Friday, March 5, 2010

Domestic miss...


If Ikea were to make clothes, what would they look like? That question could definitely have been what led Nicolas Ghesquiere to create the collection he showed for Fall Winter 2010. If you've ever shopped at Ikea, you'll have no trouble conjuring at least a vague image in your mind; bright, pop-y colors, lots of plastic and other synthetic textures, and a huge dose of mid-century modern decor. Throw all of that into a blender and that's sort of what you're looking at with the clothes. At first the whole thing comes off as another one of Ghesquiere's explorations of technology and futurism, but once you know that he was, in fact, looking a items in a home like formica cabinets, kitchen supplies, and even sleeping bags, that ends up being exactly what you see. The opening cocoon coats in patchworks of techno fabric and shaggy fur brought to mind the inside of a microwave. The colorblocked knitted dresses or peplum tops looked straight out of a late 60s kitchen. A trio of sweaters worn with geometric jacquard mini skirts almost looked like machine-mad afghans, while two top/skirt combos looked like high-tech crocheted doilies. Several looks fused a top with either narrow quilted pants or a mini skirt, the top unzipping like a sleeping bag to reveal prints that were a like a collage of magazine clippings and road maps or, with the skirts, a puffy down coat . They were probably the most interesting looks in the collection because they simply defy description or categorization. I can't even tell if they're a single piece or separates, let alone how they're built and how they work. And finally there were three dresses in fabric that looks like packaging peanuts, printed with those same magazine/map collages. That's the best I can do as far as describing the bubbling, grid-like fabric.

At this point I still don't know whether or not I really like this collection. For sure it's one of the most unusual and technologically advanced collections that has been, or will be for that matter, shown this season. But whereas last season Ghesquiere used the incredible techniques that have become his trademark to create easy to comprehend clothing, this season the result is much more challenging. What struck me about this was the combination of very familiar silhouettes with cutting edge technique. The shapes aren't anything unusual, they're mainly straight, kind of boxy, and very Balenciaga, but the textures, fabrics and the way they're combined renders these clothes completely new. The almost chemically bright pastels and primary colors that are used only add to the boldness of the clothes. As with any of Ghesquiere's collections there is so much to look at here, and when it comes to pictures the higher the resolution the better, but honestly it leaves me a little cold. It interests me, that's sort of a given, and I always appreciate the vision that Ghesquiere puts forth. But there really isn't any emotional tug for me, no feeling of true excitement, no jolt of electricity. Since the two collections have quite a bit in common, I can't help but compare this and spring and for whatever reason I prefer that collection to this one. I think it might have achieved the mix of the familiar with the advanced better, and ultimately it was filled with familiar clothes that were amped up to become something more. By comparison this feels almost stuck in concept mode.

all images from


inaya said...

God, you are so, so right. This is IKEA in clothing form. Cristobal is the foundation to my obsession with clothing and I can't even imagine how mortified he'd be if he saw this shiny-happy, disposable stuff that Nicolas is releasing under his legacy.


Spike said...

You're right. The more I look at it the less I'm liking it. I think Nicolas is usually very good at striking a balance between experimentation and reality. This season just isn't up to par in that respect.

inaya said...

ITA, he definitely has a better balance and much more thought behind it and at least digs into the archives a little bit, but like you said, this season just falls flat in that way.

Love your entries always hehe :D