Thursday, February 24, 2005
Forget the arse-crack!
This photo from Milan Fashion Week shows that the charm look won't die anytime soon. I heard someone recently describe those necklaces with the mass of various charms as "bowerbird" necklaces - a term I love. But I particularly like the clever way the tough eyelets are substituted for a chain as the anchors for the charms. I also like the contrast between the satin dress and the leather edging.
I read an interesting Age piece by Janice Breen Burns alleging that soft, girly fabrics are on the way out, and we should enjoy their flattering drape while we can because within three seasons, we'll be shoehorned into stiff, tailored fabrics. Breen Burns may be right - it's certainly true that structured 50s-style tailoring is popular at the moment - those big skirts - those nipped-in jackets. But I think the very point she makes about soft drapery ("It's the look most women warm to, gladly invest in - even those not particularly fussed about current fashion") means that a combination of hard and soft elements will be a more likely street look.
After all, Ted Polhemus has a lot to answer for. He has been the most visible commentator to characterise 'street style' as innately subcultural, spectacular and self-contained - a range of easily identifiable 'looks'. The same thinking pervades the Fruits conception of outlandish Tokyo teens as the epitome of 'street style'. But Breen Burns undermines her entire argument, perhaps unconsciously, by setting up an opposition between the dictates of fashion and what women actually enjoy wearing.
I think actual street style reveals the compromises and interpretive choices ordinary people make; and what I like about this dress is that it combines slinky with tough, punk eyelets with preppie charms. There's something for everyone. And of course, regarding that arse-crack - my bet is that by the time the dress makes it off the back pages of mX and onto the red carpet (and through copycat designs, into stores), it will have been re-cut higher.