Friday, January 29, 2010


By Aqua Catlin

Well it feels like 17 years since I last actually published a completed post and I hope you feel the same. Frederik has pushed his mis-shapen shoes uninterupted too freely! But he has done an amazing job carrying the Fashionoclast!! I have a couple posts still in draft-form waiting on further research and responses, but for now, our guest spot with Becky really hit on something. ("What Becky says you shouldn't be afraid to do" post.) She read my mind and she’s an inspiration to the blogger with block. And forgive me for reviewing what we all know but I just want to.

It’s all about wanting to go forward but still having to deal with nostalgia. - Miuccia Prada, Ultimate Fashionoclast
And she doesn't mean that in the good way. While Queen Miuccia is always avoiding what's come before, everyone has different thoughts on what's acceptable to wear, style rules, thoughts on appropriate looks and so on. If we’re lucky, they’ve actually used their eyes to determine those and not just based it on what's available or in their closet from long, long ago. Dear Sneakers With Jeans, that was for you. I myself have far too many old and easy pieces I still rely on. ( Try getting a costumer to throw out anything with seams. Nopey, I'll need it someday.) And on a basic level of clothing ourselves but still evolving, we have to LEARN TO FEEL SAFE BREAKING THE RULES WE HAD TO LEARN THAT MAKE US FEEL SAFE.

But looking deeper, this defiance, its what fashion is about. We know we can’t have a new trend, fresh new look or season without contrast to what came before. Ask Miuccia Prada! Want to know what will be in next year? She’s doing it now and it’s opposite, hybrid or essence of what you see on the streets and catwalks. And she always comes before her time, she's the first to make the change.
One of the big things right now is wild prints and patterns in wild colors. I'd break my "Never wear anything this loud" rule because I love it - its so different from everything I feel safe in. Balenciaga Spring 2010, followed by Marc by Marc Jacobs bright yellow offering that I would'nt break my rule for:

And guess who did this piece, the most minimal silhouette and completely lacking the use of bright - or any - color:

(Q. What will be in next?
A. Black and White. Buy now and savvey your money.)

So, we're doing Minimalist? Were we doing built up architectural silhouettes last year? Yes.
Naturally, Miuccia Prada was pretty much bored with over-done silhouettes AND the bold colors, presenting this simple frock on the left through her younger line Miu Miu, while Karl Lagerfeld, Reigning King of Perfect Design, (The man offering clogs for Chanel next spring...I have much to learn), gave us this, one of the simpler examples of the architectural designs of the time, at right. Both Spring 2009.

All photos
This winter its flat boots for ladies, last couple years, it was high-heeled boots and we were sworn off flat versions. Who cares about the flat boots coming "in"? Well...if you’ve already been wearing them all of last winter: No one. Same goes for aviator and over-sized sunglasses. Won't be long before they're slivers again.
Nothing can be “out” unless it can also be “in”. If not fashionoclashion, at least commerceshion, is about opposites. Contrast, duality, relativity. Hmm, reminds me of something. But anyway, even classics, will always need a contemporary twist to keep them fresh and desirable. Otherwise they fall away and don't qualify as a classic.
I break my own rules more and more as I become better at following them. Knowing why I have my rules, it makes sense that there are times the opposite will apply. I won’t use that tired old cliché but they are made to be broken because they only apply in general.
Except for clogs. Clogs are snow slippers for walking to the barn. That's my rule, please borrow it. Here are a couple of my tired old rules for safety and may or may not make sense to you.

Don’t mix cool and warm of the same color. Such as a cool salmon pink and hot fushcia. See too many people breaking this rule and it makes an outfit come off not matched but patchy and sloppy if, like me, you’re a color. Person. But of late I’ve found that I can wear the fuschia up top and the salmon on my feet and enjoy it knowing that
1. The two versions of pink are far enough away from eachother that they don’t disturb the eyes like if they were touching or nearer.
2. Most people aren’t looking to see if I’ve mixed my warm and cools.
3. If someone’s looked at my shoes and noticed that they reference my top but don’t match it, they’ll have to assume it was a choice, (which it is – I can easily choose a neutral), and to appreciate each on their own terms for what they are.
4. If Lagerfeld noticed and judged, I'd point out how desperate selling a clog as fashion seems to be.

Other rules I’m more comfortable breaking lately:
Wear high heels. This one has been a problem after 1-2 nights of tango a week. I need more flats for winter, my feet will not tolerate heels the next day after hours of dancing. This is a new set of circumstances to deal with. Like the weather, the culture, body shape etc. so the rule must be broken. I’ll have to find shorter pants and deal with the fact that, no, I’m not really 5’7” . I'm not even 5'6". But maybe in an inspirational flat twice a week, I can still feel cute, somehow. (I walk pretty pigeon toed in flats. Chirp, tweet.)

Avoid mixing greys, browns and blacks. This one is a toughie. Lots of people mix them but not necessarily successfully and for me, again it comes down to are they mixing warm and cool versions? These colors seem like neutrals but often they're not.
Some say don't mix navy with black. Well I see they fight eachother but I love the power of this pair!

If its not a shift, don’t belt it. Then again, that silver lame minidress with its empire waist above the bust line needs some shape - I demand a waistline!

Here are a couple rules I see others breaking:
No white after Labor Day or Before Memorial Day
On the heaviest day of the recent LA downpouring of rain, I saw a plus-size woman wearing head-to-toe white. Long white cotton skirt as seen at Venice Beach and a simple white cotton longsleeve blouse. She carried a briefcase and was in the business end of Wilshire Blvd. and I know that she woke up and CHOSE to put on that outfit during days of cold and rain with no end in sight. Why? I like to think: To spite the rain, because she could and because she wanted to.

I was with a European guy who was utterly disgusted about a man wearing black trousers with a contrasting colored sock. Sure, it distracted our eyes, but was I offended? No! Turns out the Euro has had a self-imposed rule since age 15: No black trousers sans black socks. Makes perfect aesthetic sense. But what if its Christmas and I want to wear a pair of plaid socks to my holiday dinner party? Ok. Not saying we should all buy sweaters with cartoon reindeer on them. Just that the rule is now broken and improved upon for the circumstance.
Who knew we could get so philosophical about clothes, rules, fashion. If I've learned anything from the wonderful posts here of late, and my slavish admiration of Prada, its that I don't want to get left behind! We need to keep evolving, trying new looks, (its hard to dress myself and easy to dress others), breaking rules! And posting. Would love to hear about your revelations that its ok to just do what you want!


Frederik Sisa said...

Good gravy, your clog complex borders on the pathological! Perhaps you should take your mind off the horror by contemplating the fashion virtues of this singular garment. ;)

Aqua said...

You do feet your way, I'll do them mine. I like beauty. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT? Sure you can decorate clogs, (appropriately named!) but does it fix the issue? Perhaps this will help you gain perspective:

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