Posted by: Sk | February 21, 2009

8 Fashion Night

Explanations:This dressing is the occidental adaptation of some very beautiful dresses I had the occasion to see during my cousin’s marriage in Islamabad, Pakistan. Of course I couldn’t help asking my aunt where you could find good silk there and I was driven to a very nice old shop in a second floor which somehow had still the smell of the old silk roads, camels and caravans included. I saw something I had never seen before, which was raw silk. Raw silk, contrary to worked out silk is neither soft nor specially adaptable to the body: it keeps the texture of thick linen within natural differences. It happened after that I couldn’t find a plane back to Greece, and the Iranian Embassy I needed to take the visa from if I wanted to travel by bus or train, was closed for one month. Obliged to stay, I didn’t know how to compensate my aunt for the somewhat excessive hospitality and having figured out that such raw silk should be very good for embroidery, I spent almost three weeks making a silk broidery with a combined medieval (horses and horsemen with lances) and pakistani (flowers and other) motif, which woke up greatest admiration among some visitors (men, surprisingly) who thought the combination extremely elegant.Luckily the Iranian Embassy opened after so that I didn’t spend more time with needle works for compensation.Thus, last night, this forlorn memory came back to my mind although I wasn’t waiting for any Embassy to open. I just worked on the same idea, developping though other deep thoughts I had had on the subject many years ago.Thus, for example, the wool subject. Most people think that you wear wool and you die of heat. This is though not true if you don’t have any underwear (t-shirt), as wool is usually quite fresh by itself. That medieval rough wool obliged to the wearing of underwear made wool unbearable in summer, an evidence. Today though, where extremely fine wool is obtainable (merino, cashmire or alpaca) it is possible to think wearing wool even at … 40° C without any harm whatsoever. On the contrary: if coton does not absorb sweat, wool does, and is indefinitely more healthy (well, will cause some harm to deodorants and the kind, but what …). Wool does not keep smell, either, and it is sometimes only necessary to have the pull over somewhere in an aery place at night in order to have all smell disappear. On top of that, wool lasts. A cashmire pullover may last for at least 10 years, without harm, even in the harshest weather conditions (I had one, I wore day after day during a walk down to Jerusalem that lasted over 6 months, and it didn’t suffer any harm whatsoever).Now, the almost extravagant originality of my last night’s invention is the fact of pasting wool to silk through two or three invisible stitches. Why, thus? The idea was the following: a pullover does usually form irregularities except if it somehow attached somewhere (worn under trousers, for example). The only way to avoid this is a weight attached to it, here the rest of the dress. Yes, but, naturally the weight is going to pull the pullover down, with even worse consequences. The solution is an inner belt that attaches the silk part to some part of the body, precisely where the wool is straight and doesn’t bother extreme esthetics, without though causing diformation.Now, why was the whole accompanied by chinese pottery motifs? Perhaps because it is silk, most of it. But not only. In fact, my deep considerations on those subjects had already concluded a long time ago that nowadays it was extremely easy to have the most elegant appearance while just lurking a little bit around history. Which is to say: to avoid the charge of matter and many ‘plis et volets’ (difficult to wear) it was possible to think high sophistication with extremely simple and easy to wear cuts. Of course embroidery is very very expensive, though not thus in third world countries and gives a lot of work to many  people. For every day fashion it is on top easy to think a substitution of the embroidery through ’stamped motifs’.My last invention, which I still have to develop consists in taking very fine silk carpet techniques (with knots) in order to make up … jackets, for example. I saw one silk carpet atelier in northern Turkey, it is really magnificient. But you simply can’t pay it …In the meantime though, I just made up a high class leather jacket for the worse winter.   

Erotism even in winter

Explanations:The problem with fashion is exactly that. It’s not only that you have to look beautiful, you don’t have to forget that it is horribly cold in winter. This extremely elegant jacket (don’t say no) is in fact, as usual, inspired of a coat worn by Inés de la Fressange it seems to me in Parc de Luxembourg but could be Invalides, too. See the kind 3 cm thick and still makes you freeze in Parisian January (must be some kind of scottish wool, but I could be wrong). On top of that she looses her natural lines and disappears inside of a wool mountain.To solve all these inconveniences I thus went back to my mother’s lessons (yes, it’s extraordinary, my mother knew everything about everything without ever having been to University). Leather is not very elegant because it doesn’t mould itself easily to the body (consequently it is easier to wear by men). But the so called ‘retourné’ (back of skin), in Spanish ‘ante’ is much softer and makes many ‘ruses’ (tricks) possible. Here a ‘mouton retourné’ (basse classe matter, I read, for hundreds and hundreds of years, but more beautiful than ‘cow’s leather’ because of its softer colour).Leather does freeze you to death even if it cuts the wind. Usually it is thus doubled by very thick matters that make you look like an elephant, so that people usually avoid except if they’re excused by some ski holidays in Switzerland. How then, I’d ask my mother, do you keep heat without looking like an elephant? The hottest matter if doubled by a wind cutter is certainly wool, even more so if it some fine alpaca or scottish wool without specific motif. If you fix a woolen ‘fourrure’ with another more common one to the leather, you’ll have no hotter jacket, without though looking like a mamouth.Even better. Poor women look in winter like robots because the very sharp lines of coats and jackets make them disappear in a neanderthalian cave. The idea, here, precisely, is to substitute buttons by some kind of ‘cordon’ (lacelets) that allow to adjust the coat to the body, so that it looks much better even than my summer dresses.On top of that, heavy ‘necks’ are avoided by an almost Chinese ingeniosity: a scarf whose form allows to attach two separated parts through two buttons in the middle of it where it is not broader than 4 cm is attached to the coat through two straps (like those that are used for the belt) at the back. Advantage: you never forget the scarf! and your neck is though carefully protected.Finally, most elegant motifs are inserted in relatively soft sheep leather which does not take very fine needle work, through gold filigrane. Here an etrusquean motif, which though makes disappear the usual heaviness of leather.Another model which I have kept in my ‘reserves’ substitutes this motif by a squarish motif in rabbit skin with almost fluorescent colours. For hooligans … with taste!   

