Saturday, 28 December 2013

Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood, the two meanings of punk

A bit different stories this time, not so gentle and fully feminine as the styles before, but still ruling the world. I present you punk.

 Jean Paul Gaultier

A designer with a peroxide-blond hair and an on-going smile, Jean Paul Gaultier is known for his fearless provocations, great tailoring and theatrical way of combining different prints, fabrics and styles of individually fairly simple clothes, which makes them look more modern and unlikely anything we’ve ever seen before. Androgynous and nautical clothes, lingerie worn with nothing on top, presenting men in skirts and exposing them as sex objects, the “Chic Rabbis”, Coco Rocha step dancing down the runway... are all indicators of the rules violation, but with a goal only to affiliate the differences in races and sexuality. “And while he takes inspiration from the street, he’s not the same kind of punk as, say, Vivienne Westwood. Gaultier never seeks to destroy, but to unify.Vogue writes.
As more I read about him, the more I fall in love with his perspective and way of understanding fashion. In more than one occasion, I too have noticed that the more thought you put in combining simple clothes (whether it is a color combination that stands out, a unique mix of patterns or just piling on accessories), the better it looks.
And lastly, we simply can’t forget the alien like costumes worn in the movie “The fifth element” as well as the cone bra Madonna wore on one of her tours and the scene of  her topless appearance on Gaultier’s runway.

In Spring/Summer 2013 he presented models strutting down the runway looking like pop stars with Karlie Kloss as Boy George and for the Couture line clothes inspired by India were presented, in spicy colours and with ethnic jewelry. For the A/W of the same year Jean Paul Gaultier showed elaborate, winter queen like outfits with sumptuous jewelry, leopard print, fur and cone shaped hats and hair. And in S/S14, a show was thrown with a cabaret, dancing with the stars feel, leather jackets and metallic dresses and Coco Rocha appearing as Danny from “Grease”.


 Vivienne Westwood

Continuing on the same no rules” note, here is a woman who represents the pure, rough, down to the bone essence of what punk means. Presenting pirate, Edwardian, music and street inspired trends to a broader audience, Vivienne Westwood is a designer who’s not afraid to look back and show, as she once claimed, “the feeling of movement and also the feeling of heroics”.  
It’s the British punk, edgy, tough, careless looking (but made with lots of care and attention) and still so monumental, astonishing and grand.

The Red Shoes, Hans Christian Anderson
The return of the crusaders
The return of the crusaders
The return of the crusaders

With her Gold Label, Vivienne Westwood shows a reminder of the always-changing world around us with the Climate Revolution and support for the Greenpeace. In it for the A/W 13 clothes were inspired by the medieval Europe after the return of the crusaders. For the Spring/Summer 2014 in the Red Label, the description on her site is influenced by "The red shoes" story by Hans Christian Anderson where she says:
"The dance of death must end. Trapped in its hostile environment an animal will die. It will try to leave. It will leave but there is nowhere to go. The models are people who have a home like you and me. We must stop Climate Change to avoid our total catastrophe."

As distant from punk as I was, searching for information about these two iconic designers made me now say that my point of view has changed! I have discovered a newly found respect for these, I can only say, remarkable people.

 DISCLAIMER: I have not taken these photographs myself and some of the quotes are taken from the articles I had found due to my research!