Craft WORK

Post-GFC min­i­mal­ism and amid the digi­ti­sa­tion of, well, ev­ery­thing, fash­ion de­liv­ers a sea­son of folksy, ex­pres­sive fab­u­lous­ness. Clare Ma­clean feels the love.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Style -

Dur­ing the Noughties we gorged on fash­ion. We maxed out our credit cards on It bags and wor­shipped at the al­tar of Sex And The City. Then, dis­as­ter: one Sun­day in Septem­ber 2008, the US econ­omy went into melt­down. The Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis rolled into town and rid­ing in its wake was Phoebe Philo of Cé­line of­fer­ing us clean, sim­ple, stream­lined clothes. Min­i­mal­ism. Sure, it wasn’t fun, but it was what we needed, cov­eted. It was some­thing easy to process (and easy to copy). In the mean­time, we curled up on the couch and bus­ied our­selves with so­cial me­dia. We be­came ex­perts at Twit­ter and Face­book, then In­sta­gram, Pin­ter­est, Vine. We didn’t ven­ture into as many stores. Even­tu­ally we wanted to shop again, but on­line.

Now it’s 2014 and we’re ex­hausted, over­stim­u­lated by the amount of time we spend on our phones. Of course, no one’s lay­ing down their smart­phones al­thogether – we’re lov­ing this e-com­merce thing (we can buy any­thing, any­where), and be­sides, these new chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tion have taught us so much in six years. That all eyes are on China. That Africa is on the rise as a lux­ury mar­ket, and Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries such as Qatar are ones to watch. We live in a glob­alised world and we’re grate­ful for that. It’s just that we’d also like to get in touch with our senses again. Use our hands. Smell, touch, feel. Ap­pre­ci­ate some­thing unique. Feel em­pow­ered. Maybe even have a bit of fun while we’re at it.

En­ter the Spring/Sum­mer ’14 sea­son. “I think we’re ready for a move away from dig­i­tally en­hanced prints to some­thing more hand­crafted and folk-in­spired,” says trend fore­cast­ing com­pany WSGN’s head of cat­walks, Sue Evans. “To that end, new, in­no­va­tive fabrics and tex­tures are mov­ing fa­mil­iar sil­hou­ettes in a new di­rec­tion.” The trend fore­caster cites painters Frida Kahlo and Ge­or­gia O’Keeffe as women who en­cap­su­lated fash­ion’s new sen­si­bil­ity. “They lived their lives in the desert and cre­ated their own per­sonal style draw­ing on lo­cal crafts and tra­di­tions.” Also on her radar is the up­com­ing ex­hi­bi­tion ‘ Folk Cou­ture: Fash­ion and Folk Art’, at the Amer­i­can Folk Art Mu­seum in New York. “All these things are in dan­ger of be­ing lost as ev­ery­thing be­comes dig­i­talised.”

Valentino Spring/ Sum­mer ’14

Marni Spring/ Sum­mer ’14

Givenchy Spring/ Sum­mer ’14

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