In 2002 Kaisik Wong was rescued from the pits of obscurity that almost all California based American designers find themselves in at the end of or beyond their careers. Balenciaga’s Nicholas Ghesquire used the San Franciscan’s work as a key reference for his spring 2002 collection. Wong’s ornate use of patchwork and collage was so inspiring the esteemed wunderkind was even suggested to have copied the late designer.
Wong’s designs have come to embody a fiercely avant-garde strain of American fashion that has for the most part kept to the west coast. If American fashion is continuously mocked for producing drab and and boring sportswear it is a lack of demand and not supply that is to blame. Wong worked strictly in his own fantastic realm, reimagining the lives of Atlanteans, Lemurians, and other mythic civilizations, all through the lens of the pacific rim and its multi-cultural synergy with the far east (which is ironically occidental to California). His unusual shapes were just as odd as his colors and materials: alien, ancient, and artificial all at once. Most notable however is his use of extremely detailed and laborious handwork, developing a framework for couture that is not dependent on Paris, but on the crafts and traditions of China, India, Korea, Japan, etc.
Fall 2010 collections by Balenciaga, Christopher Kane, Missoni, and Mary Katrantzou
Phoebe Philo seems to have erased away the past decade with a wet cloth soaked in “minimalism” rigor. It’s a feat that only she could have accomplished; YSL’s Stefano Pilati had been working the idea since fall 2007 with little penetration, Helmut Lang saw the concept, one that he had pioneered, go abandoned by consumers in 2004. Indeed, the Celine collections have been immensely influential, revealing just how captivating and enticing a clean line and a strong edit can be. But, it is problematic that the fervor in which major players are embracing “minimalism” has led to the conclusion that this concept is universal. It has not left room for any other discourse, and maybe this is an oversight.
Josephus Thimister, 1998
Josephus Thimister, 1999
He had almost been written off as fashion causality. Josephus Thimister, the promising designer and former director for Balenciaga (just before Nicholas), had shown under his own name for a just a few seasons before he vanished from the scene. He reemerged for a short stint with Charles Jourdan (shoes) only to recede and disappear altogether.
Almost a decade later, Thimister is making a comeback. The designer was invited to present his collection by The French Couture Federation as a guest, an initiative by the institution to promote younger and lesser known talents on the international stage and promote French couture. His collection will be shown in January along side the other couture collections. We here at Nueve Musas will be heavily anticipating his return.
Thimister flexes his ability to foresee the future, showing in 2001 the now ubiquitous shoulder several years before Martin Margiela and Nicholas Ghesquiere would reintroduce the silhouette into the contemporary vernacular.
Charles James, the American couturier that even Balenciaga ceded mastery to. The video puts emphasis on the model Matuschka, but gives a rare glimpse of the grand designer in his twilight.
London designer, St. Martins graduate, and winner of the 2007 Swiss Textile Award Marios Schwab has been named as creative director for Halston. He will be put in charge of overseeing the main collection, a heritage line that will reintroduce and update old classics, e-commerce, and fragrance.
Schwab came into notoriety in London when he and fellow St.Martins grad Christopher Kane burst onto the scene in 2006, channeling the early 90’s and current club culture. While Schwab’s work tends to be more body conscious and structured, his spring 2009 collection of fluid languid lines were seen by the company’s board as a modern update on the Halston aesthetic.