Monday, June 11, 2018

BEAUTY: Clothing--A Cold Wall

And here we go with London Fashion Week Men's, our first stop on this Spring Summer '19 fashion month.

I remember back in the day when a Fall-Winter clothing collection was made up of pieces for cold weather and a Spring-Summer collection was made up of pieces for breezy spring days and hot summer months. But that started to devolve several years ago and designers now present whatever they want for Fall-Winter or Spring Summer. Perhaps it has something to do with climate change and how, especially here in Northern California, it is now cold when it used to be warm and it is now warm when it used to be cold. We live in a topsy-turvy world in more ways than one right now.

A Cold Wall's Samuel Ross presented a Spring-Summer '19 collection featuring puffy pieces of Arctic wear, albeit tempered with clear PVC tops and airy mesh vests. It doesn't bring to mind summer time leisure but I am sure that is the point. This is survival wear to survive the global cataclysms happening now. Odd shaped pouches and packs were strapped to models indicating we might need to run at any moment with only what we can carry on our backs.While the collection is not groundbreaking, I am including it because the silhouette of the collection is very architectural (think if Frank Gehry made clothing with misaligned plackets and asymmetrical hoods) and interestingly fabricated. But also because Ross' presentation verged on performance art. The show opened with a troop of clay (timely volcanic ash?)-covered feral spirits marching through the venue. They returned after the clothing, wheeling out a large cube made of styrofoam which they proceeded to rip apart in a frenzy of destruction (all audience members in the front row were provided with clear protective glasses, earbuds, and face-masks to safeguard against the "experience"). Once exposed, a nude man--nicely endowed I might add--crawled out of a shallow pool of red-tinted "amniotic fluid," an allusion to the idea of birth and a renewed and clarified direction the designer feels.

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