As the title 'fashion editor' suggests, when watching the international collections each season, you're trying to come away with your own edit of them. What ideas excited you? What fashion did you find interesting?
What was interesting for spring/summer 2015? Not very much.
I wondered, however, if that was, in itself, interesting. Watching Miuccia Prada's show of resolutely boring clothes – clothes she dubbed 'Prada Classics', the capitalisation her own – you got the feeling she was making a point, by eschewing complex design for something almost simple-minded. The only decoration this season was stitching – it looked straight-forward but, developed from the sewing techniques used on Prada handbags, it was convoluted to realise. The end results sit halfway between decorative embroidery and the flat-felled seams that delineate the outline of the classic jean. Those are, primarily, functional. They hold the garment together firmer than most, harking back to denim's humble workwear origins. Today, they also serve a decorative purpose. Form following function.
Of course, Miuccia Prada's boring was brilliant. She intended to bore us, unlike so many fashion designers who just do. Plenty of them created clothes that merely seemed bland: slack workaday suiting, nondescript shirting, old ideas recycled. The fashion terminology is 'basic'. They are.
Boring ... but looking good on it
Boring ... but looking good on it
1/7 Brilliantly boring
Max wears suede polo shirt, £1,495, and trousers, £695, both by Loewe, loewe.com
2/7 Brilliantly boring
Tim wears shirt, £380, by Dior Homme, dior.com
3/7 Brilliantly boring
Chris wears trench coat, £1,160, trousers, £350, and shirt, £160, all by E Tautz, etautz.com
4/7 Brilliantly boring
Tom wears shirt, £315, and trousers, £770, both by Prada, prada.com
5/7 Brilliantly boring
JJ wears shirt, £370, jacket, £1,720, and trousers, £570, all by Louis Vuitton, louisvuitton.com
6/7 Brilliantly boring
Henry wears tank top, £49, and jeans, £125, both by Hugo Hugo Boss, hugoboss.com
7/7 Brilliantly boring
James wears pinstripe jacket, £200, and trousers, £90, both by Topman Design, topman.com
Styling: Lee Holmes
Photographs: Brian Daly
Grooming: Dayaruci at One Represents using Chanel S 2015 & Chanel Body Excellence
Fashion assistant: Sarah Young
With thanks to Nevs Models
There is, perhaps, a link to the Saint Laurent-ification of contemporary fashion, to the fact that Hedi Slimane's collections for that house have unleashed a new, relentless focus on flat-pack, box-fresh, dumbed-down product across the board. The board I mean is the executive board. This is, unfortunately, an idea that sells: Saint Laurent's revenue has doubled since Slimane took over in 2012. That's music to any multi-billion-pound conglomerate's ears. There's doubtless an eye on retail figures: Prada pledged to open 80 new stores in 2014, with a focus on men's. They only actually wound up opening 54, but the masculine focus remained.
And boring clothes undoubtedly sell. They sell to people who don't care that much about fashion – and by crafting them into a fashion trend, they sell to people who do care, too. This Prada collection (pictured top) floors two birds with one dull grey stone.
However, I'd like to think the whole thing is a bit more Warholian than that. After all, he himself once stated, "You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you". Maybe boring clothes seem interesting because, after seasons of overdesigning, over-embellishing, bonding, heat-sealing and tricking garments out with nifty if ultimately futile details, a bog-standard jumper seems like a new proposition. It's been a while since we've seen one on a catwalk, after all.
This season is, perhaps, a bland, beige palate cleanser. On the other hand, I wonder if it marks a fundamental shift in the way designers look at the way they create. I like to believe that some are genuinely interested in the idea of mundane clothing, rather than simply churning out stuff they think will make a quick buck. What Kim Jones does at Louis Vuitton, for instance, can't be easy to sell, with its rich fabrics and painstaking workmanship imbuing relatively straightforward clothes with a luxury so discreet, it feels secret.
Boring is, therefore, frequently exclusive. In every sense of the word. That's one of the things that makes boring really interesting. These clothes aren't easy, flashy, crowd-pleasers. They aren't playing to fashion's street-style peanut gallery. They're playing to you and I, and hoping they may really end up in our wardrobes, and get worn for years.
How boring is that?Reuse content