September 25, 2012

A World In Season



Hope you all had a glorious weekend. Every so often, the gentleman and I like to surprise each other with little things we know the other will love. Quite often, it’s a good book or a hard to find magazine. Books are such beloved treasures. A couple of months ago, the gentleman stealthily ordered a copy of Mono.Kultur #20- the Dries Van Noten issue from Berlin. An interview magazine, Mono.Kultur defines itself as a series of “conversations with the interesting few.” I love the idea of devoting an entire issue to one thorough conversation. 


Throughout New York Fashion Week I couldn’t stop thinking about this interview. As the seasons change and autumn begins to take hold, this excerpt seems so appropriate.


Dries Van Noten- “That fashion loses value after one season is not completely true for me. You show fashion every season but this doesn’t mean that what you did before has lost its value. It is still alive and ideally developing its own life. For me, every season is more about refreshing than killing what I created before.”

Mono.Kultur- “With every collection, you add value to your whole body of work? We buy Dries Van Noten and can accumulate value on it by letting it age, like in art sometimes….”

Dries Van Noten- Yes, if you are lucky… All my collections are a continuation of what I did before. I never do the opposite. There is no revolution in my work… I think when people invest in a summer outfit of mine, it would be a little strange to let them say the following summer, ‘Oh, that’s so last season. I can’t wear it anymore.’”

Mono.Kultur- So, nothing is last season. Is this another principle of Dries Van Noten?” 

Dries Van Noten- “I just want to make very nice clothes, which for me, anyway, reflect the times and what’s happening right now.” 

Mono.Kultur- “So your collections are never finished?”

Dries Van Noten- “No, never. But that’s what’s nice about fashion: Even when not finished yet, you start the next collection and bring to perfection what was missing in your last show.” 



Is that not perfection? 

Throughout fashion week, I kept this in mind. The collections that resonated with me spoke to this notion of continuity. Not completely starting over, but building upon the ideas of previous seasons. When everything about the week began to feel like too much (on the runway and off), this served as an anchor.  

When it comes to building a wardrobe, my logic is the same. The weather is on the cusp of changing and I can’t wait to be reunited with my autumn things. The textures, tailoring and fabrics- sigh. My first autumn purchase of the season- a navy, gorgeously tailored blazer (the seams I tell you, the seams) from The Row is the very definition of the continuation of the ideas that I find myself returning to season after season. 

Are there elements you return to each season?

*All photos are from Mono.Kultur and scanned by me.

32 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for sharing this article! It is refreshing to hear, and gives a new perspective both on the upcoming season and the past ones.It must be nice to find a perfectly tailored blazer too, I really have a hard time finding one that suits me.

    Talking about Autumn, what I like most is returning to its earhty colours, especially the darker shades of brown...

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    1. Kali- Glad you enjoyed it! That's always been my philosophy when it comes to collections,seasons and those designers whose work I revere. Unfortunately, with the sheer volume of things out there that way of thinking isn't as compelling to talk about, but when it's done well, it's so beautiful to see.

      I think blazers are hard for everyone. My new blazer needs an alteration, but that's the story of my life. But the tailoring, draping, cut, seams are definitely some of the most beautiful I've seen in a really long time.

      Love the rich tones of Autumn- can't wait!

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  2. It's nice when you invest in a valuable, classic item that will stay with you forever, I love that mentality and I love that Dries Van Noten is not afriad to say it. It's quite frustrating when shops come out with new collections every 2 weeks and cancel out whatever you thought you were supposed to wear up to that point, I could never keep up with that kind of fashion!

    You should also show us your fall blazer, it sounds lovely. I'm waiting for my silk shirt to arrive - after a long quest I finally found one in ivroy, very neutral, very simple with a clean cut. I think I'm going to cuddle with it and love it and wear it until the end of time :)

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    1. Florina- I agree. It's refreshing that a designer will say- I love that. That's always how I've thought about the art of dressing and I don't think that line of thinking has to conflict with a brand's ability to make a profit. I like carefully considered design, even when it isn't something that suits my personal style. If that makes any sense.

