I was thinking further about yesterday’s Project Runway results and something occurred to me.
It has been often brought up this season how Christian Siriano’s work is influenced by Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.
In a way and naturally, because Christian worked for them.
But the ENTIRE season everyone has been pigeonholing Chris as costumey and as a costume designer.
Of all the people in the show, Chris March has cosistently been the most daring, creative and innovative. Even Christian said so.
His collection was the only one among all 5 presented during Fashion Week that was memorable and presented new ideas. Shoot, I think it was the only one at NY Fashion Week that did that.
Not everyone has the same aesthetics, or target audience.
Not everyone want to appeal to 23 year-old Huntington Beach chicks or NYC socialites.
And designers and labels with dark aesthetics and experimental approaches have been hugely commercially successful: Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Olivier Theyskens, Victor & Rolf, Giles Deacon. Shoot, last season Deacon did a tailored coat made out entirely of rubber bands:
Everyone acted like Chris was being costumey and weird and eccentric because of how he has earnt his living and because of his personnality for using materials like safety pins and human hair extensions.
What he was being is downrigth genius in my view.
If Chris had shown his collection as part of Fashion East during London Fashion Week instead of a venue like Project Runway which is more more of a commercial venue, he would have been hailed as a genius and the new "Enfant Terrible" prodigy of the fashion world.
But on Project Runway he was dismissed as "creative but costumey" ...
It is seriously a question of pigeonholing ( what if Chris had been the one who had worked with Westwood or had been a Central St. Martins graduate, would they judges opinions have been different then?).
They put him in the role of a costume/ drag queen designer and were not going to let him be anything else.
The thing is Westwood also used safety pins and unusual materials in her work.
made me think of a particular piece:
More than 99% than what Chritian’s work has...
And his dress from the art challenge also reminded me of this piece...
So I really thought that in this case, Chris March just showed a fantastic and ground breaking collection in the completely wrong venue and context.
Out of this season’s finalists his work was the only one that was completely original and more importantly, the most memorable.
All I can think when i think of yesterday’s episode is Erte, Schiapparelli, Edith Head, Adrian, Vivienne Westwood, Chris March...mhhhhhhh