Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Paris Fall 2013: When the sacred is so-so

Saint Laurent F 2013

Fashion needs boredom. Without it there woud never be a breakthrough of the new. So perhaps, after an inspired Paris Spring 2013 season, the Fall 2013 collections could be expected to be less interesting. As in every season, there were some adventurous pieces many highlighted on this site, but at large Paris fashion unfortunately underwhemed. When I dared to say on Twitter that the sacred Saint Laurent collection was merely so-so, I immediately lost a dozen followers, only to see similar comments later. Other prized designers like Louis Vuitton, Stella and even Chanel disappointed the press. 

Saint Laurent F 2013

Aesthetic evaluation is highly subjective. Media prefers the simplicity of "in" or "out," but the reality is that there are very subtle variations to color and form. If we look at Paris for fall, colors and forms are by all accounts basic and drab. Paris has had a cold and dreary winter, perhaps influencing Marc Jacobs to create pajamas for Louis Vuitton. But what is fashion if not the exact thing that inspires us to step out of our pajamas?

Above Louis Vuitton F 2013 and below Marc Jacobs dresses himself in color

Fashion is a creative medium like art, a high point of inspiration that serves as a beacon out of the everyday. Great design evokes great living. It can encourage us to live with greater dignity and vitality. That does not mean that a great life needs materialism but that when living with things crafted with integrity we live better, even in the most basic of items. In the same way colors, creativity and risk in design communicate to users, as do formless, unflattering shapes.

Stella McCartney

I always look forward to the Paris shows as the risk taking arena for fashion extremes. This season was largely status quo with a few exceptions. We must also ask if the other extreme of wild color and form is compatible with daily life? 

Comme Des Garçons

Raf Simons, who took over Dior from wild child Galliano, captures an essence in the French phrase marrying the beautiful and useful. There are not only two options that fashion must be extreme or safe, it can be both. Fashion can be as inspiring as art but must be lived in. The best of fashion, and living, does so with a creative elegance that is not boring at all.


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