I’m going to be frank. I haven’t done a great deal since I got back from California.  Call it a freelance funk.  Every time I try and muster up some energy to plan a day of worthwhile activities, my mind wanders back to the meeting of sea, vertical cliffs and redwood trees in Big Sur, soundtracked by Yumi Zouma and You’ll Never Get to Heaven.  And then I go into a Sur-induced slump.  The slowdown does of course coincide with the quiet August before fashion weeks brew up again in September.  But hush… who wants to think about that just yet, when I can sit around Googling images that relate to sulphur baths at the Esalen Institute, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell at the Big Sur Folk Festival and read and re-read Big Sur literary aficionados Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller and Hunter S. Thompson and what they have to say about this place, this “myth-make’s paradise, so vast and so varied and so beautiful that the imagination of the visitor is tempted to run wild at the sight of it.”

Back in July during couture week in Paris, I went to see the recently opened David Yurman boutique in Galeries Lafayette.  A brief history of David Yurman and wife Sybil reveals that a young Yurman once incidentally hitchhiked his way to Big Sur in the early 60s, to revel in the beatnik wave that wound up here in Miller’s wake.  David and Sybil’s sculptural and freehand artistic approach towards jewellery makes David Yurman as a brand, an unusual entity in the world of fine jewellery as DY calls for bracelets, rings and necklaces to be stacked, clang about and worn with a lack of preciousness that belies the actual gemstones and metals.  DY’s signature cable bracelets and pavé rings are here to temporarily bring some sparkle to my Big Sur-ified solitude, before the the real toil of the day begins.

0E5A2861Wearing Molly Goddard dress and David Yurman jewellery

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20150708_172915Selection of David Yurman cable bracelets taken at Galeries Lafayette boutique

Big Sur at Esalen

0E5A2931David Yurman Petit Pavé rings

Esalen_1Esalen Institute, Big Sur

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Woman roaring w. laughter as she undergoes a  head-tapping session, part of a sensory awareness class in an encounter group at the Esalen Institute.Woman undergoing a head-tapping session, as part of a sensory awareness class in an encounter group at the Esalen Institute

0E5A2935David Yurman gold cable bracelets

Big-Sur-Glass-Roof-Yurt-Built-in-1976-4 by Mickey MuennigGlass roof yurt in Big Sur in 1976 built by Mickey Muennig

20150708_173916David Yurman pinkie ring and Willow ring

American actor Steve McQueen (1930 - 1980) and his wife, Philippine-born actress Neile Adams, sit together in a sulphur bath, Big Sur, California, June 1963 by John DominisSteve McQueen and his wife Neile Adams in a sulphur bath, Big Sur in 1963 photographed by John Dominis

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Sandy and Agar, Big Sur, 1961, by Hunter S. ThompsonSandy and Agar in Big Sur 1961 photographed by Hunter S. Thompson

0E5A2943David Yurman Labyrinth and Confetti ring

Man_Ray_Juliet_at_Big_Sur 1940Juliet at Big Sur 1940 photographed by Man Ray 

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A woman sitting on a rock, playing a wooden flute, on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif., on April 1, 1987 by Matthew NaythonsWoman sitting on a rock playing a wooden flute at Esalen Institute in Big Sur 1987 photographed by Matthew Naythons

20150708_174020David Yurman Midnight Melange ring taken at the Galeries Lafayette boutique

adarsha_benjamin_big_sur_fool_of_illusion_2-777x765Photograph by Adarsha Benjamin

0E5A2965Close up of David Yurman Renaissance bracelets

huntersthompsongonzo2Rogue magazine, October 1961 – Big Sur: The Tropic of Henry Miller by Hunter S. Thompson 

0E5A2918David Yurman Hampton gold chain necklace, oval large link necklace and silver buckle chain necklace

Mimi Farina Wedding to Milan MelvinPhotograph from Mimi Farina’s Big Sur wedding to Milan Melvin in 1969

20150708_174419David Yurman Starburst double ring

Joan Baez at the Big Sur Folk Festival, 1969Joan Baez at Big Sur Folk Festival

0E5A2973David Yurman Renaissance bracelets

Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Baez perform at Esalen Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, and Joan Baez performing at Big Sur Folk Festival at Esalen in 1969

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originally uploaded @ http://melisaki.tumblr.comSulfur bath in Big Sur 1949 photographed by Ellen Auerbach

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I’m not personally a fan of nostalgic regressions into the past.  Themed 1950s rockabilly bars with mandatory poodle skirts and busty cardigans?  No thanks.  Insisting that eating wartime rationed diets and rag rolling your hair into victory rolls is far superior to what the 21st century has to offer?  Not for me.  

And yet Port Eliot Festival with its bucolic ideals, lack of 3G (there’s a three metre square patch near the campsite where you might just be able to check an email or two) and its elevation of activities such as camp fire building, wild water swimming and stargazing doesn’t grate me in the same way as those aforementioned nostalgic retro-fests do.  Sarah Mower, who presides over Port Eliot’s ever-growing Wardrobe Department, housing all the fashion happenings at the festival, decided to christen this year’s proceedings with a theme, that could well sum up the appeal of the festival in general.  Medievalism, or specifically a Game of Thrones-inspired bout of Medievalism, was in full swing this year. 

Never mind the fact that the house itself dates back to the 12th century or that you can walk into an 11th century chapel on a Sunday, but everywhere you go, you’re reminded of a pre-industrial and pre-internet way of life.  Whether it’s a survival workshop manned by, Skye Gyngell of Spring advocating you to eat according to what comes out of good English soil or the numerous crafting sessions, which have grown thanks to the magazine Hole & Corner bringing indigo dying, clog making and pottery to the festival’s fray.  This particular strand of neo-Medievalism never veers into costume or role-playing territory.  It’s about glimpsing into the aesthetics and the practises for a few days of escapism.  With the benefit of distinctly un-Medieval comforts like ace food (Angus & Mitchell’s porky offerings and The Oyster Shack‘s seafood were this year’s standouts).  And when balanced with Port Eliot’s idiosyncratic line-up of progressive speakers, creatives and musicians (Ron Arad talking about his design process, electronic outfit Stealing Sheep and street poetry in the Ways of the Weird tent were my personal highlights), even with some nostalgic elements, it’s clear that free thinking reigns supreme here.  

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The madcap and yes, perhaps retro-tinged elements are all still there at Port Eliot.  The Vintage Tea Ladies, who call you “Luv” and faux smoke their fags.  The village fete-inspired Flower and Fodder show with people competing in jams, cakes and Alice in Wonderland themed flower and veg displays.

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IMG_2212Wearing Somewhere Nowhere top, LES by Lesia Paramonova dress, Nike shorts, Minna Parikka shoes and Prada bag

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Renowned film costume designer Sandy Powell – a longtime friend and frequenter of the festival – brought her thousand layered dress and Swarovski glass slippers, created for this year’s live action film version of Cinderella, to the Port Eliot House.  The dress in particular looked magnificent in the similarly blue-hued central drawing room.  When she spoke to Tim Blanks, she asserted that absolutely no CGI magic was involved in the dress’ magical wafting properties, as it was just down to “good old fashioned dress making.”

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A much welcome new addition to the festival was the beautiful craft magazine Hole & Corner‘s collaborative stand with Plymouth University, where daily workshops took place, led by people like bag designer Bill Amberg and paper artist Zoe Bradley.  The craft portion of the festival as a result was substantially beefed up, pleasing a crowd that were eager to get their hands dirty with pottery classes and woodworking.

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The Anthropologie tent is no more and in its place, Port Eliot kept it local with Cornish lifestyle brand Seasalt coming in and enticing the crowd with deckchairs, a free-to-play piano and marinière shirt customising workshops.

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In the bigger and better Wardrobe Department thanks to the voluntary support of members of the British Fashion Council, Port Eliot regulars like Stephen Jones (donning his Fashion Police cap), Barbara Hulanicki and Jenny Dyson running her Pencil Atelier were all back.  Other notable illustrators like New York Times contributor Damien Florebert Cuypers came in to conduct lessons.  Piers Atkinson was also back to help festival goers create their own permanent headbands and hats with synthetic flowers.  The emphasis this year was on teaching the process of a milliner as opposed to just handing over a ready-made headdress to someone.

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IMG_1525Rosanna Falconer looking lovely in Matthew Williamson and her Piers Atkinson wreath

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IMG_1536Wearing Risto shirt, vintage dress, Issey Miyake Pleats Please trousers, Nike trainers

The Wardrobe Department got a real space boost this year with the adjoining garden, dubbed the Theatre of Fashion.  This meant more talks, more workshops and more activities that stick to Mower’s aim of simultaneously adding substance to the subject of fashion as well as making it look fun.  “At heart, I think of everything we do here is to return fashion to a state where everyone can rediscover – or actually discover for the first time- the absolute delight in being creative, making things, talking, thinking and working together,” said Mower.  “That sounds soppy, but I will fiercely defend it as more and more important as the fashion system has morphed into such a rigid, corporate, harsh and relentless machine which is not generally kind and inclusive – and rarely ever laughs and lets its imagination off the leash.”

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Central Saint Martins MA graduates Luke Brooks and Beth Postle, who are still enjoying the process of their own unbounded creativity took to the Theatre of Fashion with their screen painted t-shirts with festival motifs and their own take on new ageism.  And the bigger they were the better as sizes went up to 8 XL.

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The Theatre of Fashion meant I could also get involved too this year as I was joined by knitwear designer Katie Jones to talk about sustainability in fashion.  The original plan was the crochet and chat.  Turns out, it’s really much too hard to crochet and chat about a weighty subject like sustainability, at the same time.  According to Katie, you can watch Eastenders, whilst working the crochet hooks.  She also conducted crochet workshops on fruity leather patches, where people surprisingly excelled in.   It might not have been seasonally correct to talk about Katie’s AW15 Let Them Eat Cake colourful knits but they certainly came in handy, when Katie and her crew could keep warm in the chilly Cornish night time temperatures.

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To mark Mower’s theme, tv and film set designer Derek Brown together with Port Eliot’s creative director Michael Howells created this impressive central Medieval banquet tableaux as well as a recreation of the boat in John Waterhouse’s Lady of Shalott painting.

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The tie in with the Wardrobe Department’s theme carried through to the talks.  Fashion historian NJ Stephenson and Mark Butterfield of C20 Vintage Fashion were back to talk about 140 years of Liberty Prints in lieu of the upcoming exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum.  It was less about the inception of those original prints and their associations with the Arts & Crafts Movement but more about the way they wove in with the visual identity of 1960s radicalism in Swinging London and the Medieval Revivalism, popular in the 70s.

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Bumble & Bumble also took a hair cue from the Medieval period with braids and plaits a plenty thanks to both the Braid Bar and Bleach hair whizz Alex Brownsell teaching people how to recreate the styles of 14th and 15th century hair muses.

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I too got my complex braid on thanks to Bumble & Bumble stylist Sven Bayerbach.

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M.A.C. Cosmetics were also back with daily moodboards creating Pre-Raphaelite or tribal tattoo inspired looks on demand, which is where my black dotty and gold face came from.  I do miss Louise Gray’s more freehand face painting antics though.

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Mower’s Medieval theme definitely culminated on Saturday when the biggest draw of the festival had Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, former costume designer for GoT Michele Clapton (she just resigned after five seasons) and former production designer Gemma Jackson who worked on GoT for the first three seasons, in conversation with Mower.  Christie provided the comic relief as well as impressing us with her armour and sword welding skills in clips from the show, and Jackson and Clapton shed much insight into the level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into the costumes and sets of the show.  For example, I had no idea Sansa’s wedding outfits were imbued with so much meaning with their embroidered lions and corseted discomfort.  For GoT fans, this was a mega treat.  For those that weren’t, hearing about Jackson and Clapton’s work process is nonetheless inspiring.

