Sunday, March 31, 2013

Degen Fall 2012

Finally the weather man has forecasted an end to a dreadfully long heatwave- but what does this mean to you the reader and what are the implications? Well for one thing I'm not going to be as cranky and unmotivated to dress no longer chained to practical sun dresses and light weight cottons. I'm also in the mood to appraise knitted bikinis, bottom briefs and  deconstructed tops worn with platform sneakers: yes it's time to dig in to more Degen runway shows. They're fairly small events, but I'll remind you each piece is made by hand and ordering from the websites ignites a chain reaction of orders put in and sweet goods being mailed out. I fell in love with the personalised yarn banners and use of knitted mittens as some kind of important and grand statement necklace. It seems like the sort of imaginative subversion a child might come up with when granted permission to dress themselves but at least it's an interesting idea that holds some promise.

The range and structure of the pieces from this collection provides a whole variety of comfort levels ranging from deliciously ironic midriff tops to jellyfish-like loose dresses.  Just take a moment to envision the movement of these larger dresses in an art-fashion film in a hotel swimming pool or found decades later as a small and cute grandma weighed down by multi-focal glasses sips soup in a retirement home. Okay I acknowledge the majority of these pieces aren't practical and focus on being playful as the presentation suggests but I think the modest dresses of tangled colors can really suit just about anyone.

Strictly speaking platform sneakers aren't really something explicitly knitted for this collection (without really sacrificing practical things we all take for granted that goes into engineering a shoe) and I have been probably too wrapped up in the high-heel sneaker debate (or rather as I call it a debacle). I just really like the different mish-mashed colours and patterns of the shoe and the way they then match the cropped knit tank top. Nothing says not useful like a garment made from the entirely wrong material, something my friend pointed out today as people wore short-sleeved t-shirts with fingerless gloves around university today. Surely if you wanted to be warm you would wear a long-sleeved shirt a logical person might argue, but I think this is where fashion diverges and deviates away from the normal expectations of society sometimes with cataclysmic results, at other times astonishingly beautiful. I would like to think it's quite obvious that anything I feature on my blog is something I condone in a small way but perhaps I will leave this little disclaimer here for future references in the mean time. The colour scheme of yarn is cute and muted, pathing the way for bewildering blue eye shadow and other make up but it all lends to the overall handmade, personal touch I'm already accustomed to associating with Degen.

In the spirit of offensive/ optical illusion clothing I can't help but point out the nipple top. You probably didn't need my saying so but yes, there it is and those are kitted nipples. It's the main reason I'm here discussing Degen for being racy and also being picked up by other stylists and thrown out into a desert environment, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the stripes or other motifs of the collection. The real irony comes from young models assumed to have not yet experienced the joys of marriage and raising babies wearing such pieces, when apparently angry mothers who resent being banned from breast-feeding in public put caps on their babies heads imitating nipples as well. I don't really know where I'm going with this... just to point out it's a thing and knitwear can be used to be subversive as well as backlash against people not approving of something that should be deemed normal and a part of every human experience. As Petra Collins pointed out: everyone has nipples. But there are drastically different responses depending on whose body is on parade and what gender they belong to. While common decency will nag me like a tingling spidey sense to not wear such a controversial garments in public I can't help but feel it would be hilarious to document the general population's response. Or have it in my closet at the very least, but these sorts of things remain nothing but mythical fancy in my eyes. Just like wearing anything from this collection while I try and space out my cash wages in preparation for being a car!

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