Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Death Becomes You


Banks Violette, Not Yet Titled, 2009

In a Samarkand legend, a servant encounters the specter of Death at the market. The ominous figure looks at the servant and the makes a gesture in his direction. Trembling with fear, the servant runs to his master and tells him about the gesture. He asks for a horse and then flees to Samarkand. Later, the master summons Death and reproaches him for frightening one of his best servants. And Death replies, "I did not mean to frighten him. I was just surprised to see your servant today at the market when we have a rendez-vous tomorrow in Samarkand."

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, S 2011

Rick Owens, F 2011

Death. The decline and decay of mortality allows for renewal and new life, and thus fashion needs death. Death as a concept evokes frailty, darkness, trauma, sickness, decline and most recognizably - black. Black is also the fashion standard, the timeless color code that dominates the closet of the servants in the fashion industry. Black and white have become the serious, non-verbal dialectic for the most significant designers. Color is used to selectively punctuate the conversation in spring but this fall, the specter of death speaks loudly, using macabre capes and gothic overtones.

YSL, F 2011

"Hell – golden age. Key words for this hell: ennui, gambling, pauperism. One canon for these dialectics: fashion. The golden age as catastrophe." Walter Benjamin, “Das Passagen-Werk,” 1927-1940. Benjamin was fascinated by the 19th century. "The Raven" from 1845 was a significant turn culminating in the ultimate celebration of death in À Rebours, by Joris-Karl Huysmans in 1884.


"And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain, Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;...But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token," "The Raven"

Celine, F 2011

“‘They don’t divert me, the pleasures other people enjoy,’” protested Des Esseintes.” ...He obtains a large tortoise and has it covered in gold and gemstones for amusement. In describing the death of the tortoise, he remarked: “it had not been able to support the dazzling luxury imposed on it, the shining garment in which it had been clad.," À Rebours, by Joris-Karl Huysmans

Alexander Wang, F 2011

Lanvin, F 2011

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