|McQeenius (or an actual fashion blog)
||[Feb. 12th, 2010|07:56 pm]
Spinning 45 Ballerina
I read far too much celebrity gossip; even about celebrity’s I’m not into. My favourite though is the stuff that’s so shocking no one believes until it’s been 50-years, at least. Vintage gossip (like vintage anything-else) is the best. Stuff used to be so true, or at least the things that weren’t we now know about. Nowadays every other week there is a story of the lonely divorced grand-dame has a new closeted leading-man on her arm. The sausage connoisseur says something that the media reports as shocking about the ageing “starlets” sexual appetite and the next time he’s caught getting a blow-job in public restroom (by a Senator) he starts dating a different kind of desperate. It’s all so obvious; there are more beards in Hollywood then at a Santa-Claus pageant.
So I bet you can tell I love this. Being all catty and making fun of rich skinny people and they’re “privacy”. To quote ONTD, the best source for all gossip, “celebrities are disposable, the content is priceless”.
Some aren’t though: I was so sad last night when I read that Alexander McQueen had committed suicide. I’ve followed him since he had his big break though around 1997, when he became a household name. This was way back when drawing women in dresses was my number one hobby. He was one of the main reasons for me getting interested in fashion at all. I was a serious little girl, and quite pretensions, I think I needed someone like him to really make it clear what an important art form it is. My first discovery was Jean Paul Goutier, my second McQueen. Fashion wasn’t what it is now a decade ago. It had to be a loose fit, and the casual look was an ill-fitting common denominator... and the only thing I knew. Fashion show’s featured every kind of minimal, the only thing fun was futurism but even that was presented in cotton and polyester. (I never had the casual preference for cheap material.)
McQueen and Goutier represented the almost wearable side of the extreme avant-garde. They had a nostalgic fleer that just wasn’t percent in the everyday culture of the very modern 90s.
Looking different was never a choice for me. My mother loved shopping second hand, she dressed my in these fun sort of 80s knits and home made hippie quilted numbers. My grandmother is a terrible snob who always made sure I had a closet full of expensive dresses and designer girly kid-wear. Like all little girls reared in the late eighties had a huge assortment of neon tights and oversized tees. I mixed and miss-matched, never ever getting to a point where I resembled a normal kid. By the time I had turned fourteen I was the height I am now, 5.9. I stuck out no matter what, buying a silver futurist ballroom skirt and wearing it to school held no peril for me that I wasn’t forced to face regardless.
I think about my tween years and early teens as existence in a kind of stylistic vacuum. There was very little rock and roll, no decadence for the everyday to inspire me and no internet for me to discover the passed on. What little exuberance there was I clung too and made my own. McQueen's fashion is one of the things that have influenced my sense of aesthetics the most.
I drew my last dress designs when I was about 15. Many of them are still hanging in my room at my family’s summer house. Some of them I still find quite impressive, others have not aged well. I never thought about being a fashion designer, because I never enjoyed making the dresses, only drawing them and dreaming about one day wearing them.
I’m always shocked by people who don’t value Haut Couture. There is still this lingering stigma of frivolousness attached to fashion. It’s really changing now though, but I’m not talking about little girls and they’re flavourless fashion blogs, or hipsters in skinny/baggy/whatever the trend may bee/expensive jeans.
I really do feel that fashion deserves to be a subject of serious academics in the same way literature, film, music and art is. It’s obvious to me that fashion is the superior subject to study if you want to understand our passed; both personal and historical. It seems so much less deliberate then the other art forms, so very aware of the time it exists in, but not as self-conscious about it. Fashion is fetish, an integral part of every contemporary. Even if you take away it’s intellectual properties It's still of vital impotence in daily life. Like commercials, pop music, celebrity gossip and other unvalued properties of this society, it represents the good news. Promises of the beauty and prosperity that is to come. It’s true it all may very well be lies, still I think these lies are loved and needed far more then they’re credited to be.
When McQueen ended his life right before fashion week he turned good news into bad. I don’t want to read too much into this, but for all the stories where told about the marked re-establishing itself the fashion-industry really is in crisis. Like all other art forms it will endure and re-invent itself. The failure of the international trading markets though means the storming of they're Bastille, the industry that produces something as mundane as clothing at prices that could feed family’s for years. I’m sure McQueen’s reasons for ending his life where personal and not purely economic. Still the over worked designer, trying to survive in the world that no longer affords Haute Couture, is surly heading for a nervous breakdown; a screeching holt. Why did it have to be him though? The world needs all the beauty it can get.
Today I put on shoes I cant walk in. In his honour.