March 4, 2011

meadham kirchhoff

Meadham Kirchhoff's collections from the past year have been so good that I always felt I had to wait until I had something especially insightful to say other than ADIGHAFKDHFDKJ in order to do them justice, but their new show had me boiling over so we shall go over the past year of greatness now, ADIGHAFKDHFDKJ's and all. Plus I would like to rid of the feeling that one must sound Supersmart and Intellectual when talking about something as Serious as Fashion and would instead just like to babble about how much I like ribbons and sequins.

Fall 2010


This was the one that really converted me, with its floor length veils and bangle piles. It was Courtney Love-inspired (maybe I should just rename this blog I Like Courtney Love already? What if CL saw it? How would she feel? How would that girl who came up to me in real life and said she read my blog and that she thought my Love love was poisonous feel?) but did the kinderwhore grungey thing without falling into cliches, focusing more on CL's DIY skills and broken beauty queen fascination, with pipe cleaner tiaras combining the two most perfectly. The collection was really Grey Gardens in a way, more in theory than in relation to Little Edie's style of dressing. Each look felt like the outfit form of a house occupied by women who were once members of high society but now live isolated with raccoons and creaky floors and an old record player and memories and junk accumulated over time. I think that's my life goal, ultimately. I want a lot of wrinkles and a lot of raccoons and a lot of junk. The Hoarders kind of junk, not the Fergie kind of junk.

Spring 2011

Spring 2011 reminded me of an angsty girl in the formative years trying out different identities, with all the sugary/goth combinations, graphics of faces of anonymous young women, and millions of different colors in each head of hair. ("It's not red, it's Crimson Glow.")

I liked the details more than the overall collection, like the Desperately Seeking Susan jacket and velvet ribbon necklaces (hi that scary story that freaked me out when I was little) and nutty crowns and arts n crafts shoes. I used to draw eyelashes like this on with eyeliner -- I don't know why I haven't in a while -- and it once made one of my teachers think I'd gotten stitches under my eye.

Fall 2011




But this collection, THIS collection was inspired by Riot Grrrl and Chanel, which resulted in tiny shouts of rebellion coming from stiff, uniform-like dresses and knee highs and crosses. There's definitely a Nordic-y sweater vibe happening here too, making it more fall-appropriate. I think my favorite thing about Ed Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff's interpretations of angry music like Riot Grrrl and Courtney is that they don't add "punk" elements to their collections with studs and leather (looking at you, Givenchy) (looking at you, Balmain) (looking at you, Y-3) (as adorable as the image of Yohji sitting in candlelight, hand-stitching the ACDC logo is). They turn to the actual concept of DIY instead of the look associated with it so frequently that it's lost any meaning, and create identities that are about being passionate and loud and individual (words that are, again, so overused they've lost any meaning, but at least I'm not charging you thousands of dollars for consuming my cliches!)

ETA: "tee" from the comment section raised a good point: "Isn't there something kind of problematic about trying to mass produce "individual style"/DIY clothing period?" Yes, there is! My point with this was that MK's collection, as art, before we consider the business side, inspires a person (me, at least) to create their own DIY vibez because they make it look so damn fun. Now, when we consider that these pieces are also products that will be made many times and sold places, I don't think the DIY style is problematic because that's just it -- it is a part of their style, but that doesn't mean the clothes are something anyone else could think up or create themselves. It's high in quality and the design doesn't stop at just using DIY elements like pipe cleaners and a million brooches -- they develop those a step further with their own ideas. And yes, it's weird to mass-produce individuality, but Meadham Kirchhoff isn't a brand as inescapably everywhere like the Gap, and, again, I think the styling of their collections encourages one who would buy one of their pieces to mix it up. Like, I don't think you would ever see anyone wearing an MK head-to-toe runway look.
(That was really long, but I think it's about more than just MK's collections, since this is something a lot of designers try and I'm trying to explain how I think they got it right.)

The Riot Grrl shrine full of iconography and flowers and what look like zine photocopies? I can't tell.

The little embroideries were supposed to be inspired by the little doodles in Bikini Kill zines, though.

And this is where the ADIGHAFKDHFDKJ gets used. ADIGHAFKDHFDKJ HOW GREAT IS THIS SWEATER. I knew the graphic reminded me of Hole, but it wasn't til I looked at my Live Through This tape that I saw it's the exact one, though I couldn't find a picture from the album art online. Hole wasn't part of Riot Grrrl, but the sweater still feels perfect in the collection, and maybe the Meadham boys need a bit of CL in everything they do. Also, remember how I was talking about my life goals earlier? Yeah, now it's this sweater.

This seems like a good time to post these pages I made for a fashion/music/feminism zine I started last year. I never finished it and probably won't now because all the pages have been sitting in the corner of my room since the summer and I'm sick of them so I may as well post a couple.

In the interest of combining my favorite Spring 2010 collection and some favorite songs:

And stuff from Fall 2010 that made me think of the following 90s music ladies:






photos from fashion156 and vogue.com