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Beyonce Runs Music Video

I stand by my decision that I don’t like Beyonce‘s new single Run The World (Girls). But the video, which was released recently and you can see here, is just a visual masterpiece. Francis Lawrence directed this video, the same guy who directed Lady Gaga‘s insanely succesful Bad Romance video. The static formation of people in this video is similar to that in Bad Romance.

I like everything about this video: the choreography (it was perfect with every beat of the song, and Bey is a way better dancer than Gaga), the set design, and the best of all is the costumes. Bey was not worn by the outfits, she looked so natural and comfortable in them. And that Givenchy Haute Couture gown from Spring/Summer 2011? Superb!

The most brilliant part of the video was when Bey shot by the camera, bending on the dirt, upside down in rotation. It was the first time I seen it and I think it was genius, regardless of whether Lawrence was the first to do it or not. (wait, Melina Matsoukas sort of did that too for Bey’s Upgrade U video)

This video is just what Bey needed to redeem herself from the poor performance of Run The World (Girls) single on iTunes and on the charts. And if I have this video to see, I’ll deal with the song anytime. Just watch it, watch this testament of Bey’s supremacy in Pop music industry.

– Taws Up! –

Shoes from Beyonce's Run The World (Girls) video - image from http://thefashionwhorereport.blogspot.com

Underwear, Underneath My Skin

Confidence Underwear Cookies, sweet in every bite

Attending CLARA Revival Night Lights on May 13 this year was a valuable experience for me. I got to be there because I won a contest, I got to watch three collections being presented (one of them by Tex Saverio whom I looked forward to the most), I got to get introduced to Didit Hediprasetyo (for whose recent haute couture collection I drafted the press release), I got to meet again with my friend from Junior High School that I had not met for 10 years, and I got other valuable things too.

Sadly, I was not entirely happy. There was nothing wrong with the occasion, the fault was entirely mine. During that night, again for the hundredth time in my life, I felt insecure. Why? Basically I felt intimidated by the people that attended the event with what they wore, how they looked, and they fact that they seemed to know each other and I knew nobody. I felt really under-dressed and out of place.

For the record, I dressed quite properly for the occasion: I wore a Monday To Sunday shirt on top of a 16DS jeans and a pair of Zara high top sneakers. But I can’t deny that, compared to the other guests, I felt like I should’ve dressed . . . more. So, had I dressed “more” for the occasion, would I have felt secure? Presumably not, because I realized that my insecurity did not root at what I wore. It rooted at something deeper.

Someone who was among the guests did wear just this: shirt + shorts + a pair of hiking sandals. Less proper than what I had on, isn’t it? But that same person gave and received dozens of kisses during the event. That person was well-connected and knew and known by a lot of the guests there, I was not and that fed into my insecurity. That person was secured by his connection and enormous wealth (I know this for sure), I was not and I guess that was the biggest blow to my security.

Had I not come to the event with my boss, I would have gone to the venue by public transportation or maybe taxi (I did have an invitation of my own as a contest winner). When I left the venue at Pacific Place mall, I had to walk all the way to Semanggi to catch my bus. It was later than 9 pm.

Whenever I’m in that kind of social situation and my insecurity kicks in, I would feel like everybody is looking at me. Not that they always do, but when they do I feel like they do it in disgust. “Ugh, look at your oily face”, “ew, what a shabby clothes”, “are you sure you’re invited here?”. Those thoughts probably pass people’s mind when they look at me. This is the same feeling that prevented me from going inside a boutique, even just to look at its collection of jackets and jeans, because I would feel that the shopkeepers knew I wouldn’t buy anything and think inside their heads “oh, please, these clothes are too expensive for you!”.

This is exactly an instance of Jean Paul Sartre’s idea of “the look”, and I would feel like an object, scrutinized and judged by the subject (others), whenever I felt insecure that way. I feel like when the others look at me, they could see right through my soul and my history, knowing where I came from, my social status, my level of economy, and every little facts of my life that I may not be proud of. I need a reversal, become the subject of my own world and not the object of others’ world. But how?

