Fashion, Opinion, Personal

Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garcons exhibition at the Met

I. don’t. get. Comme. des. Garcons. 

Really, I don’t. I went to the summer costume exhibition at the Met to check it out and, like almost everyone else who was visiting, I didn’t know what to think. It feels almost blasphemous to say that I didn’t like it or didn’t get it because there is this unwritten rule that if you are seriously into fashion (or claim to be) you must love Comme. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things from the brand I like. Dover Street Market is an amazing store with great merchandising techniques. The diffusion line with the little heart logo is branded perfectly. I can appreciate a really cool avant garde piece. I think they photograph brilliantly and I think they look really insane on the body (think Caroline Kennedy at this year’s Met Gala, or even Rihanna) but I don’t understand them and I know that the majority of people in my company at the museum felt the same way.

The exhibition was in a different gallery than the Manus x Machina one was last year and I didn’t like the space as much. It was lit very brightly with everything on stark white pedestals and some pieces were displayed well above eye-level, meaning it was easy to miss things if you didn’t realize you had to look up. The pieces featured spanned decades of Rei’s work. The exhibition was split up into various different segments, each representing a different aesthetic expression (e.g Clothes/Not Clothes) and there was no text explaining anything on the walls, nor credits for the clothing’s season etc – all of this information was to be found in a paper exhibition guide that was available at the entrance. Because of this, I found myself going around the exhibition faster than I normally would when I stop to read things because I didn’t actually read the guide until I sat down at the end and compared the guide with photographs I took. I still feel like I need further clarification though because I don’t understand the meanings of the pieces. I am a very imaginative person but I cannot immediately see the meaning of these clothes.

Ever since I got into fashion as a young teen, Comme des Garcons was a name I’d seen thrown about always in extremely high regard. On Tumblr, nobody dared disrespect Rei, thinking of her as the high priestess of fashion. I guess this mentality was ingrained into me without realizing it and for years I’ve always thought that I liked Comme, without actually thinking too much about it. Now I realize that I don’t like Comme, not because I think the clothes are bad but because I just don’t understand it at all and I can’t see the depth that others do. That includes most of the designers in the Japanese conceptualist movement, like Yohji Yamamoto, too. This year at the Met Gala, I was hoping for more out-there pieces because what I’ve seen from Comme des Garcons in the past and I do stand by my criticism of that red carpet. It was boring and could’ve been so much more if people were willing to push the boat out and not worry about looking hot for one evening.

I have compiled a little video, linked below, which is a get ready with me where I do my makeup, then once I have finished that I have included a lot of shots from the exhibition. I actually got a new camera recently and I’ve been playing with it, trying to work out its capabilities. The makeup video was actually just shot for fun, hence the unprofessional set-up, but once it was done I actually quite liked it so I decided to make something of it. The shots from inside the museum are taken on the same camera. I’m impressed with the quality.

Overall, if you’re in New York I think you should check out the exhibition and see what you think for yourself. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It didn’t help me gain any further understanding of or appreciation for the designer, but I did enjoy seeing it. I’m a huge advocate for fashion exhibitions and preserving garments like art pieces, because I do think of fashion as a form of commercial art, so I will always go along and see things even if I’m not a huge fan as I will always find it somewhat interesting.

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Fashion, Personal

Space Age Vibes – Inspiration Clips

I was initially inspired to pull these clips and images together because of the Paris Refashioned exhibition at the Museum at FIT. In this exhibition, I saw a mirrored Paco Rabanne dress which sparked my interest in the brand and I wrote about this in a previous post – “The Return of Paco Rabanne“. Going from there, I began to think about the space age, futuristic fashions of the 1960s and I started pulling together a series of images which I felt conveyed this well. Then instead of sticking exactly with the decade of the 60s, I ended up including clips from some 90s music videos too. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Fashion, Personal

First YouTube Video – Christmas OOTD

Believe it or not, I actually followed up on what I said in my last post about maybe starting YouTube. Today I posted a video. It’s just compiled of a few random clips that I took on Christmas day of the outfit that I was wearing. Honestly, the quality isn’t great because I just filmed it spontaneously on my iPhone but it was a fun start.

The main aim of this video was just to push myself to actually put something out there. It wasn’t about creating the most polished content I could. Now that I’ve put a video out there I think I will start to plan other videos that I could make over the next semester and hopefully as I keep practicing things will improve.

