Friday, September 17, 2010
Since I design shoes full time now, it's a great excuse to unpeel my eyeballs from immature youtubes every now and then. I think I'm going to start trying to remember where I find these pictures so I can label the prices and brands underneath. Some of this stuff is $20 ebayed items. Of course this isn't a fashion blog.. or IS IT?? Freedom of choice, but seriously, I like buying shit. And if I can't buy it, I'll pretend just like everybody else.. For instance, I can pretend I like clogs. Looking at really cool trends and ideas gets me all jazzed up to design my own shit. Realistically, I'd probably have to sell my eggs like 10 times to get enough money to do it big.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Ghettoized fashion is so high brow! Kinda' weirded out by this Proenza Schouler collaboration with Harmony Korine. I guess the film is cool based on the fact that it qualifies as art house? But really, this is what makes fashion terrible to me. The imagery of poor, desolate, and stereotypically disenfranchised margins of society strutting around with accessorized 40's for the sake of selling overpriced clothes is lame. Coupled with the fact that Proenza Schouler isn't necessarily known to showcase a lot of black models in the first place, reeks of exploitative fashion tactics that cornify their vision. To me, this film and films like these that take unoriginal, socially disadvantaged settings to sell (easily) $10,000 outfits is offensive. And it's not annoying because of just race, it's annoying because no matter what color you are, if you make less than $60,000 a year you are sure as shit not in the casual market to buy a $2,000 jacket you gotta' dry clean! I don't care if these girls were thoughtfully casted from a slew of "real Nashville delinquents," that just proves that they are even less likely to afford a lifestyle in which this label endorses. Therefore, the commercial itself, like much of fashion, is fake and insincere. This collection "Act Da Fool" should have been called something like " Out Yo Damn Mind "?
*******Update: I received some texts from a good friend that read this post. To paraphrase, as a filmmaker he essentially found the film to accomplish itself as a work of art more than as a promotion of the brand. He understood that I could see it as exploitative since Harmony is a white filmmaker. However, white or not, okay yeah it doesn't help that he is white, sorry. Yet, even if he was black, the subject is still unchanged. To clear things up, about the girls that were casted, this excerpt is from tmagazine off of the new york times:
Hamony, why Nashville, aside from the fact that you live down there?
HK: Just because I used to hang out with this gang of black girls that were really hardcore delinquents, and I always loved them. Sometimes we would walk home from school and I would just watch them like set stuff on fire. Some of them would sleep in tree-houses and things. I used to always just think they were so terrific. In some way I just kinda tapped into that story.
So, the girls who you ultimately did work with, did they come alive to the clothes?
HK: Yeah, I think they seemed pretty into it. Some of them worked at the school for the blind. Other ones, my wife’s little brother goes to school with. Other ones are in the marching band. Another girl worked at the zoo. Another is the world champion in Double-Dutch. One of the girls has no tongue and she’s a rapper. She’s really good; she just raps these sounds
Earlier, I assumed from another write up that these girl were casted from an actual correctional facility or something, but they are not delinquents at all. I'm not sure if it's worse to recruit girls that actually are "hardcore delinquents" or if it's worse to cast girls drinking 40's and tagging shit, but she's actually in the marching band. Maybe they're both bad, considering none of them are aspiring models. Not to say, even if they were models looking to further their own careers, it wouldn't necessarily justify the message of what can easily be put out by this. And what exactly is the message when you combine a very dedicated director that has made a niche of underground films that center around neglected youth, and sometimes hard to follow disadvantaged characters?
With the resume of Harmony Korine, I don't think he would prefer real actors or models anyway. Maybe it is in this element alone, the ultimate end product to sell an upscale lifestyle, that can either make this documentary short film compelling and sincere, as many of his films have collectively achieved with critics, or questionably exploitive when it comes to this specific high profile collaboration. It is no question that it is a beautifully shot, but the beauty found within it does not come from the clothes it sells, but rather from the faces and energetic movement of the girls he shoots. And to name the line "Act Da Fool" suggests a banner of ignorant acts or ignorant people or ignorant society to me. Nothing ever looks good when you are commercializing others' survival grit for fashionable street credit.
Therefore, the lines between art and commercialization can become very distorted and have always been distorted. Like most art, we all see things differently based on our own understanding of the world around us.*****