Stylists would often suggest us to be confident in what we wear. Implicitly: be delusional that you are somebody, that you are the star of the occasion. I guess they are right, and even if they’re not, the self-fed delusion certainly works to get you through the night before reality breaks in. Reality. Perhaps I was being too real and too good at perceiving the reality that a lot of people looked down on me. But what exactly is real? What if I wasn’t being real and that my insecurity was the delusion that I created, instead of creating the delusion of confidence? How am I supposed to tell what is real? How am I supposed to tell that I’m not paranoid?

I don’t know. All I know is that the delusion of confidence doesn’t work for me. “The look” is just too strong for my barrier to hold against. And it’s also because I know that it isn’t just clothes that I wear to any occasion, but it’s also my life: who I am, what I do for living, how much I make per month, what I have achieved, etc. I can’t change the “bad” things in my history, but I can make up for that by becoming a “better” person in many ways. Myself and everything about my life are my wardrobe that I wear wherever I go. What I need to do is clean this wardrobe, stitch up the holes, do what I can to make it look brand new and damn precious. Then I can wear it and be confident about it.

– Taws Up! –

Tex G-O-L-D

Tex Saverio opening visual at CLARA Revival Night Lights

If you look back to read on some of the major fashion publications and news outlets in Indonesia for the past few months, chances are you would come across an article of a new, 1984-born designer named Tex Saverio. Rio, I believe that is how he is usually referred to, has been gaining a lot of attention from the fashion community, especially editors, for his avant-garde, couture-quality designs. After securing the honor of being one of the designers making presentation at Dewi Fashion Knights in Jakarta Fashion Week 2010 (he was showing with senior designers), Rio got an even bigger boost to his name, one that instantly brought him to prominence: a feature of one of his designs on May 2011 edition of Harper’s Bazaar USA worn by Pop superstar Lady Gaga, no less.

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - look 1

How did Rio’s design ended-up being worn by someone as big as Gaga? Basically, his presentation at Dewi Fashion Knights was covered by the press, including the foreign ones. Some photos of his presentation were then found by super-blogger Perez Hilton and posted on his Coco Perez blog, and then that post was found by Lady Gaga’s stylist, Nicola Formichetti (who is also the creative director of the newly revived Mugler, fashion director of Uniqlo, and fashion director of Vogue Hommes Japan and other publications. Perez could have told Mr. Formichetti about the dress, too, since both are close friends of Gaga’s.)

Mr. Formichetti then gave Rio a call, asking him to send his dresses to be worn by Gaga in a photo shoot for her upcoming Born This Way album. Unfortunately for Rio, his dresses arrived late and the photo shoot was over, so he had to be content with having his dress featured in Harper’s Bazaar USA only. The dress is a long-sleeved black corset dress with embroidered skirt, very fitting for Gaga’s extravagant style and in perfect contrast with her pink hair.

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - look 2

Last Friday (May 13, 2011) during CLARA Revival Night Lights, I had the privilege of being an eye witness to Rio’s presentation. The collection was understandably short because, 1st of all, it was not his private show, and then he had to show without break after Andreas Odang and KLÉ. These two brands presented collections that were relatively minimal but readily wearable, the exact opposite of Rio’s beautifully complex yet hardly wearable collection.

Rio’s collection (I’m not sure if he had a name for it) consisted mainly of gold. His presentation was opened by a model wearing golden body suit, something that would catch the attention of performers like Gaga, Kylie Minogue, and Dita Von Teese. The model emerged from a dropped white curtain that revealed The S.I.G.I.T band and Bina Seni Vokal (BSV) Choir that provided soundtrack for all three presentations, and she was immediately followed by 5-or-so models, one wore a knee-length dress and the rest wore ball gowns.

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - look 3

All dresses were dominantly gold and heavily embroidered, with a little touch of black here and there, particularly on the final dress worn by model Paula Verhoeven. The embroidery was probably inspired by flowers, but I hope that Rio had been thinking of mosses and mushrooms because it certainly looked like them and they would have been a more genius reference than any obvious flower. The embroidery was very meticulous, it was swirling rows of golden petals layered on top of each other and three-dimensionally crafted to make the floras. The final dress was black (the skirt was probably layers of tulle) and gold embroidery was on the body to create the look of a fitted jacket with pointy shoulders that looked like raging flames.

