Monday, September 26, 2011

View From The Back

Allow me to set the scene: young Jo’burgers, in one sort of hatchback or another and I, the wincing muscle lover. Indeed, this is starting to look like a battle of the forms rather than a battle of specifics.

I do not like hatchbacks, at all. I don’t like their stubby cockiness or their Messi-esque responses; they just look a bit, well, rough. I favour lengthy elegance and flowing contours, which doesn’t leave me with much to enjoy in this age of (cringe) Hatchbacks.

I am a stubborn debater, so I write this with absolute reluctance: the new Megane is, dare I say it, rather nice.

It is not personal circumstance fuelling this erm, obsession (or is it?), I was merely pointed in the direction of this cleaner cut version. And it does look good, with less of an accentuated Derrière and more of a sleek profile, I think I have a car crush, but more than anything else, I am overjoyed that they trimmed that Kim Kardashian behind.

This leads me to the real point of this post- why are so many hatchbacks so additionally ‘blessed’ from behind? It is a marketing strategy aimed at the male vice? Or is it a trend perpetuated by deprived car designers who are appealing to their male love of ass? Regardless of the intention, there are a frightening number of these voluptuous models, some even penetrating revered fashion publications such as Bazaar and Vogue. Cue the Fiat 500 by Gucci:

Let me be clear, I did not intend this post to be a Hatchback bashing session, but I cannot swallow the arrogance of the Fiat, in fact, I am speechless (almost).

But shall I put one more bullet in this trend? I do not have to say anything at all, a picture does say a lot:

Can you hear the bass in that cockroach of an automobile? How fitting for Marlboro and Mayfair, if you’ll excuse my snobby commentary.

I don’t like hatchbacks, at all, but I do love the new Megane, and the Ford Fiesta and Focus but that is where it ends. Until those asses disappear or are reigned in, I shall slander.

Yes I am being an ass, but that also sums up your car.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Mile High Club Is No More

Out with the old and in with the new, and platforms are- dare I risk it- so last season. So tell me dear trendsetter, what shall I do with my newly acquired contemporary floral platformed courts? Should I donate them to a worthy cause on Oxford Road, maybe someone with red-hair will appreciate them more than my gullible feet?

Like the very mature gentleman who donned one burgundy loafer and one navy one, I aim for the title of Fashion Rebel. Think of Mr. Galliano’s spacesuit and then equate my glam grunge look, anti-climax of note perhaps?

Let us not be led into the ridiculous by the designers we dig, we may end up gymming in feather trimmed waistcoats (an example I wish I could erase). It’s about time that the consumers took a stand against trends like tattoo bodysuits (at this point I’ll stop making Galliano references). Pull your snotty nose out of Bazaar and buy something YOU think is beautiful, besides, quirky is trendy too no?

I am much too tired to give you examples off the runway but that isn’t the point of this piece is it?

I hope that my advice is heeded by both sheep and shepherds alike, now go on Sir, find that other navy loafer while I strut my platforms into the articles which told me to throw them away…

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fetish vs. Retro; The Spring 2012 Debacle

It’s a seasonal issue Dear Reader; illustrated by women going slightly nutty with indecision over which trend should dominate their wardrobe. And the successes seldom outweigh the fails. There is always that group of women who go rogue and choose the most ludicrous trend, all in a sad attempt to “make it work”, tsk tsk ladies, you know better than to wear your underwear on the outside, this is not a Marvel comic book.

This season the battle is Fall’s Fetish up against the rather overworked Spring Mad Men inspired Retro shifts and embellished prints. Louis V’s handcuffs and glam take on bondage was contrasted by Sarah Burton’s ‘repressed angel’ Fall collection of restrainers and leather chokers, but of course, that’s just one end of this scale.

Swinging to the other extreme, Alexandre Herchcovitch’s Spring collection of vintage influenced dresses (both authentic and not) threw some of the most revered fashionistas off course (and by revered, I’m talking about the fashion Nazis that for a whole season pranced around in Emilio Pucci frills). They’ve been asking how to find a balance between fetish boots and that oh-so-pretty flared shift, but more importantly, if there even is one.

It’s at this point that many people want to shoot designers for being so bloody extreme, it’s a fashion debacle people, an utter crisis, and if we- the ahem, ‘intellectuals’- do not draw a line somewhere we’ll have a riot of mistakes: think champagne baby-doll satin meets black latex, a travesty I personally could never allow.

Ladies, some seasons are meant to be distinguished from one another, and please, I implore you, make that distinction in the pieces you put together.

A flared shift; gold handcuff bracelet and desert boots? Maybe.

A bubble shift with fetish boots? Over my dead body.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Designer Relevance: A Diagnosis of Sorts

Two days ago, my beloved sister bought me a sheer, navy t-shirt with a mélange trim, an exquisite piece under any circumstances. This tee proves to be especially appealing with the Spring 2012 sheer mini-trend and it feels Amazing. After recovering from the head rush of buying it, I contemplated the relevance of designer clothing, more specifically:

What pertinence does unaffordable fashion have in a country like South Africa?

In the past, designer attire was about quality and workmanship; an unrivalled level of attention to detail. Designer clothing still holds those points true but now, with more affordable stores clamping onto trends faster than leeches onto animals, and with their quality level rising steadily, are designers becoming irrelevant?

As much as I would like to scare the skirts off my readers (although I think I have none), designers may still have an ace up their sleeves: exclusivity.

For example, I do not know of an affordable store capable of manufacturing a decent Burberry inspired trench or a Dolce leopard print body-con dress (without being trashy that is). The basics of the collections are picked up by trend analysts, but the show-stoppers, the unattainables will always be the designers’ hook in their songs of fashion.

But here's another point:

Is there anything more annoying than having what you feel is a statement piece and then seeing half of the country’s population wearing it? I think not.

The allure may lie in knowing that you are one of a lucky few wearing it. So is it sad or scary that fashion is breeding an elitist attitude?

But that revelation will be elaborated on in due course, and my mélange trim tee will make me feel like a French Noble- with a head- and isn’t that what we all want to feel: Special.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beware: The 'Condemned' Damsel

It is not in the mere curve of her waist or the fullness of her breasts that femininity resides, it is in her presence and manner and the effortless grace exuded in her movement. She has been stepped on and is accustomed to working as an integral figure but is always unnoticed, she is the intricate machinery in a watch, she is historically unseen.

These thoughts have crossed each of our minds at some point, this battle between the male presence and the objectified woman, but more so in the mindset of feminism and more recently, eco-feminism. Excuse me while i digress from my poetic path; for this is a fashion blog, not a soapbox.

On a comparatively lighter note, which ‘modern’ woman can deny the assertive qualities of fashion? Some men (and women) choose to assure their masculinity (or femininity) through the degradation of the opposite sex:

Chris Brown beats Rihanna and Rihanna writes about bondage, a curious example indeed.

But let’s cut to the chase, Rihanna also adopted one bad-ass wardrobe. Which ties up with my last point: women’s fashion for many, promotes empowerment and independence, all the while appreciating the feminine form.

It’s that unexplained pout when your lips are freshly ‘rouged’. It’s that previously non-existent posture that emerged when you wore that dress.

And here’s the best example (a personal revelation I’ll admit):
It’s that strut you never knew you had before you bought those heels. That dear reader, is the power of fashion to a woman.

But ladies, let’s not get our French lace knickers in a knot over this, fashion is but a mere symptom of the empowered woman and I know many other ‘alternatively’- for the lack of a better word- empowered women who disagree with my stance, immensely.

They argue- and to a certain point, I have to agree- that a woman is not defined by her curves or her beauty and that the fashion which we gravitate to is perpetuated by men so that we become objects which they expressed a desire for in the first place.

Regardless of the side you choose, and whether it’s a golf shirt that puts a sparkle in your smile or a pencil skirt, being a women, and being proud of what makes us women is the essence of ‘gender equality’ for me. Women are not equal to men, because women are not men, but the same applies to the little boys.

Red lips vs. nude lips; body-con vs. drapery, here’s to the little things that we assert ourselves with. We may fight like girls, but when we’re dressed to kill, hell, we pack quite a punch.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Rise of Journo Fashion

The world is in a state of social and political transition, and while lots of change is good, a lot of it is violent on the way there.Fashionably violent might I add.

We are indeed in global limbo...

So trust a bunch of fashion genii to catch on.

The Tottenham riots and student protests in Chile are two of the most recent events that have grabbed the world by their lapels, throw in the chaos of the earthquake in Japan and you have a troubling set of circumstances.

It is at this point that I would like to highlight the common denominators in the aforementioned events: poverty (before and/or after) and journalists.

Allow me to paint you a picture of the average 'hard-hitting' male journalist:
Combat pants, desert boots, safari hat/beanie, distressed jeans and the all important stubble and grease.

Does that sound familiar? Do i hear Spring 2012? why, yes, yes I do.

Balmain showed desert boots in distressed suede, bomber jackets and faded denim button downs, sounds like an Al Jazeerah correspondent possessed Christophe Decarnin to me.

nevertheless, I quite like this 'idolisation' of the new-age explorers.

besides, its Bottega Veneta's Arab Spring rationale that I find most interesting.

Imagine an entire fashion show, inspired by what I would think was utter turmoil. Well I can assure you that Tomas Maier, is one hell of an artist in interpreting the rebellion into checked suits and bad-ass shades. Not OTT, but most certainly not mediocre, Muammar Gaddafi, eat your heart out.

So dear Sirs, put away your tailored silks and cravats, and embrace your inner, hobo, if put lazily. Grab a satchel and your Docs and head out.

Even if you write with the intellect of George Bush, at least you can dress like the journo muses who have no idea that this trend even exists.

Forget sophisticated, rebel is the new black.

The Alter-Ego Fashion Blog, a Brief Introduction

Before we begin, I feel that it’s only fair to introduce myself. By that I mean, let’s get a few things straight. I am hardly a fashion veteran, or a fashion Nazi. I go to work in sneakers sometimes and wear grey hoodies when the weather is bad, yes, I know, I can also imagine your pretty face puckered up in disgust.

So I understand if after this erm, overview, you simply kill my page on the basis of inexperience but if you may, take quick peek over those Chanel specs and hear me out. I am not that ignorant to the workings of the fashion world. I may be better at dissecting political statements, but I reckon it would be interesting to see what sprouts from here.

So here it goes, one aspiring fashion writer on a whirlwind adventure fighting the dragons of Ill-Fitting Pants and False Eyelashes…

Cue the theme music; this is going to be one hell of a blog.