Half-way through a decade that will define its generation, the 2010s stand in strong competition to the 1910s. While the 1920s represent the cultural climax of gender, emancipation and the arts, we are looking forward to history repeating itself.
As the term implies, suddenly consumer products are seen as art pieces to be curated, to be bought, to be collected. Suddenly, fashion is exhibited in online shops and closets at home. Maybe, fashion is not made to be worn. Maybe clothes are made to be worn. Maybe we do not have a name for fashion that is to be worn. The quintessence of this approach is called 'Raf Simons / Sterling Ruby'.
Inspiration and interpretation have been replaced by 'reference'. Assemblage and collage have been replaced by 'copy'. Originality is no longer measured by the degree of newness but the value of historic research. To remain innovative now means to source iconic garments before anyone else, to make the unknown known without revealing the originator's identity. Or repeatedly revealing the latter.
The acronym of 'warm' and 'form', womenswear designers from Stella McCartney to Phoebe Philo at Céline promote a tube-like silhouette, preferably layered in slouchy, over-proportioned knitwear. A hybrid of sci-fi pyjamas and luxe daydresses for the mall. Lately, Donatella Versace let men follow. Towards the end of gender.
Men have changed their physique. The post-heroin days of Hedi Slimane's 2001 Dior Homme are long gone. The alpha human has gymed up - but never too much - to re-establish the Greek ideal, best visible in contrapposto pose.
With three main figures of subversion at the helm of leading Parisian luxury houses, Slimane, Simons and Ghèsquiere represent the new elite of the hyped and heightened of pop culture's mainstream machinery. And it never sold better. Cling onto your archive pieces and start collecting the new: Craig Green, J.W. Anderson and Gosha Rubchinskiy.
We do not call it sportswear or streetwear anymore. In the 2010s, every movement is about performance. Consequently, we dress as extreme athletes. In neoprene sweaters, lycra bodysuits and high-tech high-heels. Dressing up for doing nothing.
Post-feminist art, post-gender fashion, post-postmodern design. Everything we have left behind is boomerang-banging back on us. A return to craft and a turn towards the undefined. Designers of the 2010s create from scratch and leave the design process visible. Flaws and mistakes constitute their post-perfect idea of beauty, most likely to be presented as performance piece.