I beg your forgiveness if this article and the photos that I provide don’t add much details about the clothes. I sat on the 2nd row next to my boss that came together with me, and all I had to photograph those exquisite dresses was my BlackBerry. The quality of the camera was so bad and we were no nearer to the stage than the photographers at the pit were. But if I can be allowed one excuse, that was not how something like Rio’s design should be presented and appreciated. The context of the presentation did not do justice to the clothes. Not bad, just unjust because the clothes should have been presented in the same way Riccardo Tisci has been presenting his haute couture collections for Givenchy lately, especially if details and workmanship are what needed to be highlighted about the collection. But, regrets aside, Rio still managed to wow the audience.

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - look 4

After that night, I found Rio to be so significant not merely for his talent, what he has created, and his dress being worn by Gaga, but because I felt that Rio was the new symbol of hope that Indonesian designers can really break into the global scene, presenting their collections during fashion weeks at the four fashion capitals or, perhaps, by turning Jakarta into the next fashion capital like Brazil and Japan. We have always known that Indonesian designers have got what it takes to take on the world stage, and even if they haven’t quite managed to break into the global business yet, they still have enormous design talent to offer. However, I suspect that many designers have grown content with being successful in Jakarta alone, having rich socialites as their loyal clientele. It seems to me that Indonesian high fashion is now more about the money and dressing the ‘It’ girls for the ‘It’ parties instead of about setting the ultimate standard of beauty.

I have a belief, and hope, that Rio won’t end up being one of those designers. You look at him, covered in tattoo and sort of hiding beneath his hooded jacket, and you don’t think that he will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Adinda Bakrie or Fernanda Tjahjadi at Louis Vuitton customer gathering. I look at Rio and he reminds me of Hyde, the lead of Japanese rock band L’Arc-en-Ciel (you will agree that Rio looks like a Japanese or Korean TV star). I look at what he presented that night and tried to estimate his talent, and I thought of Alexander McQueen.

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - look 5

What Rio has presented so far doesn’t qualify as wearable in any normal social occasion. If Rio is going to be more than a designer that creates theatrics, if he is going to make women look sanely beautiful in wearable clothes, he would need to learn how to pull himself back when creating ready-to-wear and even custom-made dresses. I think it is good that Rio started off his career by doing too much and immediately setting himself as a promising couturier, because it would be easier to tone down all of the extravagance that he puts in his designs rather than trying to force himself do more after he started off his career by not doing enough.

I think what Rio needs to do to go further with his career is find a business partner that looks at his design, first and foremost, as a creative force not a commercial force. His business partner would have to be able to afford not gaining commercial success in an instant and has to be able to genuinely appreciate the critical acclaim that Rio could very well receive and to promote his creativity through the right channels to the right people. Rio had better maintain a good relationship with Mr. Formichetti because he is one among few fashion editors that have enough creative influence to push his designs into a wider audience.

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - look 6

Like the collection that he presented that night, Rio himself is a gold that is raw and precious. But nobody wears gold when it is still raw. Rio, too, has to undergo process and polishing.

– Taws Up! –

Tex Saverio at CLARA Revival Night Lights - finale

 

Cardinal Virtues

It is always nice and satisfying when a designer does something different and (relatively) new for a label. Respect for a brand’s characteristic and heritage doesn’t have to be shown by doing the same, obvious thing over and over again. As long as the creation comes in high quality—which means conceptually clear and flawlessly executed—the brand’s distinctiveness should be safe.

 

Marc Jacobs clearly understands that. What he does for Louis Vuitton is never limited within the box. Perhaps there isn’t even such thing as a “Louis Vuitton” box. Jacobs’s constant reinvention for the highly recognizable brand makes it hard for anyone to freeze Louis Vuitton’s characteristics.

 

What is quintessentially Louis Vuitton? Jetsetters’ luggage and polished head-to-toe look? Jacobs has done much more than that, even to the extreme point where he visited Bikini Bottom and dragged SpongeBob SquarePants to Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2008. But Jacobs isn’t without principle. In 2005, he did say that he has “pinned down who the Vuitton woman is: She’s someone who loves to dress up.”

 

lv-ss08-marc-jacobs

 And the primary rule of liking to dress up is to never be afraid of putting on new looks on ourselves. To reinvent means to undergo trial and error. Try everything. Mix them and match them until you get the perfect harmony. Who knows what stunning new look you’ll come up with at the end of every experiment.

