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Thread: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

  1. #121

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    I didn't mean to say the way CDG will solve the problem of designing for a mass produced label like H&M is a modern/post-modern debate, rather Faust and Laika's stances smack of the differences between Modernist and Post-Modernist thought. But I understand these terms more from a musical perspective, so I may be using them incorrectly here, but I thought the idea was the same in all mediums...

  2. #122

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    [quote user="casem83"]I didn't mean to say the way CDG will solve the problem of designing for a mass produced label like H&M is a modern/post-modern debate, rather Faust and Laika's stances smack of the differences between Modernist and Post-Modernist thought. But I understand these terms more from a musical perspective, so I may be using them incorrectly here, but I thought the idea was the same in all mediums...[/quote]



    Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying.[51] Yes, Faust and Laika seem to be caught in a High-Modernist and Post-Modernist debate, I too hope they can work it out! I was just trying to point out some similarities between the sides. Good point about "everything is fair game" to CDG.


  3. #123
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    well, that's not hard to spot, i said it outright in my original post. i am still waiting for someone to tell me why my (and others who agree with me) position is "false". i haven't seen anything of substance yet.
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  4. #124

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    This thread is confusing me because it seems like people aren't actually addressing the issues that other people put out.



    [quote user="Faust"]Ok, here is what I thought about when I said that this is pathetic.  I am sick and tired of our culture being gripped by postmodern notions of wallowing in bad taste, of camp (with very few exceptions), of self-deprecating humor, of that irony-with-a-smirk, of rebellion-as-embracing-consumer culture, of that it's-so-bad-its-good, of mediocrity-as-the-norm, and Rei has been embodying all that in the past years.  This collaboration only epitomizes that. "Look at me, I am doing the same as Madonna, but I am smart and artistic, so you KNOW I am doing it with the sense or irony, wink-wink."[/quote]



    [quote user="Faust"]I was referring to the mediocrity of her concepts, but not even that, but rather her borrowing mediocrity from pop culture for her collections.[/quote]



    Faust, I think one of the points a lot of people are trying to make is that it isn't actually fair to say these things are mediocre because like laika said, beauty and excellence of concept (unlike quality) is purely subjective and open to interpretation. In that sense, casem is right about the divide between modern and postmodern thought...







    Also.

    [quote user="Fuuma"]

    PS2: no matter what I say here, who I am kidding, I?m not even going inside an H&M in the next few yrs?



    [/quote]



    True.


  5. #125

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    [quote user="Johnny"][quote user="BECOMING-INTENSE"]


    ^thank you, thank you Faust! I thought for a moment that the world had gone crazy! [<:o)]




    It's mostly psychological what it states on the label("made in
    ..."). Surely Italy, France etc. are renowned for their "high quality
    luxury goods", but these emergent economies(Asia, eastern Europe etc.)
    are able to produce high quality, but yes for low cost labour(another
    ethical issue arises here!). The myth of "western quality dominance"
    implies political and economic strategies ...




    [/quote]




    According to my cdg labels the clothes are made in Japan, so I'm not
    talking about, nor subscribe to,western quality dominance, mythical or
    otherwise. Let's assume for a second that we are ok to make
    comparisons....belgian designers who've moved some of their production
    to eastern europe must have done it for a reason. It will not have been
    to deliberately reduce quality, but I think it will have been to save
    on costs. If so, shouldn't they pass on the savings to the consumer,
    and if they don't isn't that a bad thing?(Which may have an impact on
    integrity, which, in relation to cdg, is what was being attacked by
    Faust.)In any case it does relate to quality too. My experience is
    that Dries will still make his complicated knits in Belgium, presumably
    because he feels that only there can he get the expertise to make the
    garment the way he wants it.The plain navy sweaters are done in
    Turkey, because a plain navy sweater is a plain navy sweater.(I
    actually think that Dries has passed on certain costs savings, but I
    don't see any evidence of that with Demuelemeester.) I am absolutely
    certian that Dries stuff made in Belgium is better than the other stuff.




