If this past menswear season showed anything it was that the logo, that constant companion of fashion that periodically goes in and out of style, is now firmly back.
This Wednesday the first comprehensive retrospective of Raymond Pettibon’s work opened at the New Museum in New York. Pettibon’s name has been long familiar to all who have followed the Los Angeles punk scene.
Two weeks ago I met with Takahira Miyashita, the Japanese fashion designer of the mens brand TAKAHIRAMIYASHITATheSoloist. Miyashita’s original brand Number (N)ine made a mark on men’s fashion during the past decade when menswear was at its height in terms of reinterpreting youth culture.
When last year the Belgian designer Raf Simons was finally officially appointed as the creative director of Calvin Klein, the American brand known for its minimalist aesthetic, the fashion world was elated, and those of us in New York doubly so. The New York fashion scene has long been starved of creative talent of Simons’s caliber.
It seems somewhat silly to write about fashion these days, given the disgraceful political situation in the US, and I’ve probably had more conversations about the Orangutan in the Oval Office than about fashion proper over the week I spent in Paris. But, write I must, and so here are my impressions of a season that was mostly flat and that made me think that menswear is just spinning its wheels.
Five years ago, a colleague of mine told me about a young Belgian designer in New York who worked at RLX, the Ralph Lauren’s technical sportswear collection, and who was showing his first collection under his name at his apartment. I made an appointment, which got derailed by a blizzard. The designer’s name was Tim Coppens, and though we didn’t meet then, I have closely followed evolution of his work.
Last month Joe Corre, the son of Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, publicly burned his punk memorabilia collection (and, of course, told the world about it), for the umpteenth time declaring that punk is dead. The month before the publisher Rizzoli released a new book simply titled SEX PISTOLS, essentially begging to differ. The 320-page tome holds as many photographs documenting the meteoric rise and crash and burn of the seminal English punk band. Besides the photos of the band, there are many pictures of the now iconic Sex Pistols DIY concert posters and other graphics, as well as correspondence and song lyrics.
Yesterday the Dutch denim company G-Star RAW announced the appointment of one of our favorite conceptual designers Aitor Throup as its Executive Creative Director. The designer has been consulting for the company for some time now, presumably with enough success to warrant a full time upgrade. After initial eyebrow raising the appointment has come to make sense. While the G-Star aesthetic leaves much to be desired, it has exactly the kind of construction and fabric know-how that Throup might take advantage of in order to create something interesting outside of his previous conceptual flights of fancy, which have been both creatively mind-blowing and mind-blowingly unattainable. In any case, I am curious to see what will happen, and I would like to share with you our in-depth profile of Throup that I wrote for our print volume 4, in which Throup makes clear that he would be interested to translate his creative vision and formidable design skills into something more accessible.
When in 1987 the American artist Andres Serrano exhibited his photograph titled “Piss Christ,” little did he know that it will send seismic waves through the art world and will forever change its relationship with the U.S. politics.
This past summer a pretty girl in her twenties I know cut her shoulder-length dark hair to military grade shortness, which made her look decidedly less attractive. When I remarked on this to another friend, also in his twenties, he said without hesitation that unattractiveness has become a trend among his peers. You can also see it quite clearly in fashion, especially in the rise of brands as seemingly disparate as Hood by Air, Vetements, Gosha Rubchinskiy, and Gucci, and their calculated ugliness and awkwardness.