In the past history until this twenty-first century, many people appreciate and admire the identity as being a designer, an artist or someone who could create. At least it could add a bit of sparkle on one’s Instagram, Linkedln, Facebook or any social media pages if you happened to have an identity as a “Designer” or “Artist”.
During the lesson of Fashion Culture CTS with Deen, he came up with the subject, “Fashion Designer”, he first threw us a question, “Is Kate Moss a fashion designer?” Many of us know Kate Moss has her collection with Top Shop in 2007 and she is a world famous model. I was thinking, commercially she is a fashion designer; her fans and some of the people in general would think Moss is a designer because she has her collection with Topshop. However, I wandered, is that it? Is it that simple carry this identity, merely by a collection, let me rephrase, a collaboration with a fashion chain?
All in a sudden, I started to have flashbacks in the documentaries that I’ve viewed, Valentino, Marc Jacobs in Louis Vuitton, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo in Anti-Fashion, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang and the movie Dior and I, and so on and on… then some scenes flashed through my brain, Yohji Yamamoto was kneeled down, holding a pair of scissors altering the dress of a model, surrounded by his team; Raf Simon got inspired by few pieces of art and insisted to have them printed in fabrics for the Haute Couture collection of Christian Dior; Alexander McQueen’s visionary talent with his exquisite story-telling skills and his unforgettable show production; Valentino’s hysterical passion in fashion, “last night I was thinking about this white dress that a lady could wear in the day time”, then of course, he started to make this happen the next day he woke up….but how do we define who is the “fashion designer”? The world is changing so fast and customers always seek for higher standard, nowadays, merely creating clothes does not define oneself as a fashion designer, because the term “Fashion” has a meaning of “a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behavior; a manner of doing something; make into a particular form.”
To me “Fashion designers” are like the CPU of a computer and they are the dictator and the core of the house. In order to carry this identity, other than the requirements of design and production skills, they also need to be ahead of everyone, the trend setter, innovator, art director, story-teller and the philosopher; they have to deliver the brand’s essence and spirit.
Valerie Steele and Diana de Marly had a very different approach in the argument of Charles Frederick Worth’s contribution in fashion history (he is named as the first fashion designer and couturier). I was amazed by the accomplishments of Worth, but after Deen showed us a portrait of him wearing a very similar style of clothes as the artist Rembrandt, we all remained silence. Deen questioned us, “in what reason do you think Worth would wear similar style of clothes as Rembrandt?” It’s a social association, Worth might think wearing clothes like artist Rembrandt could elevate his creative image.
October, D. (2016). Fashion Designer.
Pinterest, (2016). Yohji Yamamoto SS16. [image] Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/310678074273611073/ [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].