It seems almost sacrilegious to pledge allegiance to just one designer. Basic fundamentals aside, is fashion not about reinventing oneself? Being constantly unexpected? Eschewing predictability? Do we not hear the doyens preach the pertinence of being fresh, being new, being different? With that mindset, I pen my thoughts and explain how I, being enamoured of multiple labels, can stay true to all without being disloyal to one.
An ode would be amiss without the inclusion of the Japanese sensei, Issey Miyake, the man credited with creating organised chaos from calm. His deft hand in manipulating fabrics into dimensional pleats was the catalyst to my passion for the seemingly frivolous world of fashion at the age of 7. I recall quite distinctly that my very first design was actually inspired by a bucket of water that was in the bathroom of my parents’ home in 1983. I was fascinated by the stark contrast created by the steel, rigid curved handle against the soft, plastic which was used to fabricate the body of the bucket. Sidenote: imagine what a wondrous world we would live in if we never lost sight of seeing beauty in everything???
Next we have the Mad Hatter. That’s Philip Treacy to you. What a brilliant, mad genius. His eccentricity is what convinced me to always march to the beat of my own drum. Always. Very often, it’s easy for us to kowtow to the parameters (or expectations, shall we say) dictated by society and to mould our personalities to conform thereto. The Mad Hatter has taught me otherwise, and I am forever grateful for that. I have fond memories of wearing Black Suede Pixie Boots with Black & Silver Harem Pants topped with a Black Tube Top (yeah, that’s what they were called back in the day) and traipsing around town with Metallic Copper Lippy, all under the hot 34 Celcius sun that was typical of life in Sarawak. And this was 1986. Good times, good times. Somehow, along the way of growing up and (attempting to) act(ing) like a mature adult, I grew conscious of what people would think. I really need to stop that. Like really.
And, naturally, like many others, I too had a tabernacle set up in the name of McQueen. I worshipped his broody, dark mind, so powerful in its stark bleakness yet so incredibly vulnerable in its evident fragility. I worshipped the power of his madly glorious confections which were, simultaneously, empowering as they were endearing. And I anticipated his next collection with as much relish as a man thirsting for water in the desert, truly. His ability to create the wearable out of the clearly unwearable was pure genius. To turn the classic into something utterly avant garde, brilliant. To see beyond just looking. This is going to sound incredibly clichéd but I’ll say it anyway ~ he helped me realise that you MUST look past the obvious to find the unusual. You simply must. While that might sound elementary, it’s certainly something many of us should remember (and put to use) these days. Without doubt, the impeccable craftsmanship and deployment of unapologetically flamboyant colours continue to this day but, for me, Ms Burton’s pieces are devoid of that raw edge so clearly evident in the past, leaving the garments to appear as, well, merely beautiful garments.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, about sums up the three top brands I would quite happily kill to work with which are your choice labels?
p/s many thanks to IFB for putting this as the week’s challenge, it was fun