Couture is a Breath of Fresh Air

Fashion today is fast, forgettable, and unforgivable. Regular seasons blur with pre-collections, womenswear blends with menswear, resulting in one big, round-the-clock, trendy mess. On occasion, gems of innovation and beauty slip into ready to wear collections, but usually ready to wear collections stay true to the title: clothes that are varying degrees of salable and wearable by societal standards. Ready to wear isn't boring, it just naturally can't be as exciting as couture.

Couture is the most indulgent of fashion; the most time and resource consuming; the most unnecessary. Ideas are executed to the fullest and no detail spared. As I'm writing this, the collection that stands out in my mind as the most refreshing from fashion's usual was Valentino's couture/culture extravaganza last summer. Not only was it some of the most beautiful clothes I've ever seen, but there was a level of culture and taste that is often ignored in fashion today. It was beautiful, but not superficial, just as couture should be. Many question the relevance of couture today and the truth is it's not relevant. No one really wears those clothes, but at the same time the point of the couture is not to be worn. Couture is about ideas and beauty, not practicality. Couture is food for thought; fashion to fuel the mind; style to satisfy the soul. 

Do What You Love; Love What You Do

Legendary street style photographer, Bill Cunningham, has died aged 87. From my time as a little girl to my current teenage state, looking at the collages of his shots in the Times was inspiring for a number of reasons. Bill's undoubtable and impressive eye for even the smallest, most fleeting trends showed his complete level mastery for his craft. But even beyond his notable, tangible accomplishments in the world of street style, Bill Cunningham's absolute devotion to his work remains his most inspiring aspect. He famously labored through the streets on his bicycle up until the very day his fatal stroke occurred. To me, Bill is the most inspiring example of a simple Ray Bradbury quote I try to live by: do what you love and love what you do. Bill Cunningham truly loved his job and it shined through in his work and his life. He will be deeply missed. 

Valentino Spring 2017 Menswear

Earlier today I watched Valentino's menswear collection for the Spring/Summer season live, from the modest comfort of my bedroom floor. I use fashion shows as an escape, a mode of free transportation from my otherwise uneventful teenage life. Runway reviews are just the byproducts of what the clothes, set, and music all work together to combine - a world based off a woman, whether her world be one of fictional frivolities or social justice. Without that element of engulfment, fashion shows exist rather pointless today. What's the point of all that money and effort if the message told by the clothes could just as easily be conveyed hanging on a rack in a showroom? That was the only question I was left with by the end of 50 look collection, created, or rather curated is more fitting, by the brilliant duo that is Pier Palo Piccoli and Maria Grazia Chiuri. 

The clothes themselves were modern, agreeable, and, most importantly, salable, which together create a sure homerun in the ever-changing menswear market. Traditionally masculine motifs such as smart shoes, trousers, and camo, were updated to fit a modern man, with a cropped hem here, a slightly transparent polo there. Altogether, the collection was pleasant enough, but paled when compared to the womenswear work from Valentino. This stark contrast is to be expected due to the fact that menswear is traditionally less adventurous than womenswear, but while this is the case, it is no excuse for, put bluntly, a boring fashion show. There was no excitement or transportation; I firmly believe that the clothes would have been presented just as well if they were hanging on a rack rather than marching down the runway on solemn white boys. 

As I'm sure you can tell by now, in this runway review I am not criticizing the clothes, but rather questioning the effectiveness of the way in which they were presented. Presentation may seem like a minor detail compared to the actual clothes, but at the end of the day I will remember this Valentino collection for how boring the show was, not the (admittedly also rather boring but still highly salable) clothes. Fashion just moves too quickly for one to remember more than impressions.

An Update

With nearly a month since my last post, I felt it was necessary to give my readers (if any of you remain!) a little update on what's going on. I just finished a week of final exams, wrapping up a rough freshman year. It's been a major transition year with lots of bumps in the road both academically and emotionally, but it would be unfair to ignore all the good and progress the school year has also given me. (In the wise, somewhat unoriginal words of my mother, the glass is half full!)

In terms of fashion knowledge and writing, this school year has taken away much of my time and focus, which has forced me to make more of an effort in order to be involved in the community and create content, but in result of that extra effort, the admittedly small amount of what I have created and written about has usually been of a higher caliber simply because it took so much time to actually produce. I also completed a weekend course in fashion journalism at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which has given me a greater understanding of the world of fashion publishing and what a career in fashion journalism has to offer. 

Throughout this school year, I've worked to merge my "fashion self" and my "personal self" which resulted in my being more expressive and open about my "passion for fashion" at school. In bringing together my two worlds, I've become more active on my "personal" Instagram (which is now public if any of you would like to follow along) and less on this blog's Instagram. After all, when I finally possess the official title of fashion journalist, my byline will be under Sophia Nuñez, not Plaid Is My Favourite Colour

Right now, I'm a bit overwhelmed with the plethora of free time in front of me; I have the slightest tinge of stress in making sure not to waste it. My goals for this summer include catching up on all the resort collections I've missed (expect reviews coming soon), reading and writing on a regular basis (whether it be fashion, poetry, or general thought pieces), exploring and creating visual art, and the inevitable, everlasting task of tidying up. 

I'm pretty sure I am going to keep this blog mostly fashion based, with a few tangents in the areas of living and design, which means that most of my poetry and non-fashion thought pieces will be published in other outlets (See: my piece on piece published on Isobel Van Dyke's Living Out Loud.)

It's going to be a long, fruitful summer and I can't wait for all the inevitable unexpected in store.

I visited the Manus x Machina exhibit at the Met's Costume Institute twice

Another from Manus x Machina.

I also bought and raised three chickens: Lupita, Toni, and Candace. I got them when they were two days old and here they are at 8 weeks. One of my proudest accomplishments.