 

Jacobs had probably contemplated that when he finally envisioned what he would offer to the style-hungry, status-obsessed fashionistas around the globe for Spring/Summer 2009. And his intellectual discourse resulted in a collection that got both the stylish girls and cold critics in ecstasy. After undergoing a decline in satisfaction and praise last Winter, his Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2009 collection propelled Jacobs to the top of his game.

 

As if unaffected by the depressing newspaper headlines, the models came out parading playful mini-skirts, showing off some seductive legs with their confident walk. Even if your legs aren’t as skinny as theirs, the head-turning shoes would still make you center of attention. The platform-sandals came in multiple straps, feathers, and plastic panels forming African faces that cover the wearer’s insteps. If those aren’t stunning enough, they also come in bright, multi-tone of colors.

 

lv-ss09-anna-gushina

Above the half-naked lower part of the body, the models were equipped with padded-shoulder jackets covering some see-through tops. Some got their waists cinched with obis, and not one of them came out without drop-earrings and/or plunging tribal necklaces that are, oh yes, colorful and chunky as a surefire way to make some serious statements.

 

Beside the mini-skirts, there were also some peek-a-boos going on the tops. Some were partially, in triangular forms, see-through on the back. Even the covered front could expose your tits under a certain intensity of light, due to its thin layer of fabric. The finale was an orange (or a hue close to it) mini-dress crunched asymmetrically, with plunging neckline on the front and strappy back that reveals much skin. Floor-sweeping dresses were never Jacobs’s playground, and this finale mini-dress, worn by Sigrid Agren, simply marks Jacobs’s territory.

 

lv-ss09-sigrid-agren2

The show was successful and the reviews were unanimously positive, but will the selling-floor have the same fate? LVMH won’t take “No” for an answer, not when its golden boy managed to bring the best in the midst of critical times. And to advertise the clothes, there’s only one artist who could keep up with and tame this wildly creative collection: Madonna.

 

About why Madge was selected, Jacobs said that he “… wanted the campaign to be very bold, very sensual and very atmospheric. To carry off all these references and all this sophistication, we needed the ultimate performer – and for me, that is Madonna”.
              
At first I thought Madge wasn’t quite right for the part. But then I figured who else could effortlessly pull off various colors in every bit of shape and much embellishment than the Material Girl herself? Her personality, chains of controversy, and history of tireless reinvention suit this collection with the perfect pitch of synergy (or is it the collection that suits her?).

 

lv-ss09-ad

 

Take a close inspection at the advertisements. Tribal inspired clothes and accessories, worn by a modern mega-artist that constantly changes, at a bar that seems classic and very European. Somehow, in a way that perhaps only a genius can track, the pieces fit together. Nothing seems incoherent or out of context. And the willingness to dress-up and be youthful and energetic in tough times that the collection and advertisements suggest would surely appeal to everyone.

 

More than two millennia ago Socrates, via Plato’s Republic, discussed about four cardinal virtues that have “pivotal role in human flourishing” : prudence (practical wisdom), courage, temperance, and justice. Socrates suggested that “a person is prudent when knowledge of how to live (wisdom) informs her reason, courageous when informed reason governs her capacity for wrath, temperate when it also governs her appetites, and just when each part performs its proper task with informed reason in control.”

 

This Spring, for those of us who have no time or interest to contemplate philosophical ideals, Jacobs have materialized those virtues in something that one is ready to put on without having to worry about headaches (as often occur after philosophical contemplations). The various bits of style in the collection serve our appetites with temperance, and wearing those heavily accessorized looks is simply courageous. The collection is prudent in suggesting us to never lose focus on looking great though squeezed under global crash, and that is doing justice to the flourishing of our soul.

 

The 21st Century depression is here, but there’s no reason for us to embody it. That’s how Jacobs sums up the Socratic ideals of cardinal virtues in this collection for our current context.

 

– Adhi Putra Tawakal –

Silver Lining in the Dark Clouds (bahasa)

Laksana kanker, resesi ekonomi tumbuh dengan cepat, semakin kuat dan luas. Department store berteriak dalam kepanikan dan keputus-asaan tatkala para pelanggan (potensial) menjadi kurang sensitif terhadap apa yang baru dalam fesyen dan bahkan kurang sensitif terhadap penampilan mereka sendiri. Orang-orang di kelas bawah dan menengah semakin tak memiliki anggaran untuk jaket, sepatu, atau pun tas ter-“panas”. Yang terpikir saat ini hanyalah bagaimana agar api kompor di rumah tetap menyala.

