Friday, December 17, 2010

To respect, but to reinterpret

Anybody appointed to revitalize a 70-year-old fashion house that has been through hands of various owners and designers would be under great pressure. Rodolfo Paglialunga, a former designer at Prada was told to re-launch an idea of fashion that is contemporary, without forgetting the outstanding aspects of its history, the history of Vionnet.

Madeleine Vionnet's trademarks—handkerchief hems, halter-necks, and form-fitting silhouette captured the most beautiful aspect of classical Greek aesthetics: the body and movement. The code decided by the new owner—drapes, asymmetry, and geometry—however, are easier to be deciphered than to be reinterpreted.

In the fashion world of 4D technology, live-stream filming and more experimental marketing tactics to come, generating excitement whilst staying true to the legacy may be a daunting task. If any narrative and commentary beyond the clothes themselves better underlie the inherent authenticity of the fashion house, I think Madeleine Vionnet’s very own perspective of fashion may provide a rooted standpoint for interpretation: “There is something superficial and volatile about the seasonal and elusive whims of fashion which offends my sense of beauty.”

References: NYTIndependentpsfk

Vionnet's handkerchief dress, 1920

 Vionnet Salon in Paris
Madeleine Vionnet
Vionnet under Rodolfo Paglialunga

 Carey Mulligan in Vionnet

Friday, December 10, 2010

A trench of four cities

Although certainly not at the same scale, and perhaps not even in the same genre as the films that the Fashion Film Festival includes, 4 x 3.1 presents a modest debut of Phillip Lim’s collaboration with young artists.

The opportunity to collaborate with Lane Crawford was presented to Phillip Lim, which was no less than a quick entry prelude to the flagship store in Hong Kong under plan for 2011. As chief executive of 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ms. Wen Zhou, who started 3.1 Phillip Lim at age 31, sees Hong Kong as a hot spot for opening the first location in China—a good reason to choose a Hong Kong based photographer Victoria Tang, daughter of the founder of Shanghai Tang, to shoot one of the quartet.

“There is a real mysterious aura that comes from a woman wearing a trench”, said Phillip Lim. The white trench, with feminine bow detail—a trademark of the designer, wonders through the streets in four cities: HongKong, Beijing, Paris and NYC. If only the white trench could make into a film with a mysterious heroine character, designed to fit with the distinctiveness of the clothing line (Rodarte for Black Swan as the most recent endeavor), it could be more memorable.

Reference: Dazed, WSJ