Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Style Watch: Icona Pop

This summer has been all about vibrant color, and futurist ultra modernism, which, this fall, will parlay into funky silhouettes that will transform us into more grandiose images of us as people. Viewing this video, "I Love It", from the Swedish duo, Icona Pop, reminded me of this impending shock value. First off, the contrast between the two pretty rebels, that of Caroline Hjelt’s orange hair and pale skin, and Aino Jawo’s short, bold upside-down-pudding-bowl due, make them appear ethereal and distinct. I was most inspired by the fringed garments they wore on the street that blew in the wind as they twerled, which in my fashion, made them look whimsical and helps them to transcend ordinary street walkers aestheticly. Their exagerated fringe is a design aspect I would most certainly want to see incorporated in looks this fall. They made me think of all the different ways one could experiment with their look and give me, and hopefully you as well, the encouragement to look as distinct as possible. They are expected to release an album this fall having made small waves across Europe these past few years. They even featured in Chiddy Bang’s song, “Mind Your Manners”, which I featured in my last Style Watch.

In light of the recent Costume Institute's new exhibition featuring the off-the-wall Schiaparelli brand that will be coming back into the mix of designers after 50 years, the fashion world seems to be very eager to push past conventionalism and practicality for more daring, and outrageous looks that express an escapist, almost cartoon-like sentimentality. Take examples from this month’s issue of Vogue: some of the looks that stand out most in my mind were the Prada silk and wool hexagon print jacket and pants with platform heels that remind me of a play on Mexican inspired clogs. Anna dello Russo, editor-at-large for Vogue Japan, was recently an example of how one would look in public as she sported this 70’s inspired look in Milan at the Spring 2013 menswear collections last month. Other looks that caught my adoration was a red and black bonded-leather coat by Givenchy, it’s bold features projecting reductive geometric minimalism, and the “fantasy corporate empire” look outfitted by Balenciaga with the hot pink and lillac sheer skirted dress contrasted against the model’s electric orange hair. I even like the to-big-for-you black and white checkered Comme des Garçons wool jacket with its matching to-big-for-you skirt and large red flower petals printed all over, complete with lace up clogs. As Vogue suggests (and encourages): Go to extremes! Play with your clothes, mix and match really big unique tops with small tight bottoms, and vice versa, then do a combo of both oversized pieces. Go out and find the most interesting and unique hat one can find and add flowers, or another small personal item that can make for an interesting conceptual story atop your head (i.e. perhaps go as far to add a small stuffed bird giving the illusion of a birds nest to a disheveled looking fedora with straw and extra fabric wrapped around it). Make people look, wonder, and show people how creative one can be with a few simple alterations in ones perception of "normal". My question though is: what exactly is normality anyway? Normal is a subjective adjective, so who's to say what's proper? Be bold and fearless in expressing what you feel is "normal" in this world.

Prada, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Comme des Garçons
US Vogue, July 2012

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