Jelas ini masa yang sulit, terutama bagi mereka yang hanya “mengoperasikan mesin”. Namun para kreator dan perancang justru melihat masalah dan kemiskinan sebagai sumber inspirasi untuk membakar kapasitas kreatif mereka. Dengan segera para perancang busana beradaptasi dan menerjemahkan masa yang mencekat ini dalam koleksi-koleksi yang mungkin belum pernah terlihat sebelumnya.

Saat beberapa perancang lain yang lebih intelektual merepresentasikan visi mereka dalam bentuk yang paling mentah (perempuan yang tampak ganas dalam mantel serba-bisnis di PRADA, misalnya), Frida Giannini di GUCCI memiliki opini lain.

Koleksi Fall/Winter 2009-nya memiliki edge dan sekian dosis keseriusan di dalamnya. Tak ada yang manis ataupun girly diantara parade leather, sequin, dan mini dress dengan fabric yang flashy dan form-hugging di runway GUCCI. Namun para perempuannya juga tidak terlihat maskulin ataupun kaku. Anda dapat dengan mudah membayangkan mereka berpesta di club, setelah menyingkirkan dokumen dan kontrak kerja saat office hour berakhir.

Personalitas Giannini, seperti biasa, terasa kuat dalam koleksi ini. Ia masih bermain dengan print, kali ini yang geometris seperti stripes dan lingkaran-lingkaran yang kadang terlihat tidak proporsional, namun ia tidak membiarkannya mendominasi koleksi glam rock cum disko ini. Monokrom dan keseksian terhampar dimana-mana, seolah Tom Ford kembali untuk sejenak. Apa yang membuat Giannini berbeda adalah less skin exposure dan, secara mengejutkan, jumlah gaun malam yang lebih sedikit meski itu selalu merupakan teritori GUCCI (kecuali anda menganggap clubbing lewat tengah malam sebagai “evening occasion”).

Setelan “Frida”, yang telah hadir sejak Giannini mengambil alih posisi Alessandra Facchinetti sebagai Creative Director GUCCI, juga ada di koleksi ini. Produksinya yang tak berkesudahan sepanjang era Giannini mungkin mulai membuat para kritikus, yang telah menunggu dengan tak sabar untuk sesuatu yang unexpected dan out-of-the-GUCCI-box, bosan. Namun apa yang realistis ditakdirkan untuk bertahan, dan setidaknya setelan “Frida” tersebut dapat dianggap sebagai GUCCI signature yang baru disamping tas-tas dengan handle bambu dan Monogram GG yang kini telah kehilangan daya otentisitasnya setelah banyak dipalsukan. Apa lagi alasan bagi GUCCI untuk tetap menjual setelah tersebut?

Saya masih percaya bahwa Giannini telah menetapkan formulanya untuk Spring/Summer: print sarat warna dan bentuk yang lady-like. Lihat kembali ke empat koleksi Spring/Summer terakhir dan anda dapat memprediksi hampir secara akurat apa yang akan hadir untuk 2010. Namun prediktabilitas itu seolah tak berlaku saat pakaian harus menebal.

Di Fall/Winter 2006 ada perempuan disko ’70-an di runway GUCCI, kemudian jetsetters di 2007 dengan tampilan yang sangat clean dan polished. Pada tahun 2008 Giannini membelokkan GUCCI ke arah yang tak terduga, hampir idiosyncratic menuju sebuah versi mewah dari folk dan country. Sekarang ini seolah ia telah turun dari sadel, berkendara dalam sports car berkecepatan tinggi, menuju club paling happening. Jelas bukan sebuah kandang untuk kuda dan kaum hippie. Mungkin Giannini telah menjadwalkan Fall/Winter sebagai saat untuk bermain dengan gagasan lain, tanpa melupakan komersialisme tentunya.

