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Thread: Carol Christian Poell

  1. #401
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    /\ haha, that's funny.



    Anyway, just wanted to say that it's a great discussion on all parts - thank you, people, this is what makes these forums great (faust tears).



    Fuuma, as far as prices - yes, that's a burden. I am assuming you are talking retail prices (other discussion is no longer meaningful, as we've showed time and time again that you don't need to break the bank to own many of these clothes), and I'm afraid we've speculated enough on this as well. I am only awaiting someone who works for one of the designers on a business side to join these boards and tell us the story of how it really is. I don't think our price discussion is sophisticated enough. As some of you know I have a finance degree, and I've speculated on their pricing models, but these are only speculations - who really knows what goes on there. Actually, I know someone who is a designer, I should pick his brain.

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  2. #402

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    I would love to know more about the pricing models. I know a decent amount about the cost actual stores have for items, but it's a whole different game when it comes to the actual production. I'd love to get into the business side of fashion, it seems to interesting to me. Of course, that observation is coming from someone with no real clue about the production aspect of designers ;).

  3. #403

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    i want to echo the interesting discussion comments.

    Laika pretty much covered the points I wanted to say, only with intelligence and diplomacy. [51]
    Albert, I respect your enthusiasm for Poell, Carpe, et al. but I think you approach fashion with blinders on. Have you really looked at Junya's work? And all you really identify from Junya is the Lacoste collaboration? That?s like saying the logo cycling shirts that Drexl posted are representative of Poell.

    I am interested in fashion that has an intellectual depth, has a context and a relationship to the world around it, and challenges (positively) both the wearer and viewer.

    It seems that Poell and Carpe trade on a type of elitism that is purely economic. If you take away the super-expensive raw materials, what are you left with? Some interesting cuts and stitching perhaps, but not exactly groundbreaking. I hardly find their fashion cutting edge, it honestly seems like upscale gothic-industrial standards. They are excellent artisans, but the language and the way they limit their work is so absolutist and elitist, it betrays the whole artisan ethos.

    junya, rei, margiela, chalayan etc... are humanists, in my mind. So often their clothing reveals complex emotions: humor, memories, irony, aggression, a sense of history, complex definitions of sexuality, etc. I don't get that complexity from Poell's work, I feel like he just wants to make clothes that look cool and vaguely menacing (not that you would actually do anything violent 'cause that might mess up your $1000 pair of jeans), & I find that look tired and empty.

    I am sorry my writing sounds a bit confrontational. I hope it is understood as a challenge not an attack.


  4. #404
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    [quote user="Seventh"]

    i want to echo the interesting discussion comments.

    Laika pretty much covered the points I wanted to say, only with intelligence and diplomacy. [51]
    Albert, I respect your enthusiasm for Poell, Carpe, et al. but I think you approach fashion with blinders on. Have you really looked at Junya's work? And all you really identify from Junya is the Lacoste collaboration? That?s like saying the logo cycling shirts that Drexl posted are representative of Poell.

    I am interested in fashion that has an intellectual depth, has a context and a relationship to the world around it, and challenges (positively) both the wearer and viewer.

    It seems that Poell and Carpe trade on a type of elitism that is purely economic. If you take away the super-expensive raw materials, what are you left with? Some interesting cuts and stitching perhaps, but not exactly groundbreaking. I hardly find their fashion cutting edge, it honestly seems like upscale gothic-industrial standards. They are excellent artisans, but the language and the way they limit their work is so absolutist and elitist, it betrays the whole artisan ethos.

    junya, rei, margiela, chalayan etc... are humanists, in my mind. So often their clothing reveals complex emotions: humor, memories, irony, aggression, a sense of history, complex definitions of sexuality, etc. I don't get that complexity from Poell's work, I feel like he just wants to make clothes that look cool and vaguely menacing (not that you would actually do anything violent 'cause that might mess up your $1000 pair of jeans), & I find that look tired and empty.

    I am sorry my writing sounds a bit confrontational. I hope it is understood as a challenge not an attack.



