paris fashion week: manish arora
(images via style.com)
you’ve probably at some point in your life had a friend who believed something firmly about herself to which, everytime you hear it, you can only scream inside your head, ‘bitch, please! that doesn’t even remotely describe your ass!’
my example would be a former coworker whose closest relationship to fashionable was that she knew the name versace. but somehow, she was a devout devotee to the idea that us telling her holey tights & pilling, stained dresses were not work-appropriate attire secretly meant we were all fans of her style club. a true mr. collins moment. i think i’m still traumatized by the memories of those outfits, but i suppose that yes, if sporting leggings means one is fashionable, well, then…
manish arora’s relationship to his current collection is not so dissimilar. he has claimed art deco as an inspiration, and to be sure, there are moments of it in the prints & cuts. however, in the world most of us live in, it appears more deco-meets-space-age as seen on drag perfomers at carnivale.
hmm. i’m sorry, that sounds inappropriately perjorative. i really don’t mean to disparage the show, as the clothes were wildly creative & fun, giving us a bold injection of color we have little seen this fall season. but while anna sui’s show, or holly fulton’s are good examples of how to translate this tricky look into a lovely, wearable collection, one would be hard-pressed to imagine anyone but the same performers mentioned above donning these clothes.
as an art show, it certainly worked. it had liveliness, imagination, and humor, all of which we sometimes feel we’ll never be able to see with this endless parade of long runways, and seeing any of these clothes in a museum would doubtless be a fantastic experience.
however, with the glitter, the wigs, and the obsure cuts, it’s nearly impossible to bring this show to the commercial world. perhaps he’s simply staging this to accumulate interest in coming shows, then presenting more accessible collections, which for some reason the press flock to, often reviewing much more favorably than they would had the designer presented more wearable clothes all along.
i’m actually quite pleased about this show, as i’m always happy to see those creations that are exceptionally artistic, even if they can’t be sold in a store. but will it last? it’s unfortunate, but most starting along this path can’t tread that way forever.