Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Is “Fashion” Dead?

"I don't think there is any pleasure in the world comparable to that of a woman who feels she is being looked at by everybody, and has joy and energy transmitted to her."

Photograph by Otto, the Countess Greffulhe in a ball gown, circa 1887. © Otto/Galliera/Roger-Viollet.
Text & Photographs by Jill Lynne

Recently, we have witnessed the dissolution of the Fashion Community in New York City. And with it, the dissipating of the glamour, allure and dynamic creativity that once defined the institution of Fashion and beckoned to us all.

A perfect metaphor is the actual transformation from the coveted intimacy of the Bryant Park Tents, to the cooed-down corporate structure at Lincoln Center, and down into the dark, dank gloom of the basement of the 34th Street Post Office.

(Fortunately, filmmaker James Belzer documented the final Fashion Week at Bryant Park in his important film “The Tents” — so we can wax nostalgic ...)
The season opening of "Proust's Muse, The Countess Greffulhe" at The Fashion Institute's Museum, is one of the events that has traditionally signaled the beginning of the Autumn Fashion Season. The exhibitions, a heady mix of intellect with beauty, uniquely installed, as well as the plethora of MFIT's fashionista following, always make for a memorable event.
In the foreground; House of Worth, Byzantine Gown of Taffeta Lame, Silk & Gold Thread with Silk Tulle & Sequins, 1904, with an ornate Velvet cut Cape in the background created from a Uzbekistan rich court robe gifted to her by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
House of Worth. Tea Gown, blue cut velvet on a green cut satin ground & Valencienne's Lace, 1897. Dynamic mirrored displays enhance the Exhibition. Here the Day Dress, circa 1887, fabricated in Antique Pink Silk Satin by Maison Soinard.
Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922), a friend, mentor and supporter, of the Countess. The Countess not only inspired Proust, but many in the arts and literati ... Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) is said to have transformed the cultural likes of Paris through his brilliant ballets with such dancers as Nijinsky and Pavlova. As a pioneer fundraiser, The Countess Greffulhe provided critical support.
Many factors have contributed to this “death.” To name a few ...

The loss of Brick & Mortar Retail, the rise of internet shopping, the fusion of different types of dressing – the latest being “athleisure,” a merging of athletic with casual wear for day or evening – lessening the need for more extensive wardrobes. Finally, most everyone has been habituated to purchasing items on sale.
Director & Chief Curator MFIT at the Opening of "Proust's Muse, The Countess Greffulhe." Designer Dennis Basso.
Designer Yeohlee. Designer Victor de Souza with his niece.
Jean Shafiroff in one of her many gowns. Marilyn Kirchner in a Chanel-inspired layers of vintage pearls.
Fashionista regulars attendees.
As for the actual runway shows; At one time staged artistic happenings showcasing works of compelling imagination have now flattened out to a boring malaise; a predictable middle. 

One respected long-term fashion journalist confided she could no longer bear to attend the shows and covered this season by only watching them on line!
Meanwhile a bit further downtown from the high-styled MFIT's Chelsea location, in the MPD (Meat Packing District) Milk Studios was hosting a fun-filled Fashion Event for the 14th MADE Fashion Week.

MADE, now part of the WWE / IMG group, is that creative downtown hub known for its cutting-edge innovative international designers and dynamic graphic design.

Here where celebrities easily mix with street kids, the crowd is as intriguing as the actual designs, sporting the latest ideas in an array of individual gender-bending costumes ...
Super graphics adorn the MADE Penthouse at Milk, sponsored by Maybelline.
An outfit created by a Parson's Fashion student demonstrates the latest "Athleisure" trend — where athletic wear fuses with casual attire. Here more Athleisure with peek-a-boo slits revealing just a little skin.
The gal in this edgy couple wears an ethnically-inspired mix of patterns and textures, while the guy sports a spiffy black leather jacket — supposedly a "must-have" accessory. Setting hands free, backpacks of all types, are in, in, in ...
Mixing it up to develop your own personal signature style whether wearing brocades with winter slippers or oversized glasses with perky animal bags ... or whatever.
Trending silver pleated skirts and flirty long skirts, with neck bands are all the rage. So a la mode: Weaves of all sorts ... twisted, braided, and intricate colors that have no need to aproximate natural shades.
At the MADE happening bhows: Very fem Boho lingerie. Still trending: Off-the-Shoulder looks ...
And because it's MADE, presentations also showcase curious music — played here on a sculptural installation.
Architectural simplicity with clean lines. Note: trending body-teasing mesh Inserts ... also on work-out leggings.
Increasingly, only newbies are willing to withstand the “hurry-up-n-wait” routine that has characterized attending the shows — usually for a let-down performance.

Yet an ode is due to the touch of fine fabrics, gorgeous textiles, the genius of true innovation, and the inspiration of real beauty…

And at least, let it be FUN!

Perhaps in the future.
Fantasy presentations at MADE at MILK: Legs showcasing a shoe line magically appear as if disembodied.