Dare shocking blue

texture of fabrics taken from Benizio ( ) and from carcoverguys for velvet ( 

 Late at night on Lempicka

Texture of fabrics taken from Benizio ( ) Original picture from Lolita Lempicka “Two friends” – slightly alteredIt all started with the composition of Chanel 5. Of course it had become a reason to express my deepest disgust towards badly kept secrets, but my flourishing imagination couldn’t avoid figuring out a perfume ‘inspired’ by, and soon after, a whole series of perfume bottles and contents sprang out of my mind. Although I changed subject quite quickly, as usual, one thing staid: the attempt of harmonizing popular ways of doing with almost hysterical upper class businesses strategy.At the same time, I try to translate a ‘esprit d’école’ corresponding to the whole philosophy into a way of doing. Kind: proper presentation and long explanations and so on.It’s not without surprise that I discover a few weeks later, while making some search on internet, that there were whole tons of ‘perfume schools’ in the US and a whole amount of people presenting singular scent inspirations in ‘concours’.Thinking the idea extremely funny and absolutely fitting to some own metaphysical approaches, I go on imagining even fashion schools or even worse: fashion parties. Fashion parties were conceived as taking place once a year and where the invited were obliged to arrive with a self made, self designed and self tailored dressing. After, some would have to decide which the best was, which on the other hand, would give interesting hints to professional designers of how the trend, the real one, actually goes.As all these elements build up a new source of inspiration for my weekends and I have already obliged my ’school’ to fullfill all sorts of tasks before getting a title (Painting), I continue the ‘Fressange birthday dressing’ with a whole series of other clothes that have to fill up my imaginary obligatory exercises for a fashion designer. On top it’s funnier. If you think you’re conceiving something just for the fun, you don’t submit to excessively heavy ordering structures, thus, I tend to imagine a story where almost impossible questions have to be solved, where James Bond has always his place and Russian spies do certainly not lack inside of the plot.The dressings making last weekends series were thus embedded in the following story:Having discovered that Lagerfeld was picking all sorts of designs without it ever being able to prove it, Yves Saint Laurent decides to ’patent’ (register) all sorts of cuts and necks and buttons, as if fashion had become the latest computer function. Quite happy with his solution, he gets about 300.000 USD every time Lagerfeld uses one of the forbidden cuts. The very positive effect on his pockets, does though stop younger designers from showing their creativity, as they haven’t any means to pay possible fines. Thus, Jean Paul Gaultier allies himself to Inès de la Fressange in order to try breaking the very rigid legislation, in a soft line going even over to de la Prada and Lou Lou de la Falaise. Their imagination does though not allow solving the problem properly, although the fact of showing whiter and whiter models is in a certain way already the image of the repressed general dispair ruling over the fashion world.While making up the Inès de la Fressange birthday dressing, all sorts of imaginary regulations have thus to be respected and possibly avoided by pointing with the finger at traditional (non registrable) dresses coming from somewhere.Things develop themselves quite positively as all sorts of almost extravagant inventions are born from this confrontation, allowing even to gain a new ally (daughter Lempicka who is a perfume designer, too, and has all reasons to protest against the violent imposition of market rules privileging some … men, usually), through the accidental application of strict censorship rules on a picture of her mother (actually I was very tired and was searching for a nude to dress in order not to have to make up the whole body again, and fell on that one which I thought quite appropriate, finally.)It happened though that night, that for reasons that were part of the plot (in fact, someone of the environment had prevented Inès de la Fressange of the possible danger of a hooligan, so that all measures of security were taken, and even Sask again put as usual to hunt me all over the world, and thus some cameras were put in places were the IP’s seemed to ressemble to those used by the hooligan, and things developping themselves in the 21st century, instead of having one boring police officer going through whatever was caught by satellite on the screen, all sorts of volunteers were hired in order to get an exact idea of the dimension of the danger of the hooligan in question.) That night, thus, Betty Catroux was to keep the guard and was happily following those interesting creations when some idea crossed her mind and she phoned immediately Lou Lou de la Falaise to take the consequent legal steps: “Register motifs that are more than 100 years old for stamp and embroidery, attached jewelry to dressing, and many etc.” Which list became so long that de la Falaise had some problems to take note of everything, so that arriving very decidedly that day at the Ministry of Registration and after having spent several hours walking from office to office, she finally arrives at the right place and with an absolutely convinced air, says to the clerk:”Register all colours, for myself.”

That day, Yves Saint Laurent became … white!


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