Pretty Ugly

I've just read (and you should too) Angelo Flaccavento's lovely article for BOF on Milan's not-so-lovely fashion this season. He addressed that unspoken issue (the elephant in the room, some might say) of the rising amount of aesthetically displeasing designs walking today's runways. Despite what we like to believe about effortless style, true style can only be achieved through precise proportions, styling, and scrupulousness, which makes it a rarity. This inability to easily achieve style and beauty has caused designers to turn to its opposite: ugly. 

It's how they add character to collections. Characters are quirky, odd, and a little bit off, which translates to clothes that are hard on the eye, clothes that take a real abstract eye to appreciate and not denounce it to be an artsy fraud. Flaccavento proposes the question whether frequent ugliness is "an attention grabbing tactic" or "aesthetic democracy." These garments are beautiful like modern art, not like clothes, but who's to say which way is right?

This ugly trend also doubles as a desperate act of creating newness. Especially today when it's easier than ever to attain the looks from the runway and copy them, unsightly designs are the solution, at least in the designer's eyes, because of the plain weirdness of them. When things are extremely beautiful or extremely abstract, society marks them valuable, and since the first is out of question, designers are forced to turn to the second. This ugly excuse has been slowly taking over our runways, but its break into conscience happened in Milan, a place where frauds are abundant, but genuine genius is certainly present if one looks.  


Autumn/Winter 2015 looks from (L-R) Gucci, Marni and Prada | photo via BOF



10 comments:

  1. Such an interesting point! "Ugly" designs sort of stops fast fashion right in its tracks!

    COOCOO FOR COCO


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    1. It is kind of hypocritical isn't it? Fashion is, by definition, supposed to be something beautiful!

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  2. Such a wonderful post dear! Hope you have a great Friday!

    xoxo;
    STYLEFORMANKIND.COM
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  3. Lovely post! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog!

    http://misspippisstyle.blogspot.hu/

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  4. as a slightly more "expressively" dressed/ looking person I don´t really agree... I think there´s still great classic designs and there´s nothing wrong with using traditional styles. It´s already there but it can still be reinterpreted and classic designs never loose their importance. In my opinion it´s great that classic designs and very "abstract" designs coexist and therefore create a wide range of possibilities. To me it´s a matter of freedom to be able to choose. Fashion should never be limited and up to everybodys fantasy and taste. and ugly is a silly word ;) great post anyways :) Always glad to see people reflecting on fashion :)) xo

    dresses-and-travels //@susandollparts

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    1. I'm not sure I really understand your comment, or maybe you don't understand my post. I, and Angelo Flaccavento, are arguing that lately certain designers have been giving up attempting classic style. Now, it would be one thing if these were new, or known avant-garde designers, but these are fashion houses that have a reputation for aesthetically beautiful clothes. They have reputations to live up to and at that point it's about more than the clothes, it's about the business and being consistent and reliable within the brand. There is a "wide range" of fashion types, but everyone has to stick to a type in order for this to be true. I do agree with you, though, that 'ugly' may not have been the correct word to use, but in this case, as I said in the post, I really mean aesthetically displeasing, not proportional, and a bit random.
      Thanks for your comment - I always love clarifying where I might have been unclear!

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  5. Hey girl, I just wanted to let you know that I featured this post in my weekly link round-up :) Have a nice weekend!

    COOCOO FOR COCO

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