The 2010s, An Aesthetic History

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'.

1. Raf Simons / Sterling Ruby Fall/Winter 2014
2. Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2015
3. J.W. Anderson Spring/Summer 2015

Inspiration and interpretation have been replaced by 'reference'. Assemblage and collage have been replaced by 'copy'.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.

1. Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2014
2. Elsa Schiaparelli Harper's Bazaar 1935

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.

1. Willy Vanderperre Parallax, Garage Magazine 2014
2. Céline Fall/Winter 2014
3. Stella McCartney Fall/Winter 2014
4. Versace Fall/Winter 2015

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.

1. Oliver Laric Kopienkritik, 2011
2. Dries van Noten Spring/Summer 2015

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.

1. Nicolas Ghèsquiere, Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane
2. Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2014, Dior Spring/Summer 2014, Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014

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.

1. Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2012
2. Dior Fall/Winter 2014
3. Walter van Beirendonck Spring/Summer 2015

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.

1. Martine Rose Fall/Winter 2015
2. Alex Mullins Fall/Winter 2015
3. Marques'Almeida Fall/Winter 2015

No comments: