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Fashion Review Mondays: Chloe’s 2017/2018 Fall/Winter
Olivia of KingdomClothing

This week’s fashion review goes to Chloe. I have been a fan of the Chloe house’s easy, classic aesthetic for a long time. I can remember loving this house’s designs when I was in high school— maybe even middle school. There has always been an easiness and grace to their pieces. And this upcoming Fall and Winter collection is no exception.
Here, watch it before you read on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QZlyoDkRs4
I actually riffled through a lot of shows to review before I happened upon this one. I have not been particularly taken aback or impressed by very many designers in the past year, to be frank. As I was looking through, I saw a lot of looks that simply seemed hackneyed to me, or if not that, then too reminiscent to be called avant garde but too garish to be called wearable. On the contrary, however, Chloe’s Fall show didn’t have one look that I really didn’t care for. All of them were tastefully executed, well- styled, and wearable without being boring or already-done.
Let’s start with the basics of the show, the nuts and bolts: the setting, choice in music, and lighting were simple, chic, and fresh. I couldn’t tell if I was watching a Spring show or a Fall one…and I liked that. So many of the pieces in this show (and pretty much all of the ones I’ll mention) are transition pieces and can easily be worn in Spring, Summer, Fall, OR Winter, which is kind of…fantastic. To achieve this level of seasonal transcendence is impressive and not something I have seen in a while. It’s also difficult to do: designing and styling pieces that transition from season to season.
There were many basic traditional Fall-type pieces I appreciated seeing in the collection. This coat, the opening piece, for example:

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(numero.com)

It’s that perfect Fall coat. But there is a freshness about it that takes some of the traditional Fall heaviness out of it: its slightly shorter length, its decidedly bright palette, its wide sleeves. There’s a funness about it that is like a wink or a giggle: small details that give way to an attitude.
Another beautiful piece is at 1:10 of the show (if you’re watching). I am in love with the easy movement of this simple androgynous look. One piece, gorgeous colors for Fall (but honestly classic enough to look chic in any season), and is a beautiful balance of what is traditionally “feminine” and what is traditionally called “masculine.”
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(numero.com)

This show also included a lot of patterns and shapes of the 60s and 70s. It was like a neat blend of 60s/70s Paris and modern-day New York City. In some other reviews I’ve read of it, many friends seem to think this collection is safe and lack-luster, but I respectfully disagree. The clothes we wear are about expression, but we mustn’t sacrifice wearability for voice. Some designs have such loud voices in these days that wearability has lost its meaning. What I appreciated so much in this collection was the fact that simplicity and chicness held hands with subtle boundary-pushing and nods to the past. Yes, there was a lack of avant garde, no real “I’m making a huge statement; look at me!” type looks going on. But for me, this show commanded my attention in other ways.
Take this look, for example:

chloe_fw17_look_12
(numero.com)
Design-wise, anything ground-breaking? Not so much, but beautiful? Simple? Light? Fun? Still interesting? Classically chic and would still turn heads? Yes. And again, this is a perfect transitional piece. Could easily be styled for Spring or Fall. The dainty little cut-outs inter-mixed with the lace on the sleeves are so pretty.  And all of the simple, barely there, vintage-gracing shoes: gorgeous and wearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL FOR fashion making statement, speaking for us, pushing boundaries, stepping out of the comfort-zone. But classically chic beautiful shapes and colors never fail and sometimes, as this show reminded me, simplicity is better. Subtle statements can be important, too.
As Keller’s time leading the designs for this house comes to an end, I think her nod to the house’s roots and her light-hearted simplicity in this collection were a beautiful end to a chapter and a welcoming for freshness.

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Greasy Grungy Fall

Fashion Review Mondays:  Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015
This needs to begin with the disclaimer that this review is mostly full of disapproval and lack of admiration. Usually, I only post positive fashion reviews for Fashion Review Mondays, so I try to pick a collection that I actually feel positively about. But this time, I am sad to say that this collection from AWang left a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn’t think it would. There are, in my opinion, some positive aspects, but overall I was not impressed.

I would highly encourage anyone taking the time to read this to go watch the actual show, not only to— most importantly— formulate your own opinion of it, untainted by another’s slant, but also because I’ll be referencing specific parts and times of the show. To start, the show opens with an all-black tailored blazer, little high-neck leather top, wide-leg gaucho pants, and chunky platform creeper-type boots. Hair and make-up: disheveled chic? I was confused right away. Let us start with the actual clothes. They aren’t bad; they just weren’t that impressive to me idea-wise. What’s ground-breaking? The high-neck leather top is simple, modern, and versatile. Nothing not to like. The jacket, again, isn’t bad… it’s just not that exciting to me either. And now we’re at the pants. I really have never figured out the allure of the gaucho shape. It is a style that simultaneously cuts every woman—no matter how fit, healthy, or slim— the wrong way and also is just an incredibly awkward pant no matter what outfit is built around it. Now again, remember that this is my opinion and if you love gauchos and think they are the bees‘ knees, by all means, wear them to your heart’s content. I am sure they are comfy (comfort is really the only positive I can mark for them). But as far as elevated and innovative shapes go, I’m sorry but I don’t think they cut it. The shoes. Oh my word, those shoes. I’m trying to think of a really forgiving and also eloquent way of saying they are HIDEOUS. And please note that this comes from a person who really does appreciate a good creeper, even a platform one. But these are awful. It wasn’t even so much how they looked, but how they moved. The models looked ridiculous. The way they had to walk to accommodate the shape and height of them made them look incredibly awkward. All I could think when I saw them walking was “chunky duck feet.” Too bad elevated height didn’t translate to elevated taste.

At 0:55 of the show, there’s this look that is a beautifully tailored jacket paired with the prolifically over-occurring gauchos and sky-rise creeper boots. This is one of many examples of a look that could have been so beautiful, had not the weird gaucho pants and platform duck feet held it down. The jacket is gorgeous, wonderfully constructed, has an interesting studded high-neck, and is undeniably a great piece. It’s interesting but a classic. But paired with these odd others, the look just looks silly.

Another situation with a similar issue is the coat-and-gaucho combo at 1:15. I’m all for nontraditional pairing and the shape isn’t what bothers me. Again, perfectly beautiful coat; the shape is perfect. But the styling turns this look around a hideous corner. That coat, with its perfectly curved lines and its heavy structure could have really stood out, but instead, I again could only concentrate on the awful greasy tousle and the awkward gait that was allowed by the chunky duck waddlers. I mean, if I may be so blunt, the model was walking like a caveman in those shoes. It just wasn’t elevation of taste. It made me want to look away.
I will say that there were some amazing bags in this collection. I especially liked the studded leather backpack and clutch. There were also some looks that, save for the awkward duck shoes, were completely gorgeous, like the quilted mini-skirt and coat combo at 3:30. The sweater underneath is an amazing Fall piece as well. I loved that look. It wasn’t all bad, just the majority was unfortunately a bit amiss. Sometimes, it was simply the styling and weird pairing that screwed up a look, not so much the pieces themselves.

There’s another huge issue with this show that I must address: the choice of hair and make-up. I’m sorry, but… what? I read a comment in the comment section that said ‘oh are we bringing strung-out cocaine-chic back?‘ which were really my sentiments exactly. I know what grunge-chic looks like and also what bed-head disheveled chic may even look like, but this just looked like the girls hadn’t showered in a couple of weeks, had been backpacking out in the wilderness and were an oily greasy mess, but they still had a fashion show to work, so they just walked out looking like that. Their hair is literally plastered to their faces. They probably all broke out instantly after the show. It didn’t even look remotely attractive. And I do understand that sometimes, the point someone might be trying to make via high fashion does not always include looking ultimately attractive, but all this said to me was that 12-day-old hair is now in; looking like a grease-ball is all the rage. I think a statement can be achieved without looking disgusting. Plus, I don’t believe he was going for a bigger statement here; it was just bad styling. It was grease-chic. And it wasn’t working.

The real problem I have with all of this is that it didn’t feel like Alexander Wang for me. While I was watching it, if I didn’t already know whose show it was, I don’t think I could have guessed correctly. He has always been an innovator of shape and androgynous character, but has always accomplished this in a perfectly polished manner. He could make a statement while still maintaining an extremely elevated taste and impeccable craftsmanship. But this show truly was a miss to me. Where was the elevated taste? Where was his signature polished flare? Nothing looked well-put-together or attractive. It was different, but not in a good way. I’m sorry to say that, this week, my review cannot not be a completely positive one. From a great AWang fan, I have to say, I was far less than impressed.

Junya’s Step in the Right Direction

Fashion Review Mondays:  Junya Watanabe’s Fall/Winter 2013 Collection

Watch show here>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Oku73aKC-k

For this week’s review, I decided on Junya because I love him and I was really impressed with what he put down the runway for this Fall.
Firstly, on a stylistic note, I love the way he styled the models:  heels that never exceeded three inches, soft clean faces, super unruly unkempt hair (probably just because my hair always looks like that no mater what I do and now I feel I have some high-fashion justification for it)— everything complimented the clothes in just the right way.

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    What was most impressive about this collection, in my eyes, were the shapes of all the clothes.  Talk about ground-breaking work— I mean, this collection was anything but safe and anything but boring.  The show starts with these outfits that consist of highly zippered leather jackets paired with knee-length skirts that have a slight high-low hem.  At first, I was like “Hmm, what an odd shape; I’m not even sure that’d really be flattering.”  But as the models walked in them, I realized how fluid the movement of these garments were and how they were actually very flattering, in an odd way.

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If you’re watching the show, at about second 0:40, there’s this look that I am crazy about:  this weird leather and plaid-tweed giant sack-jacket thing with that same slight high-low hem.  At first, it just looks like a giant plaid bubble, but once I watched it move with the model, I was like “Oh my gosh, I WANT THAT.”  It’s quite a strangely flattering piece and I actually like how it fits loosely around the hips— my hips need a width hem, so I appreciate this innovative fit.
Shape and fit are SO vital to why this collection is so strong and innovative.  Along with the new silhouette of the “plaid bubble coat,” there are other key details in many of the looks that make them special.  In many of his longer jackets, the top would be done in the zippered leather, while the bottom would be done in another material— often a wool-like fabric— and the seam where the two different materials meet is shaped like a rainbow.  This is genius because this arc-shaped seam perfectly outlines where the hips should be underneath the garment, but the shape is curved in such a way that it really flatters the hip and waist area.  The fit is truly incredible.  It really is the modern take on the drop-waist.  On some of the inversions of this same look, his use of color-blocking really draws attention to all the right places as well; it elongates the wearer and gives such a long, sleek look.

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Another aspect of the collection that I simply adore is the use of denim.  At around 1:35 of the show, this incredible look comes out that consists of an immaculately intricate houndstooth-print moto jacket (that is so amazing I really can’t even describe it) paired with these ultra-baggy but somehow ultra-chic boyfriend jeans that have patches all over them, cuffed up over a pair of low turquoise heels.  This look is phenomenal for many reasons.  I love the nod to the 90s, I love the worn-in and comfy fit of the pants, and who couldn’t love a jacket that crisp and chic and perfect.  This look is so many different styles in one, but it really works.

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At about 2:40 of the show, there is a coat that really blows my mind.  It is a neutral brown color, which is simple enough to handle all of the details it contains.  It has these unique color cut-outs in darker brown on the upper arm, and then zipper arcs over the hips.  This is astonishing in the world of fashion, because a typical rule of thumb is that no woman really wants to bring more attention to her hips, but these zipper arcs somehow bring the right kind of attention to them.  The loose silhouette of the coat is perfectly balanced with the introduction of the zipper detailing; it gives it its shape and the fit suddenly becomes beautiful.
Another bit of playful spirit as far as fit is concerned occurs at 7:40 of the show, where there are a pair of flowy pants that are so wide-cut that they almost look like a long skirt unless you look closely.  I love them.  (And I mean, just think about how wearable and comfortable they would be).  After this look, another pair of interesting pants come out, which are half-skirt, half-capris; very weird fit but so creatively done that I have to admire them.  What a breath of non-conventional fresh air.
Junya really has always been a true fashion innovator, but this collection seriously highlights what a forward-thinking genius he is.  He’s taken Fall fashion staples like plaid, houndstooth, and leather, and pushed them to be something different, something fresh, and something with a heartbeat of its own.  It’s a truly well-done collection, and I honestly hope to own several pieces from it one day.

Thanks and Creds for the photo stills:

fashionista.com

www.stylebistro.com

Visit us in the shop>> https://www.etsy.com/shop/WangGukClothing?ref=si_shop 

How to Say “Moschino”

Free Thoughts Thursday: How to say “Moschino”
By Olivia of WangGuk

So today is a Thursday. That means that this post is about whatever I want. Today, I want to write about an incredible discovery I just made: the correct pronunciation of the late Italian designer Franco Moschino’s name.

So I have always pronounced his name something like, “Mo-shee-no.” Apparently, this is incorrect. The proper Italian pronunciation of this name goes something like, “Mo-skee-no.” The fact that I’ve been pronouncing his name incorrectly for who knows how many years might be of absolutely ZERO interest to you all, but for me, it was a pretty big deal. I mean it probably ranks up there with the day I found out what “P.O. box” stood for (yeah okay, OBvious, but I just never really thought about it).

Why is this important enough to me to write about? (Haha, well why is anything, really?) Franco Moschino is one of my favorite designers— if not my absolute favorite— of all time. To me, he was an irreplaceable fashion innovator, a creative thinker who not only took fashion risks, but really spoke through his clothes. In my eyes, he is probably one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. Therefore, it’s rather sad for me to find out that I have been pronouncing his beautiful name incorrectly for the entirety of my love for him. Not that this in any way means I loved him any less by not knowing the proper way to say his name. I suppose ignorance does happen. It just struck me as very odd that I never ever noticed this until now. This long-familiar name suddenly sounds funny and strange. This “skee” doesn’t strike that familiar pang in my ear. It’s weird. I have to relearn something I feel like I’ve always known.

So anyway, boring post for some of you haha. But if any of you out there are Moschino collectors and lovers as I, then perhaps, like me, you may not have been aware that this beautiful fashion legacy’s name is in fact “Mo-skee-no” and not “Mo-shee-no.”

Christian Siriano’s Amazing Autumn

Fashion Review Mondays: Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter 2013 Collection
By Olivia of WangGuk

Christian-Siriano-Runway-Fashion-Week-Fall-2013-Photos

This week, I’m reviewing a collection for the current season: Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter collection for 2013.

From the start, I was quite impressed with this collection. But really, when I’m honest with myself, I’m always impressed with Christian. He’s just always known who he is and what he’s doing. He’s a master of detail, and this collection showcases that. The taste level was, for the most part, very high and all of the looks were detailed and polished without being over-worked or busy. I loved the collection as a whole— I mean, there were definitely moments when I thought “Well I don’t think I’d ever have the compulsive need to wear that” and others when I thought “Oh my word, I’m going to tear that off the model because I want that in my closet NOW.”

One thing I really loved about this collection was that the models Christian had walking in the show exuded such a powerful, strong woman. Like, she was a badass, you know? A well-dressed, expensive badass. The girls looked polished and sleek in their styling and they walked in a way that said “I don’t know who you are, but I know who I am— and you better just get out of my way.” The girl who is wearing all of these beautiful clothes is strong, confident, tough, and self-sufficient. I liked that. I liked that I felt that just by the way they walked in those clothes— I was able to imagine the girl who would wear all of these pieces, and that is so key in any collection. We always must ask “Who is wearing this?” and “Where is she/he going?”

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Another aspect of this show that is particularly noteworthy, and which all the more built the character of this tough, powerful girl is the track Christian decided to play: music by Brad Walsh, featuring mezzo soprano vocalist Ilene Pabon. It was gorgeous in kind of a creepy, eerie, mysterious way— which matches the girl who was being illustrated in the collection. I loved it. It pulled everything together— a perfect choice for the show.

As for design aspects of the collection, there were many things Christian explored and experimented with that I appreciated. As for shape, a traditionally feminine one was what most of the dresses and suits were based on. I notice that Christian often stays with this form— his shapes never really stray from this more traditionally feminine form. When I look at other designers like Thom Browne or Rei Kawakubo or Junya Watanabe, I think that a lot of their design innovation comes to play in terms of shape and fit— these are designers who are always playing with shape and fit and pushing the envelope in terms of new silhouettes. But Christian seems to play around with other elements, such as color or print or material, as in this collection.

I’ve heard many people say “Oh so much black” and “There was finally a little color at one point”— to which, I was kind of always like “Well yeah…like, do you know which season this is?” Yes, there is a lot of black. Yes, there is a lot of neutral golds and browns. It’s Fall. But I love black, so maybe for a person who needs the rainbow as their wardrobe at all times, this collection would be not as wearable. But I loved all the dark looks. That said, one aspect of the collection I appreciated was that he used a color that we don’t typically associate with Fall or Winter: hot fuscia pink. Perhaps there have been others who have employed this loud color as part of their Fall/Winter collections, but for the most part, I feel like I always see red or gold or maybe a bold purple of some kind during Fall. That is why the pink in this collection was so unexpected for me, but it was also refreshing for that reason. I happen to dislike pink quite a bit, and the first time I watched the show, I was like “Ew that color is heinous; what on Earth would posses anyone to wear it?” But I watched the show a couple of times over, and I realized that this color actually adds a lot of necessary dimension to the collection. Plus, all of the dresses in this color were fitted immaculately and looked super hot. So, I was okay with the presence of pink here.

Something I found to be gorgeous was his use of lace and sheer paneling. Many dresses in the collection employed this. The shorter, gold, modernized circle-skirt dress was one of my absolute favorite pieces, and I loved it for many reasons (the color, the modernization of the circle-skirt shape), but the main reason was the balance it contained. The sheer top is completely balanced with the heavier fabric of the bottom skirt part. The dress is perfectly proportioned. The lace becomes the epitome of chic and classic, where if it had been paired with a less-conservative bottom, it would have become tasteless and vulgar quickly.
The black dresses that follow this one (the ones that are I think around minute 8 in the show) are also some of my favorite pieces. The black with the gold detailing is exquisite— I can’t even tell you how beautiful they are. They truly speak for themselves as pieces. I loved the bolero dress; I thought that was very modern and chic and perfect for Fall. I loved the black dress with the gold detail shoulders with the shell of tulle coming out— it reminded me of Bowser from Mario Brothers… only chic haha (this actually was more of a shape innovation, and I loved it for that reason).  All of these black and gold pieces were gorgeously pieced and just perfect, really.

MG_1877           161304419    Christian Siriano, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, New York        christian-siriano-autumn-fall-winter-2013-nyfw27
The only part I will say that I did not particularly care for was the closing dress: all sheer lace with strategically-placed pieces of gold lace or stitch detailing that covered up all of the essentials. When I spoke of the gold dress before— the modern sheer circle-skirt one— I had said that the reason it worked was due to the balance. This final dress had none— the whole thing was sheer and I could see the model’s butt-crack (kudos for her walking with still such a strong, confident stride while she mooned the audience). I know that couture isn’t  supposed to be confined by the standards of a ready-to-wear look, but I just couldn’t really even appreciate the dress because of the vast lack of wearability. That aside, oh my word, the detail on the dress is, again, immaculate and Christian’s signature, so for that I congratulate him.

The cohesion and sophistication of this collection were astounding, and anyone who got to see it live is lucky as a duck because I would absolutely LOVE to see Christian’s amazing detail work up close and personal. He’s a genius. He always has been. And this collection is nothing less than incredible.

Video here>>  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNjI-1n_KmA

Still Photo Creds:

www.fabsugar.com

fashionista.com

coolechicstylefashion.blogspot.com

nowfashion.com

nyunews.com

Alexander McQueen’s Legacy

Fashion History Fridays:  Alexander McQueen
Olivia of WangGuk

This Friday, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite designers of all time:  Alexander McQueen.
You may only have heard his name in passing or only know him by the thousands of replica skull-print scarves that are floating around online and in stores now, but this man actually has a very cool story, so here’s what I know about him.
He was born Lee Alexander McQueen in the East End of London; his father was a taxicab driver and their family was not super wealthy or of high social standing.  The youngest of six kids, Alexander said that he was three years old when he knew he wanted to be in fashion.  He said, “I’m the pink sheep of the family” and that he was “a rebel with a cause… to destroy the fashion industry from within.”
His career began when he left school at age 16 and studied tailoring at the Savile Row institution, Anderson and Sheppard, where he developed his exquisite tailoring skills, which is what he is known for to this day (besides his famously eccentric shows).  Of his time spent here, he said that it was a most “homophobic place,” that it was like being a plumber— “a nightmare.”  However, he was impeccably good at tailoring; everyone said this of him.  His shows were outrageous and were about shock-factor, yes, but underneath all of his conceptual genius, the clothing was simply well-made.
After his education, at age 20, he moved to Milan after working in theater for a bit, and in Milan, he worked for a few different people until moving back to London, where he began working on his own line.  Famous stylist Isabella Blow bought his entire first collection of coats and dresses that were lined with hair, wearing them when pictured in British Vogue.  She started following him, along with many other people high in fashion, and he began to grow in fame.

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In October of 1996, the director of Christian Lacroix decided to have Alexander design for fashion power-house Givenchy, as John Galliano was currently leaving the house to start designing for Christian Dior.  So Alexander started designing couture for the Givenchy house, while still maintaining his privately owned brand, McQueen, of which he said, “I wouldn’t sell McQueen for nothing.”  His first two collections for Givenchy did not herald much praise from the public, but following these two, he began to channel his design aesthetic into a more streamlined and wearable couture, and he began to gain the public’s eye once more.
His private company, McQueen, began to grow as well, funded by the work he was doing for Givenchy.  His right-hand girl, Katy England had said that she never imagined the company reaching the heights it was now reaching— that they didn’t even have model fittings during their famous show, “Rape of the Highlands,” and their four-person team consisted of little more than a few sewing machines, Alexander, and that’s it.

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Fall 1995, “Rape of the Highlands.” A show encompassing the concept of rape and vulgarity present in society. Where McQueen allegedly mooned the audience.

He was known as the “bad boy” of fashion in his time, always peculiar and always unpredictable.  In his early “Rape of the Highlands” famous show, he allegedly dropped his pants at the end of the show and turned his back on the audience, to which many responded by walking out of the show.  The show was high-energy and extremely expressive, lots of nudity— like many of his shows.  It is said of his earlier shows that they contained a lot of anger and emotion— Alexander was known to kind of have the punk-mentality in that he started designing at a time of great social strife in London; it was the time of the kids, the punks, the outsiders who were not readily understood by the larger society.  And Alexander’s voice in fashion sort of mirrored the punk voice in society at the time.

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Spring/Summer 1999. McQueen’s “Robot” or “Man and Machine” show, in which his model came out in a beautiful plain white dress and was splattered with different colored paints shooting from robotic arms, so as to illustrate man’s relationship with machine at the time. He was quite the political speaker through his shows. This show, he later said, had brought him to tears as he watched it back-stage.

He was indeed a “pink sheep” in the fashion industry; he never did anything expected or traditional.  Many people shunned his shows, but many more adored him and couldn’t get enough of his theatrical masterpieces.  He sold out tickets for most of his shows months before they happened, and everyone was desperate to see what he’d create next.  His shows weren’t simply shows, they were living, breathing art.  He was a master of fashion.  He came to destroy the fashion industry and he instead changed it for the better, forever changing the definition of beauty, forever altering the standard for design.  When asked what fashion meant to him, Alexander answered, “change; constant change.”

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Fall 2000 McQueen for Givenchy, Millennial party show.

Alexander’s  millennium show for Givenchy in Fall of 2000 was a giant chaotic party, complete with dancing, smooching, and everything in between, while models still walked among the chaos to deliver his designs.  In 2001, he left the house and continued to expand his own company.  Alexander kept producing fantastically conceptual shows until his death in February of 2011, where he was found at his home in London by his house-keeper.  It was pronounced a suicide some time after, and Alexander’s line was continued afterward by the Gucci Group, which Alexander had sold much of the business to prior.

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Fall 2009, Chain Mail, McQueen for McQueen.
LOVE this.

Alexander McQueen is one of those designers who was so much more than a designer.  He was a genius, a creative soul who left this Earth too soon.  I miss him and I never even knew him.  He left quite a large footprint behind on the fashion world, and although his line continues, his famous theatricality and unique perspective on life are simply missing, in my opinion.  Alexander McQueen is another rags-to-riches story which truly inspires me— most of these fashion designers who went down in history have these kinds of journeys.  But Alexander’s story is quite unique, and he truly inspires me to not only continue doing what I’m doing, but also to never accept the status quo.  He inspires me to find beauty in unexpected places, like he did, to push boundaries set by societal standards, and that life is too short to be doing something that you don’t absolutely love.

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Spring/Summer 1997, McQueen for McQueen.

“I never did anything to be famous; I mean, just go out and shoot someone and you could be famous.  That’s not the point.  What you need in the end is to get respect for what you do.”

Thanks and photo credits to:

blog.metmuseum.org
vadamagazine.com
www.ibtimes.co.uk
www.huffingtonpost.com

www.thestyleandbeautydoctor.com

Masters of Style series (watch this series; it’s fantastic) >> http://www.hulu.com/watch/128746#i0,p0,d0 

I Want to 미치GO

KPOP Tuesdays: GD’s “미치GO”
By Olivia of WangGuk

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watch video before you read :] >>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrwnL62HObI

This week, I’m going to write about a music video that I really disliked at first. In fact, it wasn’t until just this week, after ignoring it since it first came out, that I actually started to appreciate it. An unexpected love: G-Dragon’s 미치GO or MichiGo.

When this song and video first came out, I was like “Okay so Crayon but a slightly different beat and much more crazy and messed up. Cool.” I didn’t like it at all and I felt like, after Crayon had just come out, it was a complete cop-out and just a bad copy of everything in Crayon. I was actually really disappointed in GD for a while because I felt like the video lacked creativity.

This past week, as I have been falling in love over and over with his newest album (songs from which I’ll review in future posts), I re-visited some of GD’s earlier work. I always love to do this because you can really see an artist’s growth and development over time by looking through all of their work in order. I started with his super old stuff (all that hip-hop rap and more; that good old stuff) and I finally got to 미치GO, and I was like, “Well yeah but I hate this so I’m not going to watch it.” But then I forced myself to re-watch it (I often do this. I listen to a song I know I hate, try a food I know I hate for the 60th time— just to make sure I still hate these things). And upon re-watching the video, I discovered that I actually love it for a ton of different reasons.

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First, this song and video are completely GD. This video doesn’t lack any creativity (no idea what I was thinking before; I was probably on my period or something), nor does it lack musical quality. And although musical quality can be very subjective, I think we must agree that GD never lacks in this department. And 미치GO is no exception. The beat is in fact unique and quite different than Crayon’s beat and backdrop. Some have complained that it is annoying and repetitive and there is no depth to the song itself. COMpletely false, in my opinion. We’ll explore why.

If we look at the visual effects in the video, there is A LOT going on. I mean, there’s this freaky crazy subway with bowl-cut GD riding some giant pink elephant, there’s curly-cue GD who’s trying to read his book, there’s these creepy weird people with masks for faces, and everyone is dancing crazy like someone just dropped a serious acid-bomb on this train. Visually, it’s a lot to take in. Especially if you’re just going to sit through it once and think you’re ready to judge it as a whole. Once we get out of the subway for a little while, there’s this scene where poor curly-cue GD is at the doctor’s office, trying to fix his now suddenly elephantine feet (how did these suddenly grow out of nowhere?), which is spliced with a scene where afro-pic-wearing GD is peeing in this creepy green-lit bathroom— peeing but trying to dance at the same time. This is further spliced with the scene where GD is getting spanked by his mask-face mother and father, as he says “feels goooood.”

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It continues with these scenes, also spliced by a library scene where little curly-cue GD is still trying to read under a table, but keeps getting interrupted by all the other crazy GDs and people dancing and jumping and screaming all over the place. This leads to the scene where a fancy Thom Browne-coat-and-trousered GD is shooting the feet of curly-cue GD with a GD-branded laser-gun, making him dance and flail so as not to get zapped.

Yes, visually, it’s a lot to take in. Especially if we’re just going to call this a weird hodge-podge mess of a bunch of randomly selected weird, creepy, or somewhat-disturbing ideas thrown together into one MV. But it’s so much more than that. Let’s break it down.

I don’t think anything in this video is random. Everything coincides perfectly with the lyrics. The lyrics consist of a GD saying “today I’m michigo, today I’m michigo, today I’m michigo” and other things he repeats several times, like “dirty mad fiesta” (found several translations and it seems that no one really knows what he’s saying there; I think it’s “fiesta”), “today I shake it” and other things. The title of the song, “MichiGo,” is a mix of Korean and English. “미치” (pronounced like “michi”) means “crazy” in Korean and “go” is in English. So put together it literally is “crazy go”— “go crazy.”

This is repeated throughout the song, which is fitting because the song itself is chaos. It’s about going crazy. The reason I like this song so much is because, to me, it almost feels like a video that illustrates the inside of GD’s mind. Now, I’m not GD and I don’t presume to know or comprehend what goes on in his mind, but to me, this video is like an encompassing picture of what GD’s life is like. He starts off as this scared innocent little kid and then he jumps on this express train that takes him into another world. In this world, he meets all of his alter-egos and subconscious selves. There’s the crazy twisted GD who doesn’t even recognize his parents anymore (“mother, father, who are you?”) and then there’s the little boy GD who’s still a kid and who’s still trying to survive, reading under the table, amidst all of the crazy different GDs who keep emerging.

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The feet, to me, are a metaphor for this. The scenes where little curly-cue GD’s feet are getting too big communicate the crazy GD trying to take over the body of the little kid GD. All of these GDs are trying to fit in one body and he’s just one guy, so this swelling of self occurs, so to speak. And throughout the song, GD keeps saying “dance, dance!” like it’s a command, almost like he’s telling himself to dance. Also, at the beginning and end, he says, “I want to go back—No! Shut up!” almost like there is one GD speaking to another. If we roll with the idea that this song is a bunch of GDs fighting to be one body or one whole person, these lyrics become like a dialogue between his alter-egos. Like all his different selves fighting each other and talking to each other. And the rest of the chaos going on, like the guys carrying stacks of books and boxes that keep falling, just solidifies the image of chaos that’s inside him. It’s like GD the kid, who started writing music when he was six, is still there, but now he exists amidst a GD who is constantly changing and developing, going crazy with fame and fortune and all the rest— like the kid’s just trying to keep up with the celebrity. And at the end, when GD the little curly-cue kid gets off the train, he’s got this weird virus, almost like all those GDs are dancing around in him, fighting for control. He’s now got both inside him— GD the kid and GD the crazy. Who’s the real GD? All of the above. It’s a crowded room in there. It always is inside a human mind, I think. We’re each so many different selves in one.

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So this might be completely not what GD was thinking when he created this, but for me, I learned to appreciate it by viewing it in this manner. After seeing it as a picture of the inner GD, it really struck me as not only artistic and strikingly creative, but also rather sad. It now sounds like both a crazy fun dance party song sung by the crazy artist GD and also a lament and cry of chaos from the innocent little boy GD that’s still in there too, whose life is moving too fast for him. It’s just a creative piece altogether. GD’s always one to make me think twice. And now I love it more than I ever thought I would.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrwnL62HObI 

photo credit to:
www.kpopstarz.com

seoulbeats.com 

www.ohkpop.com  

fareastvibes.com 

soundcloud.com