History of Fashion: Topic Choice

1.This is the runway photo taken by Jean-Claude Coutausse for Maison Martin  Margiela’s SS1990, Women’s show in the autumn of 1989. The show was settled in an abandoned playground located in the outskirt of Paris. It is in a North African immigrant community and the show was seated as first come first served. Children were chasing about each other and making a lot of noise. The invitations of the show were drawn by those kids on cardboards, like inviting you to play with them in the playground. Raf Simons said about this show that : “As a student I always thought that fashion was a bit superficial, all glitz and glamour, but his show changed everything for me. I walked out of it and I thought, that’s what I’m going to do. That show is the reason I became a fashion designer.”  The reason I chose this image is that I was touched by the atmosphere of acceptance and compassion delivered by this show even only looking at the photograph. Also, with the deconstructed garments with unfinished seams, inside out constructions and recycling methods of diverse vintage clothes, Margiela prolonged the life cycle of garments. And for my personal style, I am attracted by Margiela’s idea of making conventional things unconventionally more and more and finding the hidden beauty of normal objects gradually.

2.This image is from Hussein Chalayan’s SS1998 collection called “Between”. He closed the show with six models wearing black chadors from full length to nude with musk on. According to Chalayan, he wanted to explore “the cultural loss of self” and chador with varied length as a statement of the oppression of islamic women based on his Turkish Cypriot background. “It was supposed to illustrate a particular kind of position. This was about the cultural loss of self,” he said in 1998. I chose this image is because I was totally shocked when seeing this image for the first time. It is hard to see six people standing in a line on the runway, not to say wearing this kind of conceptual and controversial garments. I like how he used garments as the medium to express opinions in a such direct and pure way. His work inspired my last semester’s dress project about gender, handbags and pockets. Women’s pockets are more about aesthetic look than functionality. Lumpy bulge is unacceptable since it is not beautiful, elegant and decent. What I designed is a nine gored dress which one of the gore becomes a lumpy pocket with a huge bow on it, as a decorative and improper pocket.

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