20140608

Chain Reaction

fig a. Wang bases his collection on the Raf Sander 'Tomb Raider' silhouette of panty shorts and rubber boots. He then cross-references the Raf Dior slash fabric technique, almost creating the exact clone in black and hot pink.


fig b. Raf Sandior openly declared his admiration for Helmut Lang and Martin Margiela, yet his designs are built on the tradition of Ghesquière for Balenciaga. Pictured above is the dramaturgical step-up. From sci-fi glasses and stiff sleeveless coats (2007) to vulgar florals and rubber (2011) to stained-glass prints (2012).


fig c. In contrast, Nicolas Ghesquière does not even reference himself. He explores a 1970s feminist architecture for Louis Vuitton without being architectural. His reference is based on culture not fellow creators. And since our future will most likely look like the past, retro-collars and tinted sunglasses are the valid signifiers of our times. Francisco Costa's collection for Calvin Klein evokes a parallel mood that arose from genuine exploration instead of wretched duplication. Applause, please.

1. Alexander Wang for Balenciaga Pre Spring/Summer 2015 & Raf Simons for Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2010
2. Alexander Wang for Balenciaga Pre Spring/Summer 2015 & Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2013
3. Alexander Wang for Balenciaga Pre Spring/Summer 2015
4. Raf Simons for Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2013
5. Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2007
6. Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2011
7. Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2012
8. Raf Simons for Christian Dior Pre Spring/Summer 2015
9. Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton Pre Spring/Summer 2015
10. Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Pre Spring/Summer 2015

The world is Ouroboros and the future is returning. Wang turns to Simons turns to Ghesquière. As usual, the sequel is entertaining and perfectly fulfills all expectations. Yet, the satisfaction comes too early and disappears too soon. A plot summary:

Alexander Wang for Balenciaga = Raf Simons for Jil Sander & Christian Dior (trying)
Raf Simons for Christian Dior = Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga (borrowing)
Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton = Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton (being)

Their new heroine seeks to look strong and sexy. Phrases that please everyone. Blockbuster couture. But no one is handing out popcorn.
/HORST

Image credits Vogue, Catwalking

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