I’m kind of confused about the high/low concept, I keep hearing different things from different people. 1) To pick a high-end designer and translate their designs to a lower price point i.e. Karl Lagerfeld for Macy’s 2) Interpret “high” and “low” metaphorically and produce a collection based from that.
Okay so for now, I’ve decided to incorporate both concepts into one collection.
Dries Van Noten’s unique print mixing + the metaphorical interpretation of “high” and “low” through images of death and life (skeletons and fruits/flowers)
“Beauty is not a very well-balanced thing; it has to be disturbing and uncomfortable.”
— Christian Lacroix
Some mind mapping to help develop my concept for the Internal & External project:
- Strangeness is a necessary ingredient to beauty. — Charles Baudelaire
- I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion. — Yohji Yamamoto
- Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. — Confucius
- I don’t want to show clothes, I want to show my attitude, my past, present and future. I use memories and future visions and try to place them in today’s world. — Raf Simons
- At the end, it’s not about disguising people. It’s about showing people who they are and their personality with clothes. — Dries van Noten
- I don’t know, I just don’t like our customer to be pinned down on one person or character. I can relate to different people. — Lucas Ossendrijver
- ShopBop: Taken out of context, individual pieces in the collection (blazers, button-downs, utility jackets) can read as classic. How do you go about reinterpreting classics with your own vision in mind? What role does styling play in realizing your vision? Do you work with a stylist?
- David Neville: We really enjoy the details—whether it be buttons, linings, trims—and we feel they give classic pieces some personality. We want our clothes to be accessible and wearable so the classics play a big part in the line. The styling plays an important role because it is about a way of dressing, how to layer and how you put the pieces together for the look. We have been lucky enough to work with some great stylists, and it helps to get another point of view from the outside. Mixing the influences to create a visual image of what our brand stands for is an exciting and challenging process.
- Fashion has a right to exist, because it permits the people to define themselves over and over again. — Ann Demeulemeester.
- Fashion has always been nourished and fired by the exchange of ideas. It’s almost as if, once put forward into the world, an idea belongs to no one but to a universal psyche. It seems as if that is how it should be. — Dries van Noten
- FilepMotwary: Your choice of fabrics is matched with color and print. It is a quite ethnic approach, especially the last two collections. Thus, the silhouette has nothing to do with anything in that category. More specifically, the winter 09 collection is totally feminine, truly European but yet does not have any references in the era we live in. What was your real aim behind them?
- DriesVanNoten: My “aim” is very much that there should be little “Aim” in my work and that my approach to designing be more instinctual than cerebral or strategic. It is for this reason that many may observe my collections as a “body of work” that evolves gradually across the seasons rather than shifting gear or direction radically or suddenly. The core values and the lexicon remain and intensify yet the voice remains familiar.
- FilepMotwary: It’s strange, though, how young women grasp the work of a virtually unknown designer — without magazine hype. What would you say about this phenomenon? How will fashion be in the next 20 years, as a whole and as a theory?
- DriesVanNoten: It’ very much human nature to seek and embrace that which we feel to be intimate and in which we feel our values and emotions are reflected. This is what the exclusivity of unknown designers can provide. I see little reason for this pretty universal condition to change any day soon.
- How important is for MMM to feel connected with its customers considering the fact that the House itself is a mystery?
- MMM: Crucial! We hope that they are convinced that they can be completely ‘at one’ with a garment and be happy wearing it and that a garment can reply to the needs and emotions of the person wearing it is a beautiful thing.
- We are lucky enough to have a very wide group of men and women who wear our garments. From our point of view we have always paid particular attention to designing for as large a cross section of women and men as possible. We are lucky in that so many people of different ages, shapes, social role and background are following our work! For us femininity is all embracing and is not just limited to one body form or one attitude. Since our beginning our fashion shows have reflected this reality of our collections in that we have always chosen to show our collections on women of varying ages and from varying walks of life. We feel that we are lucky in that this approach is also reflected in those who wear our garments.
- What serves to inspire you the most?
- MMM: Our main inspiration has always has been the extremities and changes of daily life. Our work is solely a proposition to wear what it is we like to create, a presentation of a way in which we see things at a given moment.
- As a team we all share so many interests and sources of inspiration, these are all very varied and would take far too long to list here. It is often hard to quantify or describe inspiration. It is often more by osmosis than an active decision.
- Each member of our team seeks to explore their own stimulation, be that visual or another. Such stimulation and dialogue varies in direction and importance for each of us.
- MMM suffers from a lack of self exposure. Does it happen out of modesty and if not, why is the House hidden in shade from the Glossies?
- MMM: Even though people tend to think we do not communicate, we feel we are. But we do not use any physical image of a designer to promote our work. If people are touched and like to wear what we propose they are free to buy and wear it. What our designer looks like has, for us, little or nothing to do with this process. We prefer that people react to a garment through their taste and own personal style and not their impression of the individual and group of people who created it as translated and hyped by the press. Unlike actors or singers we do not need any physical form to express our work.
“…It’s not about the hype and the fashion it’s just to create to try to give something to some women or men and yeah it’s fantastic if the product finds its way and if the soul is communicated and it comes back to me then I’m the happiest girl in the world.”