With the imminent arrival of fashion week, there’s a flurry of movement in editing rooms. Articles, laden with opinions and predictions for the upcoming season are being hastily typed out, while consulting pre-season samples. Keyboard warriors are enlisting various adjectives to describe fashion houses, that have somehow, through the years become defined by these very adjectives. Givenchy is romantic. Comme Des Garcons is experimental. Vetements is revolutionary and Versace, well Versace’s always been sexy.
Sexy, is one of those words that has undergone countless edits and transformations through the years. The 60’s was a time for long, well tanned legs stalking pavements in poppy, leather mod-minis. The 70’s called for relaxation, with organic, loose fitting silhouettes highlighting natural beauty. The 80’s made power dressing iconic, sharp silhouettes and tight fitting skirts – fetishizing the workplace. This word is doused in objectivity. Some argue that skin is what defines ‘sexy’, but fortunately, there’s more imagery to be excited by. Personally, it’s the promise of skin, rather than it’s presence that gets me. Feet, sticking out of crumpled white blankets, a silk sleeve grazing an upturned wrist – as we were taught by Michelle Yeoh’s Mameha in Memoirs of A Geisha (2005), there’s nothing more attractive than subtlety.
Fashion houses have taken advantage of this objectivity to promote their own understanding of the concept. As Riccardo Tisci took over the mantle of creative director at Givenchy in 2005 he revolutionised the brand, beginning the introduction of streetwear to RTW. With his departure this year, we mourn the loss of an artist who has re-assessed the meaning of sexuality and femininity. Menacing rottweilers, lacy boudoir fantasies in modern silhouettes, large rhinestone facial piercings – an alternative understanding if there is any. On the other hand, there’s Versace whose main anthem has always been sexuality. Gianni Versace added the quotient of raw sexuality to the high-glamour styles of the 80’s – unabashed and free, his déclassé take on pornography became the staple for movie stars and underground streetwalkers alike.
Sex will never go out of fashion, so as we’re carefully taking off our strappy weekend heels and unhooking our lace bodysuits we can revel in the fact that Monday’s unobtrusive white shirt can be as exciting – if not more.
In Collaboration with Shreya Kalra from FTLOFAOT
Photography by: Saumya and Shiva of The Open Art Project
Location c/o: Parallel
Make up and hair by: Awon R Vashum