Imagery & Ideas

After I've viewed collections and runway shows, I often like to think of how or why the designer was inspired, based on how it inspired me. For instance, I believe it was Giambattista Valli that had a gown that resembled heather blowing in the wind perfectly, or at least that's what it looked like to me. When I see this, it puts a perfect image of heather in my mind, so I think it's safe to assume that the designer was also thinking of heather when he was creating this dress. Fashion is not just about covering your body or trends, it's about messages and statements; it's another way to get ideas across, just like words, just like art. It starts with an idea in the designer's head, then they express that idea through a garment, and if the garment is executed correctly, then it gives the same idea to the person looking at it, like art does. Fashion, clothes, can convey basically anything and everything: emotions, ideas, thoughts, and even palpable things like nature and architecture. Sure, at the end of the day, fashion, collections, runway shows, it's all just really clothes, just something to cover your body, to keep you modest and warm. But with that point of view we can also state that books are just words, just letters, dances and performances are just steps, and architecture is just a building, a roof, only bricks cemented together for protection from the elements.

It's about expression. It's about what you're saying, or too afraid to say. Artists don't just paint, writers don't just put words on paper, architects don't just make buildings, and fashion designers don't just make clothes. They're saying things, opinions, images, ideas, everything. Many times, expressing it these ways will be stronger than anything you can ever say, whether you want to make a big, important political statement, or you want to express something as simple as heather blowing in the wind. I think that the artists deserve more credit for communicating these concepts through clothes, I mean, it must be pretty hard to have an image, or even harder, a feeling, in your head and have to convey that into clothes, words, or anything really, without being totally obvious; it should require some thinking to get the inspiration, but you shouldn't have to spend hours analyzing every little detail. And when you do get that feeling of inspiration from a collection, it can be hard to put it back into words, so fashion writers also have somewhat of a task. It's a cycle: the designers have the mission to take inspiration and turn it into clothes, and the writers find inspiration in the clothes and have the mission to turn the inspiration into words, to inspire readers.

When I was younger, and now too I guess, I would always dress a bit... different, my style has always been unique, but not a flashy, neon-y, in-your-face type way, a more subtle difference, but none the less still there and obvious against the unspoken uniforms of my peers. Some might read dressing differently as attention-seeking, but I know from experience that it's quite the opposite. I was/am quiet and shy and I didn't like to speak much, but I didn't have to: my clothes spoke for me and told you exactly who I was, who I am. And that's exactly what fashion should do; it shouldn't need any explanation.

This is the Giambattista Valli dress that gave me the image of heather in the wind. It's like an indirect message.

Although that Giambattista Valli dress made me think of heather blowing gracefully in the wind, this one made me think of a furry purple monster. It just goes to show that sometimes what you have in mind turns out different to what you create, and therefore different to what other people see.


I think Dolce & Gabbana did a *fabulous* job for their Spring 2014 collection and ad campaigns, and  also for their Spring 2015 show at Milan fashion week. It just makes me think of happy Italians enjoying life in style.

And their winter collection gives the perfect backdrop for a wintry, Italian Renaissance fairy tale.

I thought Blumarine's Spring 2015 show was an excellent portrayal of crystal blue oceans and floral vegetation in the tropics; the entire show was like a travel brochure to somewhere warm and sandy far away.


The goal of any designer or artist should be to pass the inspiration along to whoever is looking at their work; this is true for any artist, from painters to architects, to designers and writers.


1 comment:

  1. Great post - it must really be a challenge to use fabric to create and convey so much.

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