where to find everything as well. (My No Face phone case can be found at Amazon (because I know you’re going to ask!)
I gasped when I saw many of the pieces in this collection, incorporating motifs of scales, spiraling numbers, map of the heavens, and compasses, and which reads to me like a passionate love letter to myriad Greek achievements of antiquity. I don’t always trust what I think I am seeing, though (sometimes I can either be a little dense, or entirely too fanciful, ha!) and so I was gratified to see that I was at least half right, when I read that Vogue described it as the “…living resonance of Greek culture throughout Western civilization.”
Of the collection’s inspirations, Katranzou notes: “…philosophy, theology, biology, astronomy, trigonometry. Ideas that are so abstract—words that were birthed here two and a half thousand years ago—and the wonder that they can be so relevant today.”
Do the kitschy-campy day-glo electric neon flights of fancy in the runway clip above and in the video below remind you of anything in particular? Anything that calls to mind perhaps, an 80’s cartoon teeming with glamour and glitter, fashion and fame?
*Not so gross extra credit: have you read the comic book version of Jem and the Holograms, featuring gorgeous, expressive art from Sophie Campbell and some updated twists for a modern, forward-thinking audience, but all the campiness and ridiculous rivalry in the old cartoon? You should definitely check it out!
The Maison Francesco Scognamiglio Fall 2019 Couture collection, with its contrasting play between excess and restraint-the undulating satin, that see-through tulle, those rivulets of crystals and embellishments!–call to mind languid lady vampires swanning around an abandoned moonlit chateau, or perhaps flickering amongst the bleached bones scattered throughout the sandy stones of a coastal cliff-side ruin at twilight.
If there is a sigh between salacious and celestial, I think it is in that whispered instant that this collection leaves you gasping.
Excuse me while I slip away into this Roversian dream world where one swans in silence on velvet staircases, leans tenderly into the open hearts of somber trees, and runs away forever to weep one’s sorrows into the thorny embrace of labyrinthine shrubbery.
(I recall seeing this October 2009 W Magazine editorial several years ago, but it’s resonating so deeply with me right now. I frequently these days find myself longing to hide away from everything in a secret dream world via a hidden door in a hedge. I’ll come back in 100 years and all my troubles will have crumbled to dust.)
Photography: Paolo Roversi
Hair by Rita Marmor/TRESemme; makeup by Lucia Pieroni/ Streeters for Cle de Peau Beaute; manicures by Yuna Park/Streeters. Models: Jac/IMG; Darya Kurovska/Supreme; Dorothea Barth Jorgensen and Regina Feoktistova, both at Women Model Management. Set design by Piers Hanmer; production by Viewfinders; digital technician: Antonio Pizzichino/d-touch. Photography assistant: Arno Frugier. Market Editor: Carolyn Tate Angel. Fashion assistants: Kathryn Typaldos and Katie Casamassimo
Moncler 4 Simone Rocha Fall 2019 Ready To Wear: a collection that gently encourages you to take off for the deepest, darkest wood you can reach on foot, and then, after catching your breath and spending a moment to locate just the right spot on the mossy forest floor, beneath a shadowy elm, near a patch of violets or lady’s mantle, you can take off your coat–which doubles as a luxe down comforter, or a satiny quilt, or your Aunt Franny’s ruffled heirloom coverlet–and have a lovely lie down. Sweetest dreams, fashion plates.