I saw the latest show at SAM 7/4; Future Beauty, 30 Years of Japanese Fashion and am full of mixed feelings. The oldest and the newest designs were my best likes.
Rei Kawakubo's early work in the late 70's put a 'clean" spin on the shredded fibers and patches that marked the Punk 'tude back in the day.
Lollita and storycon garb was a good insert but a little like Lagerfield doing "grunge" in the 90's the heart and soul gets a little lost in the re-issue.
Hmm, so under the skirts is this a show of " Takers. (Ishmael)" an homage to "steal ideas and then take credit for the "Look?" (or whatever idea, concept , detaile etc) This appears to be a normed phenom and as such brings up many questions about source.
Like, when source is a second hand account why is it deemed more "acceptable" than a first hand experience? Are we being taught to view rather than to participate? To observe the process rather than to be, to act meaningfully with all the colors not just this years chosen palette?
Are we being groomed for second hand living, living in the make believe sit com , the reality show of a life chained to an ever lessening bed of choices?
This is silly if it were not so dangerous.
So-moving onto the question of taste, as in who and how defines it for a culture, i am back round to the museums.
The current show in NYC- Punk at the Met along with Future Beauty reiterates a pattern, a formula that creates sanctity and delivers what was once verboten (punk) or strange (experiments in shape and form rather than function) up for the masses to devour. (Consumerism as a peak experience)
Given a certain vintage, artful rebels can be mainstreamed and their political jabs when taken safely out of context, become palatable - entertaining.
After a street birth a sweet detail is observed by a "documented" designer, who kidnaps and raises the idea as their own. It is justified as a way to give the "idea, the look, the lyric, the aesthetic " a proper launch" - where proper connects to profit.
Or why is virtually unwearable garb now accepted as art when at the time is was rarely seen off the runway or showroom floor?
Is their a link to the manufactured meme of profit that controls a majority of the worldview? Are we being continually groomed to justify and accept the "real" world view?
Are the museums giving back by displaying and thereby enhancing this vision? Is this a kind of full circle, a loop closure that hides the process in plain view?
The insular lab of the design school approach where launching the goods takes a fair amount of money to get past the gatekeepers, to buy some press and infiltrate the "right" sound barriers needs the talent of the street, the grass roots energy.
This logically should mean that it is in the best interests of everyone that the talents of everyone be nurtured and valued.
However the current trajectory values fewer and fewer ideas as a way to control the scene to maximize profits. This is a lossy event.
When choices are limited -probability expands, this looks good for economic strategists. But the price is huge. As we choose from ever lessening concepts of the whole of possibility, we shrink our ability to explore options for we now view probability as the "whole" of practical options..
Witness the throes of the planet as we seem hooked into the bad choices we made ever so long ago.
Isn't it time to wake up to the many possibilities? Have we so duped and justified our way into this corner that we are willing to accept it as a "given?"
I say NO! We should go exploring! Like, what gave the world the creative impulse that birthed so much diversity, such abundance of imagination? We as a species deserve to live from the best of what we now know. This is is our true heritage, not that silly biased stuff that protects those old false beliefs.
If not now, when? Isn't it bumpy enough?