    [/quote]



    I'll take up that challenge in Albert's absense :-). I'll speak mostly to CDiem. In my mind the relationship between CDiem and the world is absolutely unquestionable, and it does reveal complex emotions. Taking up an artisanal tradition speaks volumes against mass production, cheap goods, and production of waste. It's one of the themes I will take up in my thesis. He does want his items to be timeless (as far as material deteriaration allows) - he does not want them to go to waste. That's why he doesn't like the concept of seasons, and sales. It's a certain pride in what you do, I can appreciate that. And if you think about it - high price could be a deterrent of not buying at all, but buying very little yet high quality. This day and age after we built up our wardrobes, how much do we really need to buy? How much should we want to buy? In the US, the more the merrier. I know some people who probably spend no less than I do on clothes, but they go through piles of garbage clothes that they throw out after a few months. If they sat down and did some financial analysis, maybe they'd be better off on more than one front. It's the American consumerist mentality at work - buy lots of cheap shit (we have negative average savings rate in the US, for gods sake - something uncivilized to the rest of the world). My finance professor once jokingly said, "I don't know what you guys were building in the Soviet Union - the real worker's paradise is here, abundant garbage for low-standard people." A different mentality exists elsewhere. In Europe, you simply don't see much of Gap type clothes, simply because noone would buy them (simply check European H&M lineup against that in the US one day). They DO have higher standards. The reverse side is that you can get there exactly what you cannot get here, much cheaper and well-made substitutes for designer clothes. High quality expensive clothes, I would argue, can force one to have a relationship with them, a certain respect for the clothes and for the people who made it. This relationship will make you think twice about butchering your clothes and then throwing it away because you know that some poor woman in India gets 50 cents in hour so you can buy a $10 tshirt and throw it out in a month.



    If you think about it, Altieri is a Marxist ;-) . The fact that by nature of his mode of production (small quantities, excellent materials) becomes expensive is a fact that can definitely be usurped by someone who is a status-seeker. But, if you release something into the world, you have a very marginal control over who does what with it. And, btw, some of Junya's clothes, is probably just as overpriced - does anyone remember the $650 flimsy non-selvege denim jeans with the Norwegian flag? A simple Margiela cardigan costs $450 today, a simple cotton/silk Ann shirt made in Poland is $550. So, they are all in the same boat, really.



    And about interesting cuts, fabrics, and fits - well, yeah!!! :-)

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  5. #405

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    I don't know, Faust. [:(]



    I hear what you are saying, and I would like to believe it myself. It's all very romantic and appealing, especially to those of us who can
    afford to be romantic about these things--the handmade, the old
    fashioned, etc. Perhaps that is indeed Altieri's aesthetic, or his "concept." But I don't think it is his ethics or his politics--unless you can assure me that the people who make his clothes can afford them (at retail)

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

  6. #406
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    [quote user="laika"]

    I don't know, Faust. [:(]



    I hear what you are saying, and I would like to believe it myself. It's all very romantic and appealing, especially to those of us who can
    afford to be romantic about these things--the handmade, the old
    fashioned, etc. Perhaps that is indeed Altieri's aesthetic, or his "concept." But I don't think it is his ethics or his politics--unless you can assure me that the people who make his clothes can afford them (at retail)



    [/quote]



    Why this criteria though? Ferrari makers can't afford to take them home either :-) But, yea, maybe I'm being to wishful here - I don't know what goes on through Altieri's head, maybe he's just a money-grabbing capitalist :-). I know what goes on through my head though! People so often confuse fashion with materialism, but materialism can lie so far outside fashion, and at the same time very little of it can be found in fashion. I mean, honestly, why would Margiela do the same thing time after time after time - even create entire lines (4 and 14) that he thinks should be a basic wardrobe, with virtually no changes except colors and fabrics. It makes no sense to think that his intent to pump stuff out every six months in order to drive consumerism, the fact that it still drives consumerism (I'm sure there are Margiela fans that want that v-neck sweater in 15 fabrics and colors and they collect them) does not refute Margiela's idea. I guess that's what I was getting at. Same way with Altieri. Heh, the more I think about those two, the more similarities I uncover between them. So much for their differences.

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  7. #407

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    Personally I find the price discussion rather irrelevant. It's expensive and there are reasons for it. It's a question of whether you can afford it/are willing to pay it/consider clothes important enough (and indeed like them enough) to incur a material outlay on them. I find the "moral" arguments aroundthis rather banal. There are a lot worse thingsyou can do than pay 1000 for a jacket or indeed a handbag. I don't think Jude Law's morally reprehensible for cleaning out The Library each year (although he may be for other reasons). It's a drop in the ocean to a movie star. I don't think any of these guys owe anyone anything in terms of having to produce an affordable product - it's all just market forces - if no one buys it they go out of business and it proves itself an unviable commercial proposal.


