After returning home and playing ‘Playmobil’ with my younger brother, it got me into thinking about my childhood. As I slowly creep towards my 20th birthday (eep) I look back on my life, reflecting on what influenced me in my childhood into becoming the person I am today, and, more specifically, what got me into wanting to do Fashion.
I guess it all stems from the influence my mum had on me. My dad was in the Royal Air Force; and while he was around, he admittedly didn’t do as much for me as my mum did, for both me and my sister. There is 3 years between me and my little sister, and moving around a lot made us very close, as the only consistent friend I had was her, and vice versa. Now this may seem all a bit mushy, but it does bring up some interesting points. I never had any older siblings, or any brothers (until about 3 years ago, of course)- so that meant that 90% of the toys and games we had in our house was pretend kitchens, washing machines, shopping trollies, push chairs, baby dolls and most importantly, fashion dolls; like Barbies and Bratz dolls. Now, while our dad did encourage us to play with Lego and Playmobil whenever he had a free weekend, my favourite thing to do was to dress up and role play, and set up dolls in their little worlds and make up storylines and narratives.
This may play a large role in how I view femininity now I’m an adult; in terms of how a woman should look to be considered beautiful, or how she should behave in order to find a husband and have children.
Now, I could write pages and pages on how what we’re exposed to as children can affect our ideological viewpoint in adult life; and I did write about it in my essay on identity in my first year of my degree, but my point is, how we view femininity and fashion now has very much changed over centuries, but my main focus is how catwalks and collections reflect this attitude, and whether it’s changed all that much in all the years that fashion has been a big part of the UK economy.
One particular collection that I want to look at is the couture show for S/S13 from the very fabulous Christian Dior, here is a passage from the Vogue website that I found beautiful and could in no way replicate without being there myself (I wish):
“It was up and out into an enchanted garden that Raf Simons sent his Alices in Wonderland this afternoon for his second couture offering since taking the helm of the house of Christian Dior. Inside a mirrored tube of a catwalk setting in Paris’ Tuileries, the scene was set with a maze of bushes for the models - all dark pixie crop wigs, deep red lips and pale skin of a fairy-tale fashion - to weave in and out of.”
This reference to the story taken on in many forms, by Disney most famously, Alice In Wonderland, is the pinnacle of my point, no matter how we try to avoid it or ignore it, there will always be an element from our childhood that creeps into our adult lives. The gardenia setting, the pale faces of the models, it pins down all the best bits of that story into one catwalk show, and, naturally, it could only be done with a Couture show.
The boyish pixie cuts and frames of the models, teamed with masculine tailored suits, are contrasted nicely with the bright lips and flowing silk and satin dresses, almost as if you are attending the Mad Hatters Tea Party. The occasional pops of orange, yellow and red provide a delicious juxtaposition to the monochromatic and muted pinks and purples. Followed closely by a rich royal blue.
All in all, well worth falling down the rabbit hole for.
Write more soon fashion lovers!