All Villains? Men's Fashion Week for Fall 2010 in Paris and Milan is well underway, and Designers seem obsessed with creating villains. Ann Demeulemees covered the runways in excessive furs, feathers and leather in attempt at at what Hint Mag referred to as a Rocked-Out-Count-Dracula. Well, maybe she got the blood-thirst right, but there's nothing attractive (or interesting) about a man covered in the forty bodies of anally and vaginally electrocuted mink.
The Comme des Garçons collection by Rei Kawakubo also featured a bear coat. That's right. A coat made from a bear that looked less "real" than a faux, and Hermés perpetuated the tired fur-trim collar. Los Angeles-based Rick Owens' disco-star-ship-Hellraiser was not only a hideously cruel collection of snake-boots and snake-n-fur gloves and coats, but it also looked like the stuff of costumey evil-queens. While his use of pattern and print is definitely exciting, Alexander McQueen needs to know that the skull and crossbones is over. It was over in 2004. He must have been playing Mortal Kombat, because his ninja-masked men in suits looked like bad-guy Scorpian and just could not be taken seriously - especially with silly fur-shoulders and fur-trim hoods.
It was fitting that Dsquared payed tribute to horror flicks, considering the horror-films that have documented how fur, feathers, wool and leather are made into "fashion". Moncler Gamme Bleu by Thom Browne had what looked like a gorilla suit - fur from head to toe.
Sometimes I really wonder what the hell is wrong with designers like D&G, Costume National, Gucci and Armani? Can you be in such a bubble that you convince yourself that aesthetics somehow justifies anything? Like cliché horror films in an age of awareness, these concepts are shocking at first, but rarely innovative. These designers act as though they are rebelling by designing against awareness but this is like cutting off the nose to spite the face, especially in a time when there are so many amazing alternatives, fauxs, and revolutionary sustainable and eco-fabrics. It's not enough to simply hope designers will "get it" and make the common-sense connection between fabric and animals, exercise basic compassion or empathy, or realize that their talents would not be stunted by taking the time to find alternative and cutting-edge fabrics - we actually have to tell them to stop. All this means that designs are getting comfy using fur with no indication of concern or awareness. We need to step it up, because it's only getting worse!
Meanwhile, designers who managed to steer clear of fur like Adam Kimmel, went with insane casino villians in velvet suits. Dries Van Noten offered a polished but mischievous ivy-leaguer with mismatched sleeves and a rocker edge, Junya Watanabe captured the indy-rock dandy, and Viktor & Rolf gave us their love for the mid-century prep with modern details. Bottega Veneta was all about the rockabilly bad-boy, and Kris Van Assche's minimalist men stuck to black, white and gray urban basics. Mens' Varsace and Prada (while drowning in leather) seemed to have passed on fur this fall season.
The mainstream press seemed to have steered clear of Geneva, Switzerland last week (January 20-21) where the Eco-Chic Fashion Show was held in partnership with the UN featuring 21 eco-couture designers and 23 ready-to-wear-designers.