Sunday, August 30, 2015
Jonathan Saunders Fall 2015
Abstract cumulus clouds, square boxy sunglasses and loosely coiled turtlenecks all contributed to the revival of the 1970s at Jonathan Saunders, whilst everyone else remained firmly enamored with the allure of the sixties. A departure from fringed suede and billowing dresses, Saunders focused on the synthetic or plastic fantastic if you prefer.There was something very Wonka-esque about the entire assortment of candy-colored outfits which drifted down the runway to the tune of George Michael's Careless Whisper. Perhaps it was the eye-popping combinations of purple and red softened by shades of grey and brown. But there was nothing diminutive about this collection, in fact Saunders adopted the mantra of "less is a bore" for this season specifically and cited the music which he chose for the show as something which put a smile on his face. The collections I find most inspiring are those where the designers always demand more of themselves and of their art. In this case Saunders has reconciled work and play beautifully by simply enjoying his craft and being able to create moving art.
Although those technical powder puffs opened and more or less defined the show I fell completely in love with the stripes. Notably Saunders opted for vertical stripes over horizontal stripes, breaking that age old fashion rule. You know me I find so-called fashion rules to be a complete bore and restricting. It's because of these rules that my mother will dictate what I can wear, at what time of day and where irrespective of the harm she may be causing to my self-esteem. So basically, fashion rules suck and creativity is awesome but it looks so glamorous and chic with a pair of laced up thigh high boots. These stripes in particular look more dreamy, colourful and playful than any vintage piece which has had to for survive decades. The same goes for materials such as vinyl which often degrade and can flake which can be exacerbated by wear. It's a real shame but sometimes despite all the love and care our clothes receive it's important to remember that they are material objects and do not experience change and growth the way our bodies do over the course of a lifetime. So sometimes the most healthy thing we can do is to buy something new and enjoy it's short but beautiful lifetime and make sure it gets lots of wear and simply look at each scuff mark as a little memory.
Another aspect which I enjoyed almost unexpectedly were the trousers paired with a simple colour block sweater. They were chic but understated and suited for a more emasculated, 1970s counterpart of Mad Men. The only thing that seemed missing was a cute little clutch purse or something else to create contrast. Even in a frozen snapshot I admire they movement and flow through them, as well as the legacy of slightly frumpy stretched flare pants that went around in the 1990s. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you should definitely check out this post by Style Bubble here. Although admittedly these pants by Saunders are the cats meow and nothing can quite compare to their lovely tailoring. The simple knitwear made me feel like I was transported to the packaging of a Kodak film roll or something as equally antiquated but colourful. The variation of stripes, as well as vertical patterns emulating wallpaper and interior designs of the seventies made for a smorgasbord of colour. Pleated panels were also used as a substitute for more stripes making the transition from straight vertical stripes to curvilinear rainbows.
I'm not someone who normally delights in the mod aesthetic, save for Shirley Kurata who is definitely a celestial being and not of this world. The narrative of a secretarial workspace has also been recently popularised by a number of designers, choreographing their shows to the typical closing time of any office space. Jonathan Saunders goes beyond each of those two ideals but maintains their whimsical nature in spire of a somewhat dreary or minimalist setting. That brings us back to the Willy Wonka vibes that I mentioned earlier minus a creepy cane or sinister subtext. I can't be the only one who had nightmares haunted by little orange men with green hair or confectionery creations turning on their consumer in an act of revenge. Childhood trauma aside, this upbeat collection was in its own way the physical embodiment of Saunders enthusiasm and delight in his work. It is people like him and Bill Cunningham who take such joy in their work that I idealize above all others. Happiness and good health is what will always matter first, what you're wearing and looks are not nearly as important in the grand scheme of things.
*Images via Vogue.com