My infatuation with fashion is limitless: I breathe it and live it, and I consider it my personal route to escapism.
Fashion and prejudice
A form of walking art, fashion has always been a way to express an attitude, emotion or thought; when it’s dark and mysteries – it is a tool of rebellion, courage or quiet disapprovement… when it’s light, it’s a form of life-enhancing escapism, a piece of (an almost) palpable happiness. However, often being the target of criticism that usually comes from the intellectual elite (or those who believe themselves to be it), fashion has never had it easy.
The moment it has gained its pedestal, fashion jumped into the role of continual self-defense, aiming to prove its worth, significance and magnitude. This never-ending battle for overpowering the negativity of prejudice and demonstrating that there is so much more to fashion than just colorful fabrics is perfectly observed both from the front row at Fashion Week and in the streets, replicated in the elegance of a casual passer-by.
And the artists behind the clothes? They are prophets, literary geniuses who are communicating stories and sentiments by manipulating fabrics, colors, methods and techniques to create stories that will encourage various stylish individuals to enjoy the art they live in and, by understanding it, be themselves on purpose.
I am singling out my three favorite designers whose vision and creative talent have made me fall in love with fashion:
Lee Alexander McQueen
The ultimate showman, Alexander McQueen didn’t just make clothes; a phenomenal craftsman, this designer was (and is) celebrated for his ability to tell stories through fashion as much as he is for his skill to make stellar outfits. Ever jumping out of the mold, this theatre-lover gave us such fashion shows that, in one moment, we would be a part of the couture-clad asylum while in the other – we would end up in a chess set, absolutely beat.
The designer’s untimely death in 2010 left the entire fashion world in tears, but his work has remained as relevant and revered as ever. Many retailers of high-end brands have recognized the value and impact his pieces have had on the industry and fashion scene. It is very pleasing to learn that his inheritors have remained true to his voice and legacy.
McQueen’s infatuation with the female form was best evident in Givenchy Autumn 1997 Fashion Show when he jumped in as creative director, while his genius statement about computerized production processes in the fashion industry became very clear in Spring 1999: No. 13 when Shalom Harlow became a human canvas for robots to spray on. We had models like Kate Moss and Erin O’Connor become his patients in a mental institution in Spring 2001: Asylum while in Spring 2004: Deliverance Lily Cole, Karen Elson and more were ballroom dancers. Then came scanners and digital print. This and so much more made this superb designer an icon of fashion communication, an innovator in his own right.
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel
This French fashion designer and businesswoman who changed the world was one of the first designers who communicated social issues through their clothes. Her statement LBD (little black dress) as well as her well-known liberating “manly” feminine look, gave women a sense of empowerment and confidence.
In a post-war world that was already struggling way too much to find purpose, Coco made sure women were given the right to be “put into pants”, her famous tweed suits, that black body-hugging dress and wear clothes that were comfortable, edgy, powerful and purposeful. The corsets were gone, the body was freed and, as observed by Coco, a woman who didn’t wear perfume, had no future – so, she fashioned Chanel 5.
Diane Von Furstenberg
Femininity never looks better than when in hands of this phenomenal fashion designer. Always true to her inner reaction to female sensuality, Diane is continually fresh, innovative and surprising while at the same time very edgy and feisty. Her fashion shows celebrate female form, with a sense of power and confidence injected in every single one of her designs. A DVF woman is a woman who knows who she is, where she’s going and is never intimidated by the fact that this is a man’s world. I love that about DVF!
The purity of honest, intense emotions that often do not correlate with rational thought and yet speak volumes about the person (without that person having to utter a single word) – that’s style. Fashion is the magic, the armor and spark tying it all together… I’d say.