SLIMANE REJECTS THE PREFIXED PREDICTABILITY OF POSTMODERNISM

Paradoxically, Slimane rejects the prefixed predictability of postmodernism (recycling, re-appropriation, revisiting), preferring to emphasize fashion’s “perpetual mutation,” accelerated through the last decade’s fast forward movement from analogue to digital culture, from consequential logic to parallel multiplicity.

By Balthazar Malevolent

SLIMANE REJECTS THE PREFIXED PREDICTABILITY OF POSTMODERNISM

Slimane’s crossover success was clearly explained by the potential transferability of his designs to mass retail and by the fact that many of his key design pieces looked neither new nor luxurious to the naked eye, but rather “authentically” vintage.

Hedi Slimane - Saint Laurent Paris

In her ethnographic research on vintage styling among members of the Sixties scene in Germany, Heike Jenss has described the specific performance of authenticity involved in restaging mod styles. Rather than reproducing the sartorial codes perfectly, members combine past with present, tending towards the iconic looks associated with the period. As a result, the prevailing looks in the Sixties scene are the “stereotypical” styles commonly associated with the decade in question, which are influenced by the media images of rock stars, fashion models, and actors.

The most commonly remembered styles, like space-age and op-art looks, often reconstructed in detail, recur at Sixties events in dense concentration, presenting a hyper-version of the decade past . The menswear pastiche of the mid-2000s operated in a similarly selective manner, picking and mixing from post-1960s rock heritage to hone a contemporary classic ideal or “hyper-version” of the past.

Paradoxically, Slimane rejects the prefixed predictability of postmodernism (recycling, re-appropriation, revisiting), preferring to emphasize fashion’s “perpetual mutation,” accelerated through the last decade’s fast forward movement from analogue to digital culture, from consequential logic to parallel multiplicity.

Whilst it is true that the technologies of consumption and distribution have been transformed radically through changes in digital media platforms the 2000s, the content (of both pop and fashion cultures) is locked into a permanent mashup of the styles of recent decades. Elizabeth Wilson pointed this out early on as the checkmate position of contemporary fashion within postmodernity: “our culture of global mass media feeds us so much information that a massive cultural eclecticism is the only possible response”

Rick Owens's penchant for all rock'n'roll stuff places the leather jacket at the top of every shopping list inspired by Saint Laurent Paris. Subcultural patterns like grungy tattered knitwear and glam rock-inspired embellishments come and go, but a true style staple is the rockabilly biker jacket. While an investment in this classic Saint Laurent design needs no reason in our opinion, an oversized leather in a different shape won't take you too far from the vibe you're looking for in 2020.

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