I included links to shop my outfit in the description of my video :)

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Personal

Possible YouTube Channel

I’ve been thinking about stuff. It’s Christmas Eve right now and I’ve been back home for a few days. For that reason my mind is very active. I’m reflecting on the past few months and the progress that I’d hoped to make. Honestly, I’m happy with what has happened. I’ve achieved a few good things. I got all As this semester, I helped out on a photoshoot with a website that I enjoy (and the images got published in an indie magazine), I worked a sample sale & market week, I moved into my own apartment, I made new friends, I found a great relationship. When I type it out, a lot of really amazing things occurred. However, I want more. I’d like to make progress career-wise whilst I have the time to, especially since fashion is becoming increasingly competitive and oversaturated due to the rise of social media. For that reason, I think I may throw my hat into the ring and make a YouTube channel. I’ve already made my Instagram public – that was quite a step.

Now I know what you’re thinking, that wave has passed. I agree. However, I think I’m going to use YouTube as a creative outlet. Or at least I’m intending to. Whether that actually happens is another story. I don’t want to post talking videos or anything like that. Just perhaps cool outfit shots accompanied by some music and then maybe some footage of scenery from what I did that day. I’m thinking my first video could maybe be a “week in outfits” or something along those lines. Then afterwards I’d like to make a foray into fashion films, or something more along those lines.

Recently I’ve been thinking about becoming a stylist again but often feeling stumped on how to actually do it. Maybe the best way to begin is to start styling/creative directing my own videos and then I have a portfolio of work to show to potential employers/clients. I’m sure it would help me get internships if I could show that I have an understanding of that area myself. Maybe brands could hire me to help them.

The urgency to create this channel comes from watching a Love Advent video. I thought about a really great idea for a video, based on the competition that they’re having where you could get your song played on one of their videos. My boyfriend’s group is thinking about submitting a song. After listening to their song and thinking about it in the context of a Love video I could visualize in my mind exactly what the model would be wearing, what she would look like, what she would be doing etc. I thought I could creative direct that video. That’s not the only scenario where I’ve had these thoughts either but today was the first day that I realized that if I want to have a career in styling/creative direction or if I ever want someone to hire me for a project, I need to have a visual portfolio of my work to show them. Really I’m thinking the way to do this is to just make it myself. It’s the best way I know how to.

The current plan is to spend the next couple of weeks whilst I’m home trying to learn the basics of iMovie editing plus try to find a couple of cool tracks that I could use in the background, then plan a couple of concepts that I could try to execute, probably when I get back to New York. Who knows what will even come of this but I feel like I’m someone who is more likely to do something once I’ve told someone else about it, so here I am putting these words out into the universe. Let’s see what happens.

Also, Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate!!

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Fashion

American Vogue on YouTube

American Vogue on YouTube. I bet that’s something you never thought you’d see a decade ago…

The most famous fashion magazine in the world has a strong online presence nowadays. Strange to think that an institution that started in the 1800s is still at the forefront of fashion so many years later. A common criticism of American Vogue is that it is dated, and I think it can be fair to say that of the magazine. The few issues that I’ve read haven’t been brilliant but the editorials have been good. I feel like maybe the magazine is aimed at adults and the YouTube channel is trying to capture a younger audience, perhaps hoping they’ll be Vogue subscribers in the future?

The YouTube channel is actually one of my favourites. It is filled with interviews with both celebrities and designers, behind-the-scenes videos, make-up tutorials, models, and advice. My particular favourite series is 73 Questions. In it, a subject (usually a celebrity) is asked 73 quick fire questions, often in their home or workplace as they lead us on a tour around in a single continuous shot. It is very clearly rehearsed and can sometimes look a bit stilted, but the idea is good. The questions are usually fun and the subjects have been interesting, but predictable, so far. The most recent video was of Iggy Azalea and she actually came across well in it. For someone who receives so much bad press, she handled herself well and seemed quite friendly (and she had a nice car…). The Victoria Beckham video was the funniest in my opinion, and sparked a hilarious parody which Victoria herself even liked.

However, the ultimate best video, and the most unexpected, was Serena Williams’ 7/11 cover. You know the Beyonce video where her and her friends are just dancing around in a hotel room having a good time? Well Serena Williams, the April cover star, did her own version and it was hilarious. And you would never expect that from Vogue, right?

If you haven’t already, check out the channel. It is brilliant.

Also, watch these… 

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