Words usually reel out of my head in verbal diarrhea often resulting in incoherent prose littered with typos and double word errors. This is just the way it generally operates at Style Bubble HQ otherwise you'd just be staring at a big ol' gaudy banner and not much else.
However, this post seems to be tripping me up a bit as the subject matter is so personal. It's with hesitation and excitement that I write about this particular designer. Hesitation because he's a close friend of mine. Excitement because he's a close friend of mine. The name Anthony Vaccarello has been floated around here before mainly because of a headdress he gifted me from his graduate collection and because of my first encounter with him all the way back in 2006 when I somehow landed in Texas because of the Arts of Fashion event and he was somehow there too. With quite a few Eurostar trips to Brussels and Paris, some cheapo Ryanair flights to Hyeres, it's been something of a long distance friendship. But Anthony is one of the rare few that can take an infinite nattering about fashion without feeling a smidge tired so I'll keep on searching for those ¬£24.50 Eurostar fares with gusto.
After winning the Grand Prize at Hyeres in 2006, he worked a short stint at Fendi and has now decided to go it alone with his debut collection that I've seen from start to finish. When I say seen, I really mean countless emails back and forth with mahussive attachments 'work-in-progress' pics, which would clog up the Typepad server if I posted them up here. There's been worries, struggles, fear and loathing and all of that boo-hoo-ness that comes with designing and creating your own collection all by your lonesome self. But of course, none of that matters to you guys because it's all down to the finished product.
So here we have it. Anthony Vaccarello's collection that will be presented at Maria Luisa next week during couture fashion week in Paris (during which I will be there…). Here comes the hard part. How to convey how I feel about it without sounding like there is bias towards him as a friend. The god honest truth?
What matters to me the most about the designers that I write about is their point of view as opposed to a certain aestetic and the stronger that point of view is, the more I'm attracted to their work. Anthony's POV is strong to the point of violent. I didn't even bother asking Anthony the usual drivel of 'What
influenced you?' because I didn't want that to alter my own gut
feeling. The dresses undress and shield the body all at the same time. There aren't reams of fabric to hide behind but when sculpted, shaped, pulled taut, let loose and moulded to the body, there's an awesome power that is waiting to be unleashed in these reinforced, blooming black body flowers that snake around the body.
Sexy is a word I've found hard to come to terms with these dresses I can almost touch that S word with the skin seen through the sheer printed pink organza, a black thick strap across the side of the breast, a slit down the shoulder and I only want to touch that word through this complex route. It isn't easy. It isn't wishy washy. It's not a throw-it-on-anyway-anyhow affair. There are just too many of those easy ways out around and perhaps more so at this point in time and dresses like these serve as a reminder that we don't have to all throw on clothes in a quickfire way and that effort is perfectly acceptable.
Perhaps I've said too much and probably the text is throwaway when faced with the images below. Oh well. I'll just keep this post for my own reference then to remind myself of why I continue to seek out the points of views in fashion, the stronger the better and how this is a prime example.
Photographs by Yang Wang