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The GoT panel was followed up by a demonstration of how the show has refracted its way into fashion and into another bout of subconscious Medieval revival.  Mower and Alexander Fury came together to discuss the influences of both the show and a Medieval mood on fashion designers, both contemporary and from the past.  “I thought the resonances of Thrones are really profound – the idea of medieval fantasy, with all that horror, brutality and  bloodshed involved, seems like a mirror held up to today, in my mind,” explained Mower.  Accompanying them was a staggeringly ambitious fashion show – casted from the crowd as well as featuring the photogenic Warren family – Port Eliot’s unofficial models.  Mower was initially afraid of reaching out to designers but it turns out they were unbelievably accommodating.  Sarah Burton lent her Anglican church-inspired pre-fall 2013 Alexander McQueen collection.  Dolce & Gabbana’s Norman invasion of Sicily A/W 14-5 collection featured heavily too.  Mary Katrantzou, Giles, Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh also popped up with their whiffs of Medieval.  To show that this bout of Medievalism isn’t just a fuelled by Game of Thrones, pieces by Zandra Rhodes, Laura Ashley and Thea Porter from the 70s and 80s also featured.  Styled by Ed Marler and Matthew Josephs, the outfits had a weirdly contemporary resonance especially with surprise additions like recent RCA graduate Hannah Williams’ latex pieces and J.W. Anderson’s debut collection for Loewe.  The context explained and discussed by Mower and Fury brought these Kings, Queens, knights, ladies and serfs to life.  “One of the girls who we randomly cast for the Medieval show came up to me and said ‘I love wearing these clothes but listening to the talk was even better.  I had no idea fashion could be so deep!'”

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IMG_20150801_154503Georgie in Thea Porter was able to reenact William Waterhouse’s Lady of Shalott painting in his brilliant set 

IMG_2199Myself, Sean Baker from Paul Smith and Anders Christian Madsen of i-D couldn’t help but jump on that boat too

Away from fashion historicism and contextual analysis, Port Eliot is still faithful to giving children the opportunity to make and create.  “The children’s fashion show is a highlight of the festival and not just because it’s cute,” said Mower.  “Underlying all this is a mission to plant the idea that you CAN make things with your own hands, and it’s fun!  Now that art in schools is practically being stamped out it is really moving to me to see how many really young people just are naturally dying to be creative – and this is something I would like to take beyond Port Eliot as part of the BFC Education campaign.”  Whether Mower and the BFC accomplishes this missive, it is still lovely to see kids expressing themselves with their fashion show outfits and similarly seeing people get silly with their Port Eliot prom outfits.

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IMG_2283Winners of this year’s Port Eliot Prom

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IMG_2301I thought Phoebe Colling-James’ pineapple was an ace prom ensemble

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IMG_2363Modern Man t-shirt, Molly Goddard dress, J-Brand jeans, vintage Courréges jacket, Vans x & Other Stories slip ons

Despite the Medieval slant, Mower has added yet more New Gen designers to the festival to showcase what is actually happening in the here and now of fashion.  Marta Marques and Paola Almeida came down to talk about the attitude and the mood of the Marques Almeida “girl”, embodied once again by the Warren Sisters and make-up looks by MAC.  It’s a celebration of imperfection – night bus hair, chalk dust eye shadow and smeared on eyeliner.  It’s the kind of fashion and attitude that might seem blindingly obvious to those in the industry but to the average festival goer at Port Eliot, it’s a message that is worth repeating.  With the support of the British Fashion Council (who tirelessly worked on the festival from dawn till dusk), Mower has fostered a spirit of inclusivity, intelligence and spontaneity in the Wardrobe Department and the Theatre of Fashion.  It’s one of the few places where the fashion activities and programming, doesn’t replicate the shallow and cut-throat cliches that are perpetuated about the industry in the media.  Long may this continue.

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IMG_2422Wearing vintage stripy top, Dries van Noten vest, Comme des Garcons trousers, Vans x & Other Stories slip ons

With thanks to Yurtel for providing accommodation at Port Eliot.

i know next to nothing about vintage denim.  I also know next to nothing about vintage t-shirts.  I do however love rabid obsessions and Americana vintage as seen at Lot Stock and Barrel garners the sort of feverish geekery that is somehow quite pleasing, in a world where detail and minutiae are being glossed over.  Originally in the Downtown area, LS&B have now moved to a bigger space in the Arts District around from my favourite shop Poketo, making it a welcome addition to this pocket of LA.

The first impression when you step into Florence Tang and Ben Phillips’ store is one of familiarity.  We’ve been hoodwinked with dime-a-dozen identikit Americana vintage stores, which have also been adopted by high street brands in their visual merchandising (American Eagle, Pull & Bear, Jack Wills etc etc).  But have a few words with Ben, the co-founder of LS&B and you know you’re speaking to someone, who is seriously passionate about what they’re selling.  Scouring all over America, they’ve been able to curate (yes, I’ll rightfully use that dreaded word in this instance) garment stories, inspired by certain epochs or movements that inspire them be it creatives living in Topanga Canyon in the 1960s or Edward Abbey’s treatise on preserving our natural surroundings.  Their website certainly shows a level of depth and detail that shows that they’re willing to go far beyond the mere surface of Americana.

