The Goddess MECA Blog

From Designer to Where?

Posted by Mary on Thursday 08 March 2012 in the Style Category.

Having worked in fashion and been something of a fashion devotee for most of my life, I’ve seen the cyclical nature of trends repeating themselves over and over again. At this stage I’m bored mindless by the endless re-runs some designers spit out.

I believe we have really out lived trends and fashion is now more about value and wearability.

Five years ago fashion pundits and designers around the globe declared skinny jeans passé. Yet they have remained and are more popular than ever due to improvements in the introduction of new fabrics with added stretch and comfort. Not just for skinny malinks, women decided there were many different ways to wear them e.g under layered t-shirts, tunics or dresses.

It’s proof that the Fashion industry now has less power to influence women. We have access to the internet and can order what we like long after designers have decreed an item outmoded. A recession can spur people towards creative pursuits and there’s a growing number of women taking dressmaking classes in the hope of learning to make and alter clothes.

At a symposium I attended, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra predicted a return to an emphasis on CRAFT where not only the designer would be acknowledged on the clothing label. Everyone in the chain of manufacturing right back to source…from the cotton grower to the weaver is of equal importance in the chain of manufacturing. Designer Donna Karan, a regular visitor to Haiti, has begun enlisting the co-operation of artisans and craft workers. In viewing the work of Haitian painters, sculptors and craft persons. Karan reiterated her passion for Haiti as a nation where “each person is creative” and promised to assist Haitian artisans in promoting their works. “Creativity can be manifested into jobs,” said Donna Karan, an ardent supporter of Haiti through her company Urban Zen.

Donna Karan I admire, along with Helmut Lang. Quite simply they stay faithful to their own concept of a unique aesthetic, producing very wearable clothes that women can make their own. They don’t impose a particular fashion or shape on women.

Perhaps the reason I love them is because the drape of their clothes is not unlike the simple asymmetric lines of a Greek toga worn by the Goddesses in the myths. The clothes are directional yet remain timeless classics.

These two designers have remained committed to their ‘look’ over the past decade, barely changing either their colour palette ( of monochrome and muted taupes and grey) or shapes from one season to the next. Karan often includes a red dress to add a bit of colour. The clothes are easy and elegant and regularly imitated by other manufacturers.

Designer clothing is beyond the price range of most of us but we can take inspiration from innovating designers. Once you recognise a look you like and are comfortable with, you can do one of the following:

  1. Go for quality rather than quantity and buy the best you can afford. Practice restraint and buy less. French women are famous for their well organised capsule wardrobes.
  2. Save up for one special investment piece and build around it.
  3. Check out the designer’s diffusion label. Donna Karan’s DKNY. Rick Owen’s Lilies Dark shadow is another worth looking at.
  4. Scour internet sites like www.theoutnet.com ( recently reported to be Victoria Beckham’s favourite on-line shop) and ebay for special pieces at discounted prices.
  5. Search high street stores for similar items.
  6. If you’re good with a sewing machine, you can make your own clothes. Be inspired by elegant draping, though it’s not as easy as it looks in the pictures below. These designers make it look simple and that is their genius.
  7. Buy vintage clothing. That way you’re helping to recycle. If you can sew it’s a bonus, since you can alter to fit your body shape.
Take a look at the classic styles of  Helmut Lang and Donna Karan. These pieces are outside most of our budgets but we can learn a lesson in relaxed elegance from looking at their simple aesthetic. The look can easily be adopted in the form of layered t-shirts over skinny jeans/leggings for everyday wear.
The Helmut Lang look

The Helmut Lang look

Lush voile dress by Helmut Lang

Lush voile dress by Helmut Lang

Era suiting blazer by Helmut Lang

Era suiting blazer by Helmut Lang

Draped top with white feather design by Helmut Land worn over narrow trousers.

Draped top with white feather design by Helmut Land worn over narrow trousers.

Helmut Lang Chrome jersey T-shirt €179.00 from www.matchesfashion.com

Helmut Lang Chrome jersey T-shirt €179.00 from www.matchesfashion.com

Helmut Lang Contrast-sleeve silk blouse €285 at www.netaporter.com

Helmut Lang Contrast-sleeve silk blouse €285 at www.netaporter.com

The Donna Karan look

The Donna Karan look

Donna Karan oversized cardigan available at www.netaporter.com

Donna Karan oversized cardigan available at www.netaporter.com

Donna Karan artist srtetch jersey dress at www.netaporter.com

Donna Karan artist srtetch jersey dress at www.netaporter.com

And finally the Goddess dress by Donna Karan

And finally the Goddess dress by Donna Karan. Availlable at www.netaporter.com

Donna Karan Spring/Summer 2012. Tribal fashion inspired by Haiti

Donna Karan Spring/Summer 2012. Tribal fashion inspired by Haiti

You can also view my other posts in this series: What Makes a Good Buy? and Get An Edgy Look on a Budget.

2 responses to “From Designer to Where?”

  1. Marissa says:

    Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and amazing design.

  2. Cheryl says:

    I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your site and keep checking
    for new information about once a week. I subscribed to
    your Feed too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.