I attended the Robert Geller Spring 2012 runway yesterday and fell in love with the sports-Noir aesthetic and the big straw hats. Everything was seething in bad-boys-who-could-kick-your-ass-and-look-good-doing-it mystery. I've always been drawn to hats with big brims like these, but they're often too feminine for my taste, or constructed of wool or other animal hairs, so it was nice to see these in a masculine shape made from straw. What's wrong with wool you ask? Think about what wool does as a textile: it's warm and uncomfortable - now apply that to the planet. There are so many wool-producing sheep that they are one of the largest contributors to GHG emissions, especially in Australia and New Zealand. Sorry sustainable fashion folks.... wool is not so eco. Soon after the show, I also realized what this runway reminded me of; Judge Doom from Rodger Rabbit:
The aesthetic lure of villainous power is something I often speak about in my presentations on Fashion. The well-dressed villain represents a form of power and intrigue that is deemed much sexier than the earnest do-goodery of the hero. This is probably due to the the villain's unpredictability, the utilitarian purpose of the villain's shadowy and mysterious wardrobe, the villain's association with careless risk-taking and danger, and perhaps, the perception that the villain represents rebellious freedom - specifically freedom from moral codes, laws, and social etiquette. Above all - the lure of villainous or "evil" power is so popular because it is easily obtainable. There is no need to attempt the difficult task of the hero, which involves knowledge, understanding, and consistency in action with values based in widely held ethical criteria. That is a lot of work to do! This is not to say that villains are all stupid, but they represent an enticing form of power that is much easier to obtain that that of the hero. The irony is, of course, that truly villainous and "evil" power is much more insidious and mainstream than heroic power, yet it is often those that adopt the villianous aesthetic that see themselves as rebels or counter-culture.
Perhaps it was the shape of the hats that had me thinking about ravioli, but after the show I stopped by Cafe Blossom for some indulgent, truffled ravioli with toasted sage in "butter" sauce, which I'd began craving after the show. It's a new item on the menu, so if you are on the upper west side, go stop in and grab some, along with a milkshake and a "bacon cheeseburger".