>> I really wanted to avoid posting Tour de Force's new S/S 10 collection on the day of Halloween when many will say "Hehehe… that's great… for A COSTUME…". As I've found out walking around shopping and being attracted to the pieces that err towards the showy side of things (I'm fast gaining myself the nickname of "Showpiece"), my costume-tolerance level is pretty high. Actually, TDF's press release threw out a fairly spot-on description of her garments (Camille of Tour de Force is moving into apparel) and hats. That they are supposed to be "VISUAL CATALYSTS". So with a collection inspired by the lines and architectural innovations of Buckminister Fuller as well as other elements like English maypole and gladiator helmets, rather than being reminded of last minute costume options (I'm on EST where people are queueing up around the block at costume places…), when incorporated with simpler things, as with most of the 'Showpieces' that I tend to veer towards, all of TDF's pieces can be toned down and are merely visual catalysts to ramp up an outfit.
>> It's all very last minute me but I'm once again hosting a party at the Tribeca Grand, except this time it's for Halloween and the hotel will be Kubrick-ified The Shining stylee into the Overlook. I'm petrified and excited all at the same time. Some of you may have gathered that I'm in New York at the moment hanging out, eating and NOT spending a lot of time posting (*shame shame shame*). I've given myself tomorrow to find my costume without knowing what exactly it is I want to be but I will make sure it's not half arsed…for people wanting to go to this shindig, please RSVP to the email address on the invite or on this Facebook page.
>> I've always been in two minds about the use of "ethnic" costume in fashion. I'm all for being inspired by the world but where does 'ethnic' costume literal re-hashing start and end. Or even worse, countries, ethnic groups and cultures that form the inspiration end up becoming lumped into one and become one mass genre where a piece of clothing with something a bit unfamiliar looking about it ends up being coined as 'ethnic-looking' (*major eye wincing here…*)
In Paris, I discovered the work of Marani and surprisingly I was very taken with what he had done with his collection, a mainline re-launch (I gather Marani is a casual knitwear brand…). He's pretty specific about where his ideas come from. Actually, it is just the one idea… from Pieter Hugo's photography undertaken in Nigeria, specifically the series "The Hyena and Other Men", Alberto Marani took the dusty tasselled skirts of the hyena tamers and transferred them to a contemporary setting where I could well imagine an ornate layered tasselled skirt worn with a casual silk t-shirt. It's the very specific and singular motif and the way Marani has refined an item of attire that has this very raw kind of beauty that makes complete sense to me.
HAH! Think I'm going to start talking about body image issues? Think again. No, I'm quite literally talking about an Unattainable Body – an item of clothing… those things that make a neat and taut silhouette. And it's unattainable pourquoi?
I think most people are aware of the process of labels and brands making pieces that are only meant for press purposes – i.e. there will be certain items that are made purely for editorial purposes, that will never go into production and will never be sold. It's no secret that high street stores also do this. I might get excited about something at a Topshop press day and start clapping my hands in glee but then months later, I'll manically search for that item only to find it never went into production.
I therefore present you with the Unattainable Body… from New Look to be precise. I saw this piece used in the initial A/W 09 lookbook images in my bid to find out whether I could start buying more things from this store that has somehow always stumped me. Anyhow the body was stuck in my head… and then stuck even further when I saw it used in a Sunday style supplement shoot. I loved the body's similarity to a scuba suit, the leopard print that is a crossed over with camo and the leather panelling… oh and the obvious fact that it's a body onesie and so has that ability to smooth over everything.
As it happens, New Look were glad to obligingly send me this prototype of the body but kindly explained that the body did not go into production as it did not get pass the 'customer focus group' stage and will therefore not be on sale. Now, I could be completely isolated in my body-scuba-suit-loving rut but I'm just wondering who are the 'customers' that are saying 'Nay' to things, that end up preventing designs from making it to the shop floor for the wider public. What's the 'focus' process…? How does one get in on the customer focus game to have this all-powerful ability to inform what will be going into the stores? Do they provide the focus groups with sufficient sandwiches and beverages to make sure they can Yay/Nay clothes more efficiently? Are there placards with points from 0-10…? Is there someone in the group who is specificlaly ANTI-onesie? Important questions I believe…
Like I said, I'm bo no means an 'average' (mean, meadian AND mode) customer and probably given the choice, I would YAY everything seeing as I'm a firm believer in choice… thus you'd get stores looking completely overstuffed and unedited. This Unattainable Body on my back (sounds strange to keep referring to the 'bod'…) isn't here to say but it's pretty much a dead loss now seeing as the stores are moving onto spring summer samples … perhaps next time, I will make it my mission to join this supposed 'customer forcus group…" as Yays are always better than Nays.
**EDIT** Bloody hell… just re-read this and realised it made no sense whatsoever… I wrote this late at night and promptly fell asleep… on the keyboard… hello keyboard marks on face… great look for shopping in New York, no?