      I will definitely show the blazer:)I just need to find time to have it altered. It was such a chance find, but a blazer to replace one I've had for the past 7 years was on the short list.

      Your silk shirt sounds lovely. They're such a staple in my wardrobe. Simple, but so right for so many circumstances. Good call on the ivory- I prefer it to white.

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  3. I've been looking for a navy blazer that fits well. You'll have to share a photo of it once it's all altered. Like you, I tend to pick a couple of pieces every season. I like his idea of a continuation because that fits into my thinking as well where I identify what's missing in my wardrobe and build on it albeit one piece at a time.

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    1. Chocolate Cookies & Candies- It's so hard to find properly fitting blazers or anything for that matter, but I'm always scooping up blazers, jackets and coats. That's one thing I love about having seasons:)

      Will share a photo of the blazer. I'm all about the continuation of ideas and tweaking those things that I love each season. That's the fun part- building, adapting,tweaking.

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  4. Are you, by chance, altering the shoulders of your blazer? I ask because I came very close to buying The Row's navy schoolboy blazer, but decided not to because the shoulders are a tad too large and, even though I love my tailor, I'm afraid the alteration may ruin the blazer. I still go back and forth though, because outside of that, the blazer really is perfection!

    What do you think? Would you attempt it or keep waiting for something that fits a bit better off the rack?

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    1. Abby- Shoulders are always my problem! I'm just so narrow, but too tall and my limbs are too long for petites. I know people glorify the mystical size zero and under, but it really just means you pay for a lot of alterations.

      My general rule is for jackets is that I won't take in the shoulders if they're 1" or greater from my measurements. At that point it becomes rather tricky and you want to make sure that the jacket falls right. Shoulder alterations generally are quite pricey. Is the jacket fitting everywhere else?

      The Row's schoolboy blazer in navy is great. It really is perfection.

      I'm using a tailor who is known for their work restoring couture and who works with a lot of designers, so I feel confident that they can complete the task. They're actually doing a very complicated job for me now, but the blazer won't be much work. I need some altering in the arm and sleeve. I will ask them about the shoulders too, but it looks almost perfect.

      If I have any doubt that an item will be ruined by altering I don't go for it. Does this help?

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    2. Lindsay - yes, the jacket fits well except for the shoulders. It's fairly minor, but I feel like I look a little too boxy. I've been quietly looking for a blazer for some time now, and this one has been the best I've seen by far. The alteration would probably be less than 1", so you've given me something to consider. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response!

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    3. Abby- So glad this was helpful. I know exactly what you mean about jackets looking too boxy. It can almost look like I'm swallowed up whole:( I also know what you mean about something that's the best thing you've seen. It's definitely something to consider.

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  5. Hello Lindsay, this is such a good read. I like the conviction behind Dries Van Norten's work. I spent quite a bit of effort building up the basics in my wardrobe earlier this year and now that that is covered, I am slowly adding bits and pieces of items bearing my favourite elements when I chance upon them.

    Over here, the weather is pretty much consistent except during the monsoon seasons where it gets cooler and wetter. So I am quite spoilt for choice with my two blazers, some cardigans and a utility jacket.

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    1. Eileen- Hello! Hope you are having a great week. Such conviction in Dies Van Noten's work. It's no surprise that he's on my short list of clear minded designers whose focus resonates with me.

      Building up the basics and then branching out sounds like a great plan. I love the idea of incorporating your favorite elements in;) I truly believe that every wardrobe needs a few things that tug at the heartstrings.

      Your blazers, cardigans and utility jacket all sound lovely.

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  6. I love every piece ! wow




    http://www.like-mousse-au-chocolat.com/

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    1. LMAC- It's so funny- years later I still love so many of DVN's past collections.

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  7. What a fantastic concept for a magazine! And such a sweet gift.
    I am a big fan of Dries Van Noten and his words always resonate with me. Whenever I shop or work on a piece with a studio, I always return to classic silhouettes and concepts, like Balenciaga's cocoon shape or Coco Chanel's drop-waist dresses. I really don't care for trendy design, and in my mind, the most interesting designers always build on their own signatures, instead of casting them aside just to seem new all the time. It's why I often return to the same designers, because their aesthetic resonates with me.