Betul, setiap orang terhimpit oleh krisis ekonomi, bahkan kaum super-kaya dunia yang konon kedap-resesi hingga derajat tertentu. “Sale” kini adalah pandangan yang biasa dan dinanti, namun tragis untuk luxury industry yang enggan turun dari singgasana eksklusifnya. Lantas bagaimana Giannini menjaga margin GUCCI positif tanpa menggunakan the “S” word? Bersikap realistis, tentu, dan tak pernah melupakan bahwa “luxury” secara literal berarti segala sesuatu yang bercahaya.

Tepatnya koleksi Fall/Winter 2009 GUCCI adalah itu: tampilan bercahaya, penuh percaya diri yang menempatkan perempuan dalam mood yang seksi. Pesan dari koleksi ini jernih: hanya karena kita hidup di masa yang depresif tidak berarti kita perlu merasa atau, lebih buruk lagi, terlihat depressed. Mengurai berbagai problem dapat dilakukan dengan cara yang menjaga segala sesuatunya fun dan setiap orang dalam mood yang bagus. However dark the clouds, there’s always a silver lining. This collection just might be it.

– Taws Up! –

Silver Lining in the Dark Clouds

            Like a cancer, the recession is growing faster, stronger, and wider. Department stores are screaming in frantic desperation as (potential) customers become less sensitive to what’s new in fashion and even less sensitive to their own look. People in the middle and lower class barely have any budget for the hottest jackets, or shoes, or bags. All they can think about today is how to keep their stomach fed.

            Hard time, indeed, especially for those who merely operate the engines. But creators, inventors, and designers see trouble and poverty as another source of inspiration to ignite their creative capacity. Fashion designers quickly adapted and translate this choking time into collections that might have never been seen before.

            While some other, more intellectual designers realize their vision in the crudest way possible (malevolent-looking females in all-business coats at PRADA, for instance), Frida Giannini of GUCCI has another opinion.

            Her Fall/Winter 2009 collection has an edge and a certain dose of seriousness in it. There’s nothing sweet or girly amongst the parade of leather, sequin, and form-hugging mini dresses in flashy fabrics at GUCCI runway. But the women didn’t look mannish or stiff either. You could easily picture them hitting the clubs, tossing their briefcases and contracts aside as the office hour comes to an end.

            Giannini’s personality is, as always, strongly present in the collection. She still plays with print, this time geometric ones like stripes and circles that might seem out-of-proportion sometime, but she didn’t let it dominate this glam rock cum disco collection. Monochrome and sexiness was all over, as if Tom Ford was back for a while. What set Giannini apart were less skin exposure and, surprisingly, less number of red carpet evening dresses that have always been GUCCI’s territory (unless you consider midnight clubbing an “evening occasion”).

            The “Frida” pantsuit, that has been present since Giannini took over Alessandra Facchinetti’s job as GUCCI’s Creative Director, was also there. Its incessant display throughout Giannini’s era might bore some critics at this point, who have impatiently waited for something unexpected and out of the GUCCI box. But what’s realistic is destined to survive, and at least it can be considered as a new GUCCI signature besides the bamboo-handled bags and the GG Monograms that now have lost its force of authenticity due to much counterfeiting. Why else would GUCCI keep selling the pantsuit?

            I still hold the believe that Giannini has pinned down her formula for Spring/Summer: colorful prints and lady-like shapes. Look back at her last four Spring/Summer collections and you can almost accurately predict what’s going to come for 2010. But such predictability doesn’t seem to apply when the clothes had to go thicker.

            In Fall/Winter 2006 there were disco 70’s women at the GUCCI runway, then jetsetters in 2007 with a very clean and polished look. In 2008 Giannini took GUCCI to an unexpected, almost idiosyncratic direction towards a luxurious, much upgraded version of folk and country. Now it’s as if she got off her saddle, drives a high-speed sports car, and heads to the hottest club. Not a stable for horses and hippies. Perhaps Giannini has reserved Fall/Winter for her time to be playful, but notwithstanding commercialism.

            True, everyone is squeezed by the economic crisis, even the so-called recession-proof superrich around the world to a certain degree. “Sale” is now a very popular scene, yet tragic for the luxury industry who is unwilling to get off its exclusive throne. So how does Giannini keep GUCCI’s margin positive without resorting to the “S” word? Being realistic, of course, and never forgetting that “luxury” literally means all that emit radiance.

            GUCCI’s Fall/Winter 2009 collection is exactly that: confident, radiant looks that put women in a sexy and happy mood. The message of this collection is clear: just because we live in a depressive time we don’t have to feel or, even worse, look depressed. Disentangling the threads of multiple trouble can be done in a way that keeps everything fun and everyone in a good mood. However dark the clouds, there’s always a silver lining. This collection just might be it.

 

– Adhi Putra Tawakal –           

 

 

Prada Digs Deeper

Miuccia Prada adalah seorang perancang yang tanpa henti membuat para kritikus fesyen dan jurnalis berpegang teguh pada prinsip “expect the unexpected”. Prada sangat dikenal senang melakukan sesuatu untuk sebuah koleksi yang seolah merupakan antitesis dari koleksi sebelumnya. Tahun 2009 ini bukanlah pengecualian. 

 

Untuk Spring/Summer, musimnya para perempuan muda, Prada menampilkan koleksi yang seksi dan lady-like tanpa memproyeksikan perempuan sebagaimana mereka tampil di nightclub. Tak ada bling atau apapun yang menyiratkan gemerlap kehidupan urban, hanya sederet tampilan dengan elemen-elemen yang terkesan primitif, tak tersentuh modernitas: print kulit ular, kerutan pada kain, ketiadaan retsleting, dan warna-warna dasar seperti hitam dan coklat yang sangat dikuasai oleh Prada.

 

Apa antitesis dari itu semua? Bila anda berpikir sesuatu yang menandakan kehidupan kota, sarat teknologi dan pemujaan terhadap materi, maka anda salah besar. Prada justru bertahan di kawasan primitif untuk Fall/Winter 2009 (talk about unexpected, huh?), but there is a very interesting twist. Pakaian dan aksesori yang ditampilkan justru lebih “beradab”. Tak ada referensi terhadap suku tertentu, baik dalam print maupun potongan, melainkan sederet mantel, tops, dan rok yang masuk akal untuk dikenakan oleh para business woman di ruang rapat. Boots-nya adalah pengecualian. Mereka mungkin justru mengingatkan anda pada tukang ledeng.

 

“OK, lantas apanya yang tetap primitif?”, you might ask. The answer: the models who walked down the runway. Koleksi Spring/Summer 2009-nya mungkin tampil primitif, but the women were very civilized. Rambut mereka digelung dengan anting bandul kecil tergantung manis di telinga, mereka tampil formal dan sophisticated. One season later, the PRADA women look like cave women. Rambut mereka frizzy, kulit mereka pucat pasi, dan sorot mata mereka tajam, kosong dari segala empati (sebuah tampilan yang mengingatkan saya pada Stella Tennant). These women look savage and cannibalistic, as if violence is their only language and flesh is the only thing to satisfy their crave.

 

Koleksi ini memiliki pesan yang serupa dengan koleksi PRADA di Fall/Winter 2006: “female empowerment”. Namun jika di tahun 2006 Prada memproyeksikan perempuan yang sadar politik dan berdaya secara intelektual, di tahun 2009 ini Prada seolah bicara mengenai perempuan dengan keberdayaan yang “mentah”, siap menghadapi segala tantangan peradaban (seperti resesi global sekarang ini) tanpa perlu berbasa-basi soal idealisme politik. Perempuan 2009 ini seolah sudah muak dengan segala konseptualisasi dan pretensi moral. Yang tersisa adalah basic instinct dan hukum rimba, sebagaimana tema PRADA sendiri untuk Fall/Winter 2009 ini: survival.

 

Laksana Arkeolog (atau Paleontolog), Prada menggali lebih dalam. Tak puas dengan reruntuhan di tengah belantara, ia menggali kulit bumi, mencari apapun yang bisa dicanangkan sebagai akar dari kemanusiaan dalam bentuknya yang paling mentah. Mungkin itulah analogi yang tepat bagi koleksi yang kembali membuat para kritikus berdecak kagum ini. Sangatlah memuaskan bagaimana Prada berhasil menyuntikkan substansi filosofis pada koleksi yang tetap marketable.

 

– Taws Up! –

           

                

Surviving the Recession, GUCCI Style!