    I didn't think I'd derrailed this conversation at all, at least by
    my original comment, and apologies if that's the case. I think that
    certain of the views expressed here are expressed so vitriolicallythat
    that invites comparisons with "favourites" on the basis that if oneis
    not giving the benefit of the doubt to X,why should it be given to Y.
    It's the mode of expression that causes the tensions here not the
    points that are being made. (Like Fuuma, I seriously doubt whether I'll
    buy any of the stuff from H&M, although that is largely
    irrelevant.)Peace out!



    [/quote]



    I know Japan is situated in Asia, but normally when we refer to dominant western economies japan is often associated with these. Maybe I should have been more clear here. I don't have a problem with
    comparisons, but as I've already "discussed" Fuuma, I do find them problematic when they take significant differences out of the equation, and in this
    case the presence of large scale multinational corporations like H&M,
    which is not present in relation to Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons, etc. Integrity is not of my concern here, surely they are gaining financial benefits amongst others through outsourcing, and surely it would be nice if they lowered their prices, but what I'm more concerned with is what is actually created and
    produced, The product and it's ability to cut across social and
    economic boundaries, and H&M has no such intention in mind, there
    is no flux here to be sought after there is only constants and disposability. I would
    really like to believe in Seventh view on these collaboration, but I don't think Rei has been able, in past collaborations with these "big corporations", to influence nor making them "act out of their selves", on the contrary, Rei has been caught in their discourses. As I think Rei has created beautiful clothing over the years, also the "flag collection", I'm not basing my critique on taste, but yes lets wait and see ...



    Another thing I find interesting, which maybe has already been noted, is that H&M is launching a grand store in Tokyo, japan and they are choosing Rei Kawakubo to collaborate with!

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  6. #126

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    [quote user="gerry"]




    This thread is confusing me because it seems like people aren't actually addressing the issues that other people put out.




    [/quote]




    Yes, this is very confusing and also, demoralizing. casem and Seventh (Seventh!!!! [51][51][<:o)]), really articulate, thoughtful,(and substantial) posts. I've got a raging headache at the moment, but will read them again and respond later. [64]




    gerry, I just wanted to clarify what I said, because I think you may have accidentally misquoted me a bit. [75]





    [quote user="laika"][quote user="gerry"]




    Also... Kawabuko said,"There's value in bad taste, too. This is Comme des Garçons bad taste." Perhaps there's value in bad quality, too? Haha...




    [/quote]




    It's an interesting idea, certainly. But I would guess that bad quality does not have the subversive potential of bad taste. We have objective standards for judging quality that are difficult to contest, whereas taste--unlike beauty--is purely subjective and open to interpretation. Alittle bad taste can be good taste, if you know what I mean.[75] Those Rick Owens sneakers are a good example of this....

    [/quote]
    ...I mean the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable.

  7. #127

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    Sorry! My bad! This entire thread is kind of crazy. Hope you feel better...

  8. #128

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    [quote user="BECOMING-INTENSE"]Another thing I find interesting, which maybe has already been noted, is that H&M is launching a grand store in Tokyo, japan and they are choosing Rei Kawakubo to collaborate with!
    [/quote]



    I hadn't thought about that. Considering that CDG is supposedly much more widespread in Japan, that's definitely an amazing marketing tactic on H&M's part.


  9. #129

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    [quote user="BECOMING-INTENSE"]


    Integrity is not of my concern here, surely they are gaining financial benefits amongst others through outsourcing, and surely it would be nice if they lowered their prices, but what I'm more concerned with is what is actually created and produced, The product and it's ability to cut across social and economic boundaries, and H&M has no such intention in mind, there is no flux here to be sought after there is only constants and disposability. I would really like to believe in Seventh view on these collaboration, but I don't think Rei has been able, in past collaborations with these "big corporations", to influence nor making them "act out of their selves", on the contrary, Rei has been caught in their discourses. As I think Rei has created beautiful clothing over the years, also the "flag collection", I'm not basing my critique on taste, but yes lets wait and see ...




    Another thing I find interesting, which maybe has already been noted, is that H&M is launching a grand store in Tokyo, japan and they are choosing Rei Kawakubo to collaborate with!




    [/quote]




    I know, and that's why it's very convincing (even if a bit depressing). I think it makes a lot more sense to critique the collaboration on this basis, rather than saying it's bad because Rei is post-modern, and post-modernism sucks. That is a taste-based criticism to me, and that is what I have been taking issue with. [51]

    ...I mean the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable.