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    1. Ammu- Hope your week is going well. Your comment made me smile.

      It's such a fantastic concept for a magazine. I feel like we're in an age where everyone is interviewed and made to feel relevant, but Mono.Kultur really picks good subjects (they've interviewed Tilda!) who can bring so much to the table. After attending the Dries Van Noten talk it was nice to read an in depth interview that talked about so many facets of design. Such a sweet gift;)

      In my initial draft I mentioned Balenciaga's cocoon shape. I'll never tire of it, but readers might tire of my mentioning it. I love those beautiful, classic shapes- SO GORGEOUS.

      I've never been one for overt trends. I think there are ways to be current and modern without being trendy. Totally agree about interesting designers building on their own signatures. It's why I loved the Narciso show so much. I think that's the beauty of working with a studio on pieces. You really hone in on the subtleties of what you like.

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    2. Yes! I loved the Narciso show too - such a stand-out and so true to his aesthetic.
      That is a great point about being attentive to the subtleties, it's the reason why I am able to keep a small closet in which everything works. And of course access to a studio really helps. I think it would be much harder for me to be as particular if I had to buy everything off the rack.

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    3. Ammu- Such a gorgeous Narciso show and yes so true to aesthetic.

      Yes, it's the subtleties that make all the difference. The other day I was wearing one of my newer bespoke items (a very simple shirt) and my colleague couldn't stop staring. It's not attention grabbing at all but the fit, precision etc is so particular and so very me.

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  8. I've not heard of this magazine before, thanks for the introduction Linsday. I love the concept of a magazine with a targeted and more focused approach. And Dries Van Noten has such a beautiful philosophy to fashion. I'm certainly not the type of woman who succumbs to the trends and I too found it appalling that after a season pieces become 'so last season!' I've found that my trench coat gets called upon all year long. I'm actually going to pick up a twill jacket from French Connection this afternoon - not fancy, not expensive, but beautiful cut and just soo me :) xoxox

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    1. Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia- Hi Vanisha! It's such a fascinating concept for a magazine. Such an in- depth read. I gravitate to designs whose philosophy resonates with me. I know exactly what you mean about not succumbing trends- that's never been my thing. It is appalling and so wasteful to think that something can be obsolete after a season.

      Yay for trenches. I get so much wear out of them every season. The twill jacket sounds lovely. Everything doesn't have to be expensive or fancy to be really beautiful, but items that are well cut get me every time.

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  9. I thought of your post when I wrote about Dries Van Noten's SS13 show last night. Thanks for sharing this and looks like I need to order a copy for myself! I love Dries even though his clothes are not always something I will wear; I've always loved looking at them.

    I liked The Row's latest collection as well, but my surprise favourite of the season so far was Donna Karan, especially the colours.

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    1. lin- It's certainly worth reading. It's very in depth... For me it was also a nice read since I heard him speak (which is SO rare) recently. I always love that at the end of the day Dries is fascinated by couture and those elements, which really speaks to me. I view the collections more through a professional lens than what I would wear per se.

      In person, The Row's tailoring is impeccable.

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  10. Hope you have a great weeKend. There are so many things i like here. The gentleman sounds so sweet. BIG PROPS on him keeping up with all things style. What wonderful wonderful words to keep in mind during collections. There's so much out there but I a clear methodology to the madness is always welcome. Please tell us what you loved.

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    1. Chloe- :) SO SWEET!

      Yes, you have to find ways to put it all into perspective. Otherwise it is madness.And yes, I do have a few posts in the works.

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  11. What a great concept for a magazine, I'll definitely search it out. You've probably already heard of it but I think you'd also appreciate A MAGAZINE which has a guest curator each month, past editors have included Rodarte, Yohji Yamamoto & Margiela.
    Love Dries's work and always look forward to him each season.

    http://herribbonsandherbows.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Alexandra- Such an interesting concept. They asked really well researched questions too, which I appreciated. Yes, I have seen A Magazine- I like the idea of having a guest curator each month.

      Yes, Dries is always on my short list as well:)

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    1. Ajay Kumar- Thank you! Love the variety offered. It's really refreshing to see.

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