IGNORE THE RULES, MAKE A STATEMENT! MANHATTAN VINTAGE CLOTHING SHOW PRESENTS DESIGNER FASHION THAT’S ON THE EDGE
You could hear the intake of breath, the ripple of dissent as the striking, leonine models loped down the catwalk.
News-Antique.com - Jan 19,2009 - Outrageous …shocking …was the verdict. Who would wear this? Fast-forward one or two more decades and the answer is – everyone! And, it can be yours at the upcoming Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show, February 6 & 7, 2009 at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
“Imagine a moment in time when designers didn’t have to be accountable to stockholders,” recalls David Ornstein, whose own forays into the fashion world have made his vintage shows the talk of Manhattan. “They were young, adventuresome, expressing themselves in daring ways, and in the process having fun. Then, imagine the fashions themselves – dramatic and playful, architectural and futuristic. It’s fashion that says ‘Go ahead, take it to the edge.’ It satisfies that small inner voice that longs to fly in the face of convention.”
Indeed, 80s and 90s cutting edge fashion often did just that. “Designers pushed the envelope in terms of texture and structure – a tendency that can be compared to modern art which moved away from representational art towards a more innovative use of color and form,” notes Ornstein. The first reaction? “Boy, I don’t understand what that is.”
“Modern fashion designers took form and turned it right on its head,” adds Erin Wilder, who has put together a special review for the upcoming show that celebrates “fashion on the edge.” The Japanese, in particular, pushed the envelope in structure. Designers Westwood, Galliano, and Gaultier were all about architecture – form, volume and shape. Alexander McQueen took ornamentation and opened up the floodgates. Because there was so much detail involved, these fashions were very expensive to produce. Many designers went broke (Mugler declared bankruptcy four times). But, it was also what made these fashions a piece of art – the workmanship, the detail, the quality of the fabric!
As designers took these cutting-edge tendencies and moved them one step closer to the middle, there emerged a new, more wearable look. Mugler began modifying severe, architectural shapes to create gorgeous, flowing gowns and more relaxed suits. “What is amazing is that these designers transcended fashion into art,” comments Ms. Wilder. “And, even more amazing is that they are considered mainstream today.”
They also set the standards for a new generation of designers, many of whom are pushing the envelope even further today – these are designers like Gareth Pugh, Christopher Kane, Jens Laugesen, Kazuko Ogawa, and Luella Bartley who have taken up the thread of innovation in fashion, pushing it to extremes. Goth and carnival influences drive Kane’s fashions over the top, while Bartley and Laugesen redefine the little black cocktail dress.
Wilder sees the upcoming exhibit as both beautiful and elegant, fun and funky. “The whole range is represented from so ugly, it’s cool, to elegant and chic.” Most importantly, it’s a look that is NOW – one that comfortably moves forward in today’s highly stylized, personal fashion world. A fine example are the black jackets by Jean Paul Gaultier, once known as fashion’s bad-boy since his collections were filled with erotic references