Authenticity is a huge part of that too.  And central to the store is a an old Singer machine – one that operates with a hand crank and foot pedal, running up single needle chain stitch embroidery that you would have seen in Western wear of the past like Nudie.  Since embroidery computerisation in the 1960s, these manually operated machines have largely fallen out of fashion but as Ben very kindly showed me, punching the outline through a paper template and filling it in with a circular motion gives this type of embroidery a type of texture that like LS&B’s store concept, has real depth.  Ben learnt his trade with a group of veterans that are carrying on this tradition.  Tommy D, Tul Jutargate and Ed Hernandez are known as the The Chain Gang, and from their East LA base, they’ve been servicing the car and bike club circles with their custom embroidery and chenille patches for years.  It’s not a public service but rather an insider’s gang, who operate much like tattoo artists, embroidering their dynamic designs on club jackets only for those in the car/bike circles.  Being a biker himself, Ben has been apprenticing with The Chain Gang and invited them to set up a residence at the store, running up custom designs or pre-chosen patches such as Lot Stock & Barrel’s logo and in-house mascot “Elsby”.  I love the idea of a trio of tough bikers hammering out embroidery on an old Singer.  it’s a dichotomous image that shows a level of respect for a craft that has been handed down through wartime souvenir jackets to letterman and varsity jackets to greaser sub cultures.  It’s about showing the true mark of belonging to a gang or club and so LS&B offers that same mark of authenticity to your chosen shirt, jacket or denim garment.    

Denim and tee’s aren’t necessarily my thing and we stumbled in by accident, jaded by generic vintage commodification but instead we were met by truly geeky passion.  I left a week later with *oh no she didn’t* a pair of denim cut-off shorts embroidered with Mexican-inspired flowers.  It was the Singer stitching that did it…

Lot Stock & Barrel at  801 1/2 Traction Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013, Open Tuesday – Sunday; 12-7 pm

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A brilliant little documentary LS&B produced dedicated to The Chain Gang:

Their 2015 lookbook:

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I went into the China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition at the Met last week whilst in New York with fairly low expectations, because I had pre-show suspicions that the theme had been shoe-horned in to appeal to tourists (lowered still by the lukewarm-ish reviews of the show).  Of course though, my own cultural background made the show all the more intriguing.

I was aware of the premise of the show curated by Andrew Bolton.  “This exhibition attempts to propose a less politicised and more positivistic examination of Orientalism as a site of infinite and unbridled creativity,” reads the introductory wall text. “The show is “not about China per se, but about a collective fantasy of China.”  Edward Said.  Orientalism.  This hard-to-pin-down idea of what is the proper way of appropriating culture.  Say no more.  I’m there, if not to admire, then certainly to critique. 

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Entering the lower levels of this vast three floor exhibition the sweeping sounds of Ryuichi Sakamaoto’s soundtrack for The Last Emperor hit me as well as a wall of opulent Manchu robes encased in glass globules alongside examples where Qing dynasty attire have infected Western fashion designers – with Tom Ford’s A/W 2004-5 collection for Yves Saint Laurent taking centre stage.   Though the impact of Qing robes can date further back as seen in pieces like a curiously printed shirt by Coco Chanel from the 1920s.  It opens with this historical reference as the exhibition maintains it’s one of the primary Chinese references that infect designers.

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Then swiftly on, film montages curated by Wong Kar Wai are themed around what is another potent period of inspiration – the early 20th century adoption of the quipao or cheongsam – best expressed in Wong Kar Wai’s films like In the Mood for Love or Eros.  Mandarin collared dresses by Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacob’s Louis Vuitton also sit side by side with 1920s-1930s examples of cheongsams.

