Whilst infamous ‘Uncle’ Terry Richardson proposes himself as fashion paedophile of the year, intertwining personal sexual fantasies with his deplorably credited work, controversy Queen Miley Cyrus conquers her poorly executed proposition on feminism by simulating doggy-style positions on stage with Robin Thicke: singer of ‘Blurred Lines’ (2013’s number one misogynistic muse for males). It certainly appears the notion of sex has become a daily occurrence within celebrity culture.
As for the topic of contemporary fashion, an attempt to refrain from sex proves parallel to that of current news. Whilst the tartan infatuations of 2013 insinuated an undertone e.g. school girl pornography, attempts of androgyny via a pyjama inspired silk suit (Stella McCartney 2012) failed due to boudoir connotations. Of course, these contradictions are obligatory within the sartorial statements of contemporary designers. After all, what is fashion without frivolity?
Autumn/Winter 2011 and fashion provided warmth in the form of a brothel, home to the Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen Models. A contemporary gimp dominated the runway. Unleashing a provocative power, a bondage boutique range hit the erotic catwalks. Hues of black were evident as was the unambiguous flesh of bare skin. The fetish inspiration was indubitable at Alexander McQueen where leather body harnesses were attached to buckled chokers and suspended to the gaunt frames of the lithe models. Leather and metallic detailing suggested a robotic elegance as the ‘dominatrix’ epithet was christened. As for Louis Vuitton, a provocative equestrian was introduced. From fur embellished riding hats to diaphanous breeches, Vuitton’s designer Marc Jacobs attempt to integrate the terms ‘fashion’ and ‘fetish’ flourished as the terms ‘sadism’ and ‘dominative’ were characterized by various fashion journalists who had observed the show.
In Spring/Summer 2012 Louis Vuitton introduced a feminine fragility to the catwalk. A hyperbolic womanly yet ingenue character replete in lace, feather and floral. From puffball skirts to sixties serenaded jackets complete with laser-cut detailing and daisy appliqués, the sartorial silhouettes suggested a doll-like innocence. Styled in ice cream shades from lilac to cool mint, the debutante illustrated an innocent image in its attempt of opposing sexy. Whilst the masochism undertones observed within previous shows were passé, the delicate accents showcased on the runway proposed a more covert gesture. Abundant in materials with the ultimate purpose to reveal skin through an excuse quoted ‘it’s in fashion’, sheer and perspex were abundant. As for silk, the pyjama inspired slouchy silhouettes designed by British Designer Stella McCartney sought a laid-back luxury. Culling bedroom inspired looks with paisley motifs, the Hugh Hefner inspiration was evident with its ability to fabricate an alternative to underwear. And if the terms ‘playboy’ and ‘bedroom’ are customary, the innocent statement had certainly broken the fashion hymen.
Emulating a cliché Camden character, Autumn/Winter 2013 was a gunk (grunge meets punk) infused trend . It was the season adolescents immersed themselves within a cult trend, the cut out boot: inspired by the Balenciaga boot of Spring/Summer 11. Victorian notions set sail as foot flesh revealed beneath bondage strap boot buckles connoted a rebellious streak. As fashions shameful endeavour to suppress sex met blurred lines (I know you want it), its notorious material of the season (tartan) was bountiful, either loved for its granny heritage or infamous for its school girl erotica. Apparelled in dark floral and harsh checked patterns, teamed with 10 denier tights and dishevelled dirty blonde hair, Yves Saint Laurent’s naive attempt at innocence was achieved solely through the apparent age of the models. Evidently, a variety of interpretations were incorporated into the gunk trend, in particularly Versace, where glamour intake differed to the youthful concepts of alternative shows. Hinting at a cougar mum reminiscing her youth donning early nineties inspired garments, Versace flaunted a copious amount of leopard and zebra prints accessorized with untamed spikes and chains. Monochrome palettes were complemented with ferocious tones of acid yellow and rich red, whilst liberal amounts of PVC were injected into the inspired gear. A voluptuous Cruella De Vil if you wish.
Over the past three years, fashion has been notorious with its references to sex. This season, however, Mother Nature’s temperament may have alleviated the sensual subject and focused on other contradictory terms of fashion. Spring/Summer 2014 focused particularly on a ‘sports luxe’ theme: the ability to wear sportswear without having to venture to the gym. Due to its comfortable tendencies, the sports luxury hybrid has honoured the catwalks previously as a simplistic yet stark statement. From neoprene to nylon and other various hi-tech fabrics, the athletic apparel was apparent. Inserted into statement pieces such as pleated tennis skirts, laser-cut shirts, boiler suits and logo tees, sport was certainly haute. Of course, the cheerleader innuendo is one to be deliberated…