Monday, June 27, 2016

BEAUTY: Clothing--Undercover

Random Dada-esque phrases and signifiers without a signified. This is what made Jun Takahashi’s Undercover Spring Summer '17 collection lookbook so interesting. But are the pieces meaningless--that is, do the words and graphics have meaning? Takahashi once said in an interview that “Clothes have meaning. Otherwise, it’s just cocktail dresses and bags — and that’s not interesting.” So we can be sure that although the phrases and images seem random (the second look below proudly proclaims "IMPROVISED CONCEPTS"), they are not. Perhaps they take on meaning when viewed? Our brains like to assign meaning in an otherwise confusing world.

These pieces end up feeling like they are covered with emblems or crests of teams, movements, countries, or cliques. But the individual texts seem to explode such an imposed order which is most likely Takahashi's subconscious motivation. A few versions of a pixelated Wicked Witch of the West along with slogans like "romanticism handled with discipline," "waiting for the Revolution," "I CAN SEE MORE THAN YOU CAN SEE," and "offence," "stability," and "attack" below images of an owl, seagull, and raven lend an unsettled feeling of subversion.

"In my work I want to express not something merely pretty or cute, but to find something behind it," says Takahashi.

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