Wednesday, June 22, 2011

plastic palace people

Is it just me, or did Resort 2012 fucking rule this year? I've never paid attention to it much, since I would never be a luxury season's target demographic. But this year, a lot of designers opened up to it in a way they haven't before; it's got the longest shelf-life of all collections, and pieces can be multi-seasonal. There were lovely urban greys from Helmut Lang and really cool (leopard???) prints and trousers from Preen, but the unstoppable Phoebe Philo really took the cake at Celine:

I have genuinely been thinking about plastic outerwear a lot lately. First there was this amazing PVC motorcycle jacket from Comme Des Garçons, and then I gave Diva a revisit. It's one of my favorite films for many reasons -- the blurring of the lines between high- and lowbrow, the balance of style-over-substance to a totally nebulous, convoluted plot involving an opera obsessive on a motorbike, a philosopher in his "cool period" who sits in a bathtub while his teenage Asian petty-thief girlfriend (?) rollerblades around, and a prostitituion ring, and I love the early '80s overuse of blue light. The aforementioned teenage Asian petty-thief teen has a killer plastic raincoat that scrunches with every move:

There's also plastic -- mixed in with other transparent, reflective materials -- in Bildnis Einer Trinkerin as one of many extraordinary hi-glam anarcho costumes designed by star Tabea Blumenschein (let's talk about her for a moment: did you know she was part of Die Tödliche Doris? And recorded a cracked-out Christmas single with Bettina Köster and Gudrun Gut of Malaria!? SO AWESOME). I'm sure we could find plastic coats in a whole host of late '70s/'80s hyper-stylized films...Liquid Sky, The Hunger perhaps? (Actually, none in The Hunger, not even that glorious opening scene. I think I like to misremember that movie as better than it actually was.)

I thought I'd gone all minimal. Is this my New Romantic tackiness coming out? Is there something we can make of this fleeting obsession (kids, never trust your film fashion inspirations: I have a friend who bought a denim vest after seeing the brooding antihero in some 1950s kitchen-sink drama and just ended up looking like a scrawny gogo dancer), especially when it comes to trenchcoats? Something about the teasing hypersexuality, the exhibitionism of a flasher coat + the exhibition of see-through material? Its artificiality or outdated vision of a dystopian sci-fi future? Wouldn't it just smell really bad?

klaus nomi and friend mean muggin'

Designers lately seem to have tempered its more outlandish tendencies and used plastic as an interesting, textural layering piece. The Celine coat above is divine -- the softness, the gradated grey, everything. If there's anyone who can make me feel right about plastic, it's the (active -- sorry Jil Sander) queen of minimalism.

jil sander mens s/s 2012

comme des garçons PVC motorcycle jacket

Please, weigh in with examples of your own -- perhaps some from the '90s? -- to convince me I'm not crazy or tasteless.

TASTEFUL EDIT! How the hell could I have forgotten Joanna Cassidy's coat in Blade Runner?

Okay. NOW weigh in.

1 comment:

  1. Seeing no e-mail address to post my message to I will have to place it here:

    I would appreciate it if you would either:

    a) follow the copyright on my photo and give an attribution with a link back to my photos, or
    b) remove my photo from your website.

    the photo in question is
    the image you have called

    the link to my photo is

    thanks for your attention to this matter
    Yours Truly
    Mark Christie