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You wazz through Cultural Revolution-era China – clearly there aren’t enough Western takes on the Mao suit to showcase – and then get transported to Anna May Wong’s role in our first connection with China through Hollywood.  Adjoining rooms include dedications to the obvious benchmark collections such as Yves Saint Laurent’s 1977 A/W haute couture collection that had Mongol costume mashing up with Qing dynasty or Valentino’s recent special haute couture collection made for a show in Beijing backgrounded by classics like Raise the Red Lantern or Farewell my Concubine.  Blue and white porcelain also features heavily as a favoured decorative motif for designers like Roberto Cavalli, Valentino and Rodarte, to use as they wish. 

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Although certain collections from the late 20th century dominate the exhibition, Bolton does manage to make the point that looking to China for inspiration is something that goes back to a time before 20th century fashion.  In another lavish room, an 18th century French silk mantua in the spirit of Western chinoiserie is reflected in a faded mirror as is a brilliantly oddball toile de jouy gown with jutting out hooped skirts from John Galliano’s S/S 03 haute couture collection.  Reflected upon, refracted and ultimately re-intepreted – that’s how cultural references are cycled through in fashion – and the exhibition attempts to show this process in its best light.

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Where it becomes incredibly impressive is the centre room dedicated mostly to that aforementioned couture collection by Galliano.  They sit around a Chinese garden with a projected moon on the ceiling reflected on the water, a reference to the Chinese title of the exhibition – literally “Moon in the Water”.  The dramatic lighting makes the beautiful garments hint and glint at you.  In fact, Galliano’s work for Dior runs throughout the exhibition as one of the most heightened primary examples of the West looking Eastwards in fashion.  That collection was fascinating precisely because the manifestation was borne entirely out of wild imagination.  And it’s at that point you begin to forget about all concerns of cultural appropriation.

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Another favourite moment has to be the final portion of the exhibition where in amongst perspex bamboo rods, Craig Green’s zen-inspired S/S 15 collection – the one that made everyone cry – dominates.  That’s no mean feat for a young British menswear designer.  Word on the street is that Anna Wintour asked specifically for Green’s work to be included.  That’s heartening to know.  Green’s talent deserves to be recognised on this big big stage.

And by the by, the design, layout and arrangement really is fantastic.  Stephen Jones’ head dresses for the mannequins in particular really elevated it all.

But… and there is a but.  You leave with some what if’s.  The way the exhibition skirted around the idea of appropriation was as polite as most of the attendees at the Met Ball.  Beautiful?  Yes.  Risk-taking in terms of its critique.  Perhaps not.  In essence, the show writes itself out of any responsibility to represent Chinese attire in historic and accurate fashion as we’re invited to pass a non-judgemental and celebratory gaze over the garments on show.  But where does that leave the treatise on Orientalism?  What is the curator saying critically about this tendency that pervades fashion to “exoticise” the East?  To better illustrate the point of seeing China through the Western designer’s eye, you could bring in examples of work inspired by other parts of Asia, namely Japan – arguably a far larger influence on Western designers than China.  This would point to a cultural malaise that does infect the Western eye when appropriating “Asian” culture – that crossovers and misunderstanding  can often occur.  If the exhibition had retained its original title, “Chinese Whispers” it certainly would have helped to delve deeper into the “misunderstanding” part of the exhibition.

On the other hand, you wonder whether cultural appropriation deserves to be lambasted in the first place where China is concerned.  Adopting the mandarin collar or embroidering a dragon on a dress is not necessarily on the same level of cultural denigration as say wearing a feathered headdress from Native American culture at a festival.  When I went a second time with Steve on Sunday, I was surrounded by a throng of Chinese tourists.  You could overhear their comments of approval and fascination with the subject at hand.  Dresses by Rodarte or Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium collection were largely alien to them but their fantasised familiarity made for pretty and positive viewing.    

As it stands, Andrew Bolton and his team have succeeded at spectacularly showcasing the sumptuous visions of “Cathay” (as China was once known) conjured up by mostly Western designers, framed by superb exhibition design and film clips that present a smorgasbord of fantasy.  For better or for worse, they assert our collective imagination of women looking sensual and demure in qui-paos, beautiful brides in red and dashing men flying about in kung fu movies.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Especially when those images are created by Chinese people themselves (most of the directors of the films mentioned are Chinese).  In fact, the whole exhibition could be the equivalent of watching one of those visually rich films.  You’re seeing imagination at work as opposed to authenticity being dictated.