  10. #130

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    [quote user="gerry"]Sorry! My bad! This entire thread is kind of crazy. Hope you feel better...[/quote]




    no worries at all....it is pretty confusing in here, like you said! [51]




    and thanks.

    ...I mean the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable.

  11. #131
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    [quote user="laika"][quote user="BECOMING-INTENSE"]


    Integrity is not of my concern here, surely they are gaining financial benefits amongst others through outsourcing, and surely it would be nice if they lowered their prices, but what I'm more concerned with is what is actually created and produced, The product and it's ability to cut across social and economic boundaries, and H&M has no such intention in mind, there is no flux here to be sought after there is only constants and disposability. I would really like to believe in Seventh view on these collaboration, but I don't think Rei has been able, in past collaborations with these "big corporations", to influence nor making them "act out of their selves", on the contrary, Rei has been caught in their discourses. As I think Rei has created beautiful clothing over the years, also the "flag collection", I'm not basing my critique on taste, but yes lets wait and see ...




    Another thing I find interesting, which maybe has already been noted, is that H&M is launching a grand store in Tokyo, japan and they are choosing Rei Kawakubo to collaborate with!




    [/quote]




    I know, and that's why it's very convincing (even if a bit depressing). I think it makes a lot more sense to critique the collaboration on this basis, rather than saying it's bad because Rei is post-modern, and post-modernism sucks. That is a taste-based criticism to me, and that is what I have been taking issue with. [51]



    [/quote]



    This collaboration comes exactly from these notions - that if she touches something, it turns into a pot of gold. That's megalomania, not to mention bad taste. Or are you also going to tell me that there is no such thing as bad taste? Do you fully subscribe to this postmodern notion?

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  12. #132

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    You're taking things a bit far here (and in the fragrance post). I don't think anyone is saying that Rei is above criticism and that everything she does is great. I can't speak for others, but all I'm saying is that given what CDG stands for, a collection with H&M isn't out of line. I hardly see it as another fall in a downward spiral of artistic mediocrity. Now, whether she does anything with it or not is another story. I'll be the first to say "this sucks" if what she comes up with is plain logoed junk a la CDG Play.I'm saying you can't criticize her choice to work with H&M, use a flag, pink panther, or rollingRolling Stones as inspiration, but you can certainly critique what results from these inspirations/collaborations.You may not like that she uses pop culture references for a collection, but if she does something genuinely interesting with it (i'm not saying whether she does or not...) you should give her credit. By the same token, if a collection is based on some high minded concept that sounds brilliant but the execution is crap, we can certainly criticise her for that.




    [quote user="Faust"]






    This collaboration comes exactly from these notions - that if she touches something, it turns into a pot of gold. That's megalomania, not to mention bad taste. Or are you also going to tell me that there is no such thing as bad taste? Do you fully subscribe to this postmodern notion?

    [/quote]

  13. #133

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    Dbl


  14. #134
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    [quote user="casem83"]

    You're taking things a bit far here (and in the fragrance post). I don't think anyone is saying that Rei is above criticism and that everything she does is great. I can't speak for others, but all I'm saying is that given what CDG stands for, a collection with H&M isn't out of line. I hardly see it as another fall in a downward spiral of artistic mediocrity. Now, whether she does anything with it or not is another story. I'll be the first to say "this sucks" if what she comes up with is plain logoed junk a la CDG Play.I'm saying you can't criticize her choice to work with H&M, use a flag, pink panther, or rollingRolling Stones as inspiration, but you can certainly critique what results from these inspirations/collaborations.You may not like that she uses pop culture references for a collection, but if she does something genuinely interesting with it (i'm not saying whether she does or not...) you should give her credit. By the same token, if a collection is based on some high minded concept that sounds brilliant but the execution is crap, we can certainly criticise her for that.




    [quote user="Faust"]






    This collaboration comes exactly from these notions - that if she touches something, it turns into a pot of gold. That's megalomania, not to mention bad taste. Or are you also going to tell me that there is no such thing as bad taste? Do you fully subscribe to this postmodern notion?



    [/quote][/quote]



    Not really, it was Johnny who said that he is willing to look at it just because Rei is doing it. Why not criticize such fanboism?



    "I am quite interested to see what this will look like. My first
    reaction was "oh dear" but then I realised that primarily the reason
    that I wasn't interested in any other collab with H&M is that I
    have no interest in or respect for Victor & Rolf or Cavalli or
    Stella etc. Truth is no one knows what this will look like. I'm sure it
    will have nothing to do with, or be anything like,Madonna, not just
    for the false reasons that Faust suggests. I don't think there's
    anything to hate here at all (and hate does not seem too strong a word
    this time (nor in retrospect does it seem so in relation to the last
    time I used it)). I think that Kawakubo has integrity if nothing else.
    And it's really not so bad to be light-hearted once in a while, by
    means other than the use of the word "baller". "



    As far as waiting for the results - that's a fair comment. However, I would like to point out that given what H&M is and given what other collaborations have resulted in, wouldn't you say that it's more or less fair to guess the results?

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  15. #135

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    [quote user="Faust"]

    This collaboration comes exactly from these notions - that if she touches something, it turns into a pot of gold. That's megalomania, not to mention bad taste. Or are you also going to tell me that there is no such thing as bad taste? Do you fully subscribe to this postmodern notion?



    [/quote]





    Faust, you seem determined to dislike her! [75] I don't think that everything she has touched has turned to gold, (the fragrances are the only venture that seem to have really taken off). But why fault her for taking risks and trying things out if the opportunity arises and it fits with her interests?



    As others have mentioned, there is a distinction between process and product. I believe there is some validity to attempting a different and innovative collaboration even if the results are less that desired. Rei and Ann D are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of working methods, Ann D is all about refining ideas and slow evolution and tweaks, Rei is constantly taking on new challenges and taking completely different approaches to different projects. However, I don't think it is matter of choosing one or the other, both working methods can coexist - in fact, I think they can learn and borrow from each other a great deal. It is not how designers go about their business but when they stop pushing themselves and their designs forward and run out of ideas that I get angry/bored with them.



    This whole Postmodernism and Modernism debate is frustrating me a bit. The terms are big, unwieldy ideas, and people are making a lot of assumptions about what Post modernism means that I don't think are totally accurate (or at least are up for debate). Wouldn't it be better to narrow the focus of the discussion and speak directly about CDG and what they are trying to accomplish than trying to fit Rei into a generalized movement?



    I am not sure what you mean about the whole bad taste / good taste point. Would you say that Picasso's, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" or De Kooning's "Woman" series were in good taste?! Their relevance comes from something else all together. Taste is unique and personal, and I think that it both changes over time. I do think that really good work eventually becomes evident over time, but when it first comes out, sometime it is hard to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant (this for example is why the first Dior collections or the Cloak 2004 collection didn't sell out immediately).






  16. #136
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"

    No, Seventh, I am simply determined to call garbage when I see it, and no philosophical footwork and thread derailing will take me off course. Rei, as a designer, has run out of steam a while ago - she is substituting circus tricks for design. This does not in anyway diminish what's she's done for fashion, it's just her time is over, I guess. It may sound harsh, but everything ends. I will not talk art, as I don't know it well enough, but I can certainly talk literature. I look at one of my most favorite (if not the favorite) writers, Milan Kundera; I just read his last book (non-fiction), and it's pretty facile, and the last few novels are not great by any means, but that does not diminish the worth of Immortality or The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But, I will also not be blind and say his every word is gold, just because he is a great novelist.
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  17. #137

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    [quote user="Faust"]




    This collaboration comes exactly from these notions - that if she touches something, it turns into a pot of gold.




    [/quote]


    You can repeat this until you're blue in the face but that alone will not make it convincing. Like casem said, no one has said anything like this, and certainly not Johnny.This is an entirely subjective assertion that you're making, and as far as I can see, an invented one. All of your posts in this thread have been assertions--postmodernism is bad, Rei is postmodern, the collaboration is post-modern, and the collaboration is bad. All of them are effectively meaningless because you can't (or refuse) to back them up with any sort of critical reasoning.

    Contrary to what Clement Greenberg thought, forceful assertion is not argument. It's being a bully, which is exactly what Clem was. You are asking us to accept that Rei is a pathetic pomo poseur--don't youthink you need to support that claim a bit, rather than just repetitively stating it?


    And to say that in all of the thoughtful, considered, and lengthy posts in this thread--Fuuma's, avantster's, casem's, and Seventh's, to name to just a few--you find nothing of "substance" to counter your "position" isjust insulting. No one has been anything but respectful of your posts, while you have persisted in mocking, dismissing, or ignoring posts that don't concur with your opinion. Sorry, but it's just not fair.


    As far as the bad taste thing goes...it's a good question. I find myself in a bit of a paradox. One the one hand I do think taste is subjective; on the other, I am compelled to admit that yes, "bad taste," somehow, exists. Greenberg--and his taste-based mode of critique--is somewhat interesting in this regard, although I, like many others, find his views and methods to be narrow and outdated. At any rate, I suspect our ideas of what constitutes bad taste are different, but I am certainly very open to hearing yours, and about how they relate to your dislike for what Rei is doing.
    ...I mean the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable.

  18. #138
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    Oh, yea, you certainly have been the paragon of cool in this thread,
    laika - "repeat till you are blue in the face," "don't tell me what to
    drop," "give me a break," "harping on." [86] I backed up my points just fine - she has not produced a strong collection in years, instead doing a myriad of collaborations, undies, a perfume a month, etc. What else do you want me to say? You can repeat that she is still great until you are blue in the face - I see what I see. And if you still believe that this collaboration with H&M will produce something worthwhile, let's just agree to disagree and move on.



    And Johnny certainly said that - how else do you interpret his post that I just quoted?!

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  19. #139

    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    [quote user="Faust"]No, Seventh, I am simply determined to call garbage when I see it, and no philosophical footwork and thread derailing will take me off course. Rei, as a designer, has run out of steam a while ago - she is substituting circus tricks for design. This does not in anyway diminish what's she's done for fashion, it's just her time is over, I guess. It may sound harsh, but everything ends. I will not talk art, as I don't know it well enough, but I can certainly talk literature. I look at one of my most favorite (if not the favorite) writers, Milan Kundera; I just read his last book (non-fiction), and it's pretty facile, and the last few novels are not great by any means, but that does not diminish the worth of Immortality or The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But, I will also not be blind and say his every word is gold, just because he is a great novelist.
    [/quote]





    Faust, I haven't brought any philosophical footwork to the table, I simple tried to address ideas brought up and my thoughts to about them. I am interested in this discussion, and I am interested in different points of view, however I truly don't understand your dislike for her (I understand that you think she has "had her time" but why does a few less interesting years of collection mean that she should be shipped off to the graveyard? Would you say that about other designers?) As far as thread derailing, the thread is called "the CDG UNIVERSE", first of all that is a huge topic, second and how on earth is has the thread been derailed, all anyone is talking about is whether CDG and H&M will work (which is exactly what the universe part refers to).



    As far as my point about art, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, is a very famous painting (I believe in the permanent collection in MoMA). It was revolutionary in its time for what it portrayed, its content, and the manner with which the paint was handled. However, it is hardly a pretty or aesthetically pleasing picture. Its power and longevity comes not from following current aesthetic tastes, but shifting the potential of what a painting could be or do. In writing, much like James Joyce.



    Laika it is very good to hear from you [51], and your point about Greenberg is right on, he was a narrow-minded bully. And many of the best AbEx painter associated with him (De Kooning and Guston (while he was making abstract paintings)) wanted nothing to do with his ideas. He tried to fit the world to his logic rather than stay open to new possibilities. That is that is what I fear this thread is becoming.


  20. #140
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Comme des Garçons "Universe"



    I wasn't talking about you, Seventh :-) Nice try about "CDG universe" - we obviously weren't talking about that for the last 4 pages.



    Let's get back to basics, again. Gerry asked me what I think about H&M + CDG collab, and I told her my reasons for it - please reread them and tell me whether you agree or disagree and why. Johnny disagreed, and never provided a reason why. Laika didn't even address it, instead supporting Johnny's ridiculous claim that this collaboration is the same as outsourcing production of one's main line. This snowballing of a discussion has become meaningless, because it does not address my initial reaction. And all of you who disagree, tell me when you will be standing in line in front of your local H&M.

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