            Sebagai seorang perancang yang relatif muda, Frida Giannini tidak takut untuk membuat pernyataan tegas akan visinya mengenai GUCCI. Sejak memulai debutnya melalui koleksi womenswear Spring/Summer 2006, Giannini tak ragu untuk mengambil alih kendali kreasi, secara aktual dan secara konseptual. Statusnya sebagai Creative Director GUCCI tidak sebatas “hitam di atas putih”, namun juga mewujud secara nyata dalam apa yang ia ciptakan bagi GUCCI selama 4 tahun terakhir ini.

            Dengan segera Giannini keluar dari bayang-bayang Tom Ford, sang megastar-designer ikonik yang kepergiannya dari GUCCI sangat disayangkan oleh berbagai jurnalis. Dalam usaha menegaskan identitasnya, Giannini mewarnai GUCCI dengan berbagai print cerah yang memberikan para perempuan tampilan segar, muda, dan mewah dalam waktu yang sama. Gaun-gaun kreasinya pun memberikan tampilan yang seksi dengan cara yang cerdas dan tidak terkesan … slutty. Semua itu kontras dengan kreasi monumental Ford yang, meminjam istilah Thakoon Panichgul, “oversexed”.

            Berbeda dengan ilmuwan laboratorium, Giannini telah menyempurnakan formulanya sejak percobaan pertama. Selain permainan print dan tampilan-tampilan yang tidak mengumbar seksualitas, secara konsisten Giannini menghadirkan pilihan ready-to-wear yang actually ready to be worn tanpa perlu membuat kita berpikir “what the … How would I look good in that?!”. Dan koleksi Spring/Summer 2009 ini bukanlah pengecualian. Semua yang ditampilkan di runway September 2008 lalu, dan yang hadir di butik GUCCI favorit anda di Jakarta, begitu masuk akal, wearable, dan dapat diadaptasikan untuk berbagai occasion.

            Getaway ke Nusa Dua, gathering eksklusif orang-orang terpilih, atau sekadar kunjungan rutin ke pusat perbelanjaan favorit, you name it, this collection will effortlessly fit you in. Print yang cerah untuk di pantai? Check. Gaun glamor untuk “menampar” sosialita lain? Check. Celana yang nyaman untuk hari yang sibuk? Check. Brand yang dengan setia memberikan anda tampilan distingtif? Check. Semua itu bisa anda dapatkan dari koleksi ini bersama dengan rasa aman dari going out of style.

            Bila selama ini anda cukup berani untuk tampil eksentrik, jauh dari apa yang digandrungi para fashionista Jakarta, maka mungkin sikap pragmatis Giannini merupakan problem bagi anda. True, Giannini semakin berhasil mencetak personalitasnya pada citra GUCCI, namun ia melakukannya dengan cara yang relatif jauh dari resiko. Selama 4 tahun terakhir, formula Giannini untuk Spring/Summer diaplikasikan secara ketat dan cenderung predictable. Di lain pihak, kreasinya untuk Fall/Winter lebih fluktuatif, seolah ia belum menemukan formula yang tepat untuk musim fesyen yang asing di Indonesia ini.

            Saya rasa sikap pragmatis Giannini tidak perlu menjadi masalah untuk kita. Pragmatisme sendiri masih dominan dalam kultur kita, termasuk dalam cara kita berbusana. Hal ini semakin mudah dimengerti, terutama di saat semua orang tersentak oleh krisis ekonomi global seperti sekarang ini. Masa resesi ini bukanlah waktu untuk bermain dengan resiko. Krisis kepercayaan terhadap segala sesuatu yang kurang memiliki prospek untuk berhasil dan bertahan sedang melanda dimana-mana. Untuk menghadapinya, kita harus selalu membuat pilihan bijak dan memastikan bahwa hasil yang kita petik adalah maksimal.

            Koleksi Spring/Summer 2009 GUCCI adalah pilihan yang cerdas dengan value yang maksimal, terutama saat ini. Brand-nya memberikan anda eksklusifitas dari kaum massal, sementara koleksinya tidak membatasi ruang gerak anda pada kesempatan tertentu saja. Saat ekonomi sedang melamban, semua orang harus mengeksplorasi segala kesempatan untuk bisa hidup dengan aman dan nyaman. Every day is getting more significant, and we want to explore each day’s potentials in the most stylish manner possible. How? Jawabannya berbunyi G-U-C-C-I.

 

– Adhi Putra Tawakal –