elizabeth lane lawley
michael "OC" clarke
e v h e a d
sweet fancy moses
wood s lot
m. melting object
Monday, September 10, 2001
RB on Savage Chic
Tomorrow I'll be taping another segment for NPR's Marketplace Morning Edition -- this time (are you ready for this?) on Fashion Week. Yes, the runways are all a-flutter! "Diane von Furstenberg called her collection 'Rebel Princess,' a look she described as 'roses and razor blades and 'savage chic'... Luella Bartley... evoked a hippie '60s look with funky embroidered jackets, torn light blue denims, sheer off-the-shoulder peasant blouses, gathered peasant skirts, short shorts, ruffled minis and ragged hemlines."
Oh wow, man! Fashion discovers recycling! If I keep wearing the same clothes, I'll be in fashion every 30 years. Marketers do "research" by watching what the kids are wearing, then they sell those ideas back to them at 1000% markup. As ever, the real creativity emerges bottom up. but the marketing and sales are top down. Nirvana hits big in Seattle and within months The Gap is selling "the grunge look" -- jeans with the knees ripped out, pre-wrinkled flannel shirts, clunky-funky work boots. This is pre-packaged semiotics. collect the whole set! find out who you REALLY are -- this week.
Does the semiotic connection seem a stretch? in 1967, French semiotician Roland Barthes wrote a book titled Système de la Mode -- The Fashion System. The NY Times called it "his most elaborate attempt to reveal the little worlds of meaning enclosed in each nuance of social life." This book has been studied far more closely by marketeers than by the cult-crit crowd.
Here's a tip: wanna be really "hip"? Truly "with it"? Wear whatever the fuck you feel like.
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at a major industry conference,
chris locke once again captures the real story.