Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BEAUTY: Clothing--Meadham Kirchhoff

Meadham Kirchhoff (Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff) are known for their unusual, densely layered narratives that inspire their collections and their presentation for Fashion East Menswear Installations at this year's London Collections: Men was no exception. Um, let's see... how to explain...

First, the physical theme is clearly Eastern Europe. Models in rubber rain gear wore shoes with handpainted Slavic embellishments and matryoshka dolls while a film of stock footage of Communist Germany played overhead. Meadham and Kirchhoff explained that Communist era cartoons played a part in the design as well, which explains the animal wellies and cute little sacs and bags covered with critters and primary shapes of felted wool.

The psychological narrative is a lot more nuanced. These child-like models in light, bright, fun clothing were joined by models in heavy, dark layers which were shed, layer by layer, and forced upon the child-like models. (I am only showing one of the heavier, darker looks here:the Communist Youth League-esque outfit in the middle on the bottom row.) “The boys who were wearing the white outfits were being stripped of their personalities by the other boys who were somehow more conforming,” Meadham said. So conformity smothers--and kills--creativity. Adulthood smothers--and kills--childhood. Or perhaps, on a larger political scale, oppressive regimes (Communist Germany) smother--and kill--youthful wonder and a joyous sense of life. All expressed--obliquely--in clothing.

No comments: