Friday, December 31, 2010

On the passage of time.

While starting off writing this article, I swear I was meaning to touch on a topic related with neither Steven Meisel nor Vogue Italia (because I'm under the impression I've already touched on both of them a bajillion times) - but then their January 2011 cover emerged within sight and I couldn't help but give in. This is such a pictorial image, pastel-colored yet far away from being corny, reminiscent of long-gone fashion eras yet anything but rehashed-looking.

This cover actually stands out due to the opposition you can draw up between the overall feel of it and its components took apart. Paradoxically enough, it echoes back to the past and yet it's firmly pinned down in the present : on the one hand you have the setting, the numbers held up by both mannequins and the color palette that bring you back to the 40's, on the other hand you can spot two pieces from the Chanel Spring / Summer 2011 collection, two of today's most en vogue models and the 2011 Allure words printed below the picture. When you strip away all its aesthetic value, you can begin to feel the underlying issue that's raised by the covershot : time within fashion and to a further extent, within life.

I'm aware I might be sounding like I completely missed the point of this photograph, but what most drew my eyes in is the kinetic figure in the background. It is so loaded with significance that it makes it tough to just see it. It appears like the signifier of the most menacing characteristic of time, namely its invincible restlessness : what is right now will be gone a second later (and what's in as of now will grow outdated next season). However detached from time you're willing to be, it won't stop it from slipping away ; the more you try to cling to it and hold it back to you, the more it drags you down into its nomadic course. Whatever you do, you lose, for struggling against time equates to struggling against the unknown, an unpalpable might you get put through but can't begin to describe let alone fight off.

I think this adds a brilliant touch to the picture because it also seems to question the primary purpose of photography. Prior to being an art or a hobby, it intends to capture and document fleeting moments so they're never fleeting anymore. It's utilized as a medium to keep a semblance of a chockehold on time (and is a nice testimony of what human beings are capable of thinking up to leave bits of themselves behind), but if you keep in mind that this bustling silhouette is the depiction of the continous passage of time, you're elusively reminded how much of a deceit photography is. You don't capture an instantaneous moment but an image of it ; photography doesn't enable you to immortalize the instant but only provides you with a stagnant representation of it. Magritte called it the Treachery of Images in regards to painting, but this is also applicable to all the recording means that have surfaced ever since.

As for the models choice, it earns an A+ from me. If you are either an Arizona or a Freja follower, you have probably witnessed their blossoming friendship and this should leave you as eager as I am to see how this possible chemistry between them will translate onto the main editorial (assuming and hoping they were commended to interact with each other). I personally don't belong to Arizona's fandom (not yet) but she's slowly been growing on me by means of the solid printwork she's put out and there's undoubtedly potential to be tapped in her. Besides, you may have felt how big of a Freja fan I am, so it should be enough of an explanation to back me up, but I still feel like trying to throw light on why.

I think that one of the greatest factors in keeping me hooked on Freja is her constancy in terms of persona. Working amidst a hubbub constantly moving on from the past, she embodies the sustainable force who not only sticks around but also takes on increasing importance all the while remaining the same at heart - and even through the image she projects. All throughout her most prosperous years (from late 2008 up until now) she's stayed true to the nonchalance she's crafted and that has basically taken part in making a true brand off of herself. Funnily enough, just when you think the inconceivable success she's been gaining is likely to get to her head and gets you wondering if it will cause her to change wholly, she seems to reach her peak of steadiness - untouched hairstyle, immutable streetstyle, pervading casualness.

This is a comforting feeling indeed, to know that you can count on one model at least to provide you with a certain stability that is hardly ever to be found in fashion and its endless fluctuations. Accordingly, this stability that defines Freja seems to translate into her fanbase through a certain loyalty intrinsic to a lot of her followers. Perhaps you can chalk it up to hazard, but to me there's something more than coincidental about how most of her fans can't seem to stray away from her once they start answering to the name of Freja fan. It's a tacit give-and-take relation - she guarantees you constancy, you guarantee her lasting dedication.

I am fully aware that these last sentences might come across as out of the blue, but it seemed to me that they'd fit in with the rest of this article somehow. It isn't lost on me either that this post - its length and the topic it deals with - might be off-putting to some, but sometimes you just have to get your thoughts down and write for yourself, don't you?

source : scanned by ZFashionBlog @ tFS


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