A man decked out in a motorcycle helmet with a sequin-covered leather jacket, a woman dressed in a full blue body suit and face paint like a Smurf, a man tattooed to look like a skeleton. These are the fans of the “fashion” designers called the Blonds. They are weird. Very weird. And this is word-for-word what I found myself muttering as I left the show Tuesday: “Why are there so many people coming out in support of something so decidedly stupid as a woman dressed like a shark, a man with flowers pasted on Calvin Klein boxer-briefs, or a woman with those same flowers pasted on an otherwise nice dress? WHY THE HELL DOES THIS EXIST!?!”
Another design by the Blonds from their newest collection.
Now let’s get something clear: I know fuck all about fashion. Indeed, I know less about fashion than Michael Bay knows about plot or M. Night Shyamalan knows about making a good movie, and so a good bit of what you’re going to read will be laced with sarcasm.
I do know, however, that for something to be considered art it has to be grounded in some kind of concept and that making a dress that essentially looks like a kindergartner glued pipe cleaners to craft paper (a la a dress done by designers threeASFOUR) is not that. On the same note, I wouldn’t consider a man wearing a pair of torn-up overalls to be fashionable (a la Bethune Brothers) or a woman dressed like an actor in a phone-sex-line commercial to be stylish (a la the Sammie Sweetheart collection.)
The oh-so-classy invitation to Sammi Sweetheart’s “fashion” show. This was also on the invitation to the after-party. I can only imagine what that was like.
Yeah, I suppose fashion is relative, but relative to what? The light-cycle outfits from Tron? What could possibly make this stuff passable as “fashion”?
In an effort to answer these questions, I sought the wisdom of a trained hand at all things fashion: Daisy Fuentes. The former host of MTV’s House of Style, Daisy was launching her new line of clothing for Kohl’s this week which one of her PR handlers said would include items that were “only $40-$80” and which would “always be on sale.” (I’m not sure if that last bit was in reference to how little people would want the clothes, but if something is “always” on sale doesn’t the sale price become the normal price? But I digress.)
Daisy’s line was... er... interesting. More normal than most of what I had seen during Fashion Week, Daisy’s line was supposed to target the “everywoman” and so it had a bit more of the practicality that goes with that charge. But they weren’t all that simple.
A large number of them (at least four or five out of the 15 or so dresses) looked like a stereotypical depiction of a gypsy from the middle ages. It was a bit strange considering that this line was supposed to be clothes for every day usage, and not the costume designs for Esmeralda in a live-action version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And it’s really because the term “gypsy” has long been a subject of controversy, that I expected Daisy to avoid the topic entirely. But instead, when I asked about the designs she jumped on it saying, “My inspiration came from that traditional gypsy from Andalusia... the Spanish gypsy.” Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it seem a tad insensitive for a major company like Kohl’s to sell a dress line to relatively well-off, middle-class, average, middle-American women that’s based primarily on one of the most persecuted cultures in modern history?
One of the aforementioned “gypsy” outfits by Daisy Fuentes.
Another particularly stunning spectacle was the threeASFOUR show which was entitled Magnetic Field, and was built upon the premise that “This collection introduces pieces that... activate the physical body.” What the fucking hell does this mean? Will it turn me on? Will it make me high? Will it give me amnesia? Sadly, what they meant was that I’d see my reflection in some giant-ass arm-length and leg-length jewelry that consisted entirely of shattered bits of metal glued together.
And not only were the arms and legs of the models covered in metal but the shoes were, likewise, heavy metal shoes (teehee, “heavy metal shoes.”) Frankly, I feared that an army of cyborg women had descended upon New York during Fashion Week in an effort to begin the final extermination of humanity one metallic-toed shoe to the crotch at a time. Thankfully I was wrong.
I should point out that the brilliant designers who came up with this also have terrible capitalization skills (why “threeASFOUR” instead of “ThreeasFour” or “ThreeAsFour?”,) decided to give those of us in attendance boxed water which the packaging insists is “better” than bottled and told us we agreed to being filmed when we walked inside even though the cameraman turned out to be filming outside as we were leaving. So... I’m not entirely sure that the metallic shoes were really their biggest problem.
Let me be blunt: I think this shit is stupid. I think it is very stupid, and I don’t think it’s fashion. Obviously these eyes are very unqualified eyes, but I think that by being a person that has to share the same planet with people in these outfits, I have the right to say that dresses made out of mosquito nets (another threeASFOUR gem) are not fashionable in the least, and that putting two hearts on the ass of sweatpants (Sammi Sweatheart’s contribution to the fashion world) does not make them sexy or any less trashy on the runway.