  8. #408

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    Faust and Johnny,



    It's not a criteria at all (or a "moral" thing). I don't expect designers to be Marxists. The point is, Altieri's ethics are, as far as we can judge, absolutely no different from Margiela's. What I am objecting to (and Seventh too), is that his image as a "craftsman," who supposedly refuses fashion, and who is lauded for this very reason by many of those who buy his clothes, is belied by the fact that his business practices reinforce exactly what the fashion industry stands for.



    I certainly don't think he's a money grabbing capitalist, any more than any other designer whose clothes I buy. But I'm not going to give him credit for being a Marxist!

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

  9. #409

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    [quote user="Faust"]

    I'll take up that challenge in Albert's absense :-). I'll speak mostly to CDiem. In my mind the relationship between CDiem and the world is absolutely unquestionable, and it does reveal complex emotions. Taking up an artisanal tradition speaks volumes against mass production, cheap goods, and production of waste. It's one of the themes I will take up in my thesis. He does want his items to be timeless (as far as material deteriaration allows) - he does not want them to go to waste. That's why he doesn't like the concept of seasons, and sales. It's a certain pride in what you do, I can appreciate that. And if you think about it - high price could be a deterrent of not buying at all, but buying very little yet high quality. This day and age after we built up our wardrobes, how much do we really need to buy? How much should we want to buy? In the US, the more the merrier.



    [/quote]




    This idea of timelessness is really interesting. It is a very modernist concept--that there can be a pure form, shape, painting, clothes, etc... That can exist outside of time. It is a very attractive idea, and I certainly tire of the (overly) consumer society that exists in throughout much of the western world. But this idea of timelessness also can lead to a certain naive distance from the reality of our present. If you present an absolute form, you are rejecting the possibility of change. I mean, we are products of our culture experience and clothes like junya, margiela and chalayan address that--they change (sometimes for the better and sometimes not) as life and the world changes. Perhaps that?s why Albert was having such trouble defining a "definitive" Junya piece. Junya (and definitely Rei) are not definitive by nature, they are inclusive and shifting.

    I was going through some old pictures recently and I love how I looked in some of the weird tattered clothes, docs and thrift stores items I used to wear when I was much younger. But I wouldn't wear most of those clothes now, because times have changed, I have changed, the me I was, is now a little different. That is why I like designers who are dynamic and take risks (even if they are colossal failures) and address change (this is one of things I admire about what Raf is doing).

    I love craft, and sincerity towards one's work. I won't dispute that CDiem and Poell definitely have that, but so do the other designers mentioned.

    As for prices, well, it?s a nice romantic argument that Poell and CDiem are actually trying to cut down on consumer waste, but I mean, come on. Why does an object or clothing have to be expensive to be valued? Price and quality are not interchangeable. Yes, really good clothing is expensive, but as far as I am aware, Poell and CDiem are still a fair bit ahead of the rest in terms of retail prices. If Comme pants are in the $300-500 range, Poell's seem to be between $700-1000 conservatively...

    And damnit, price should be an issue! It fundamentally limits the type of people who will buy the clothes. Poell has (I am guessing) a pretty small, clearly defined market, made up a certain cultural class (with access to his clothes) and a certain economic wealth (to afford the clothes) -- that?s kinda sad to me. Should clothing, and ideas about clothing try to be diverse and reflect diverse wearers? I am not at all saying that designers should aim to be large companies, but don't they want a diverse group of patrons? (This issue sorta borders on ethics and a lot of things that will take this thread even more off topic, perhaps it should be kept separate...)


  10. #410

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    [quote user="laika"]

    Faust and Johnny,



    It's not a criteria at all (or a "moral" thing). I don't expect designers to be Marxists. The point is, Altieri's ethics are, as far as we can judge, absolutely no different from Margiela's. What I am objecting to (and Seventh too), is that his image as a "craftsman," who supposedly refuses fashion, and who is lauded for this very reason by many of those who buy his clothes, is belied by the fact that his business practices reinforce exactly what the fashion industry stands for.



    [/quote]



    Yes, that is it exactly! Altieri and Poell are portrayed as something different, and what I (and I am guessing, Laika) want to know is exactly what is this difference. And specifically, how does it manifest itself in the work?





    side issue, but I honestly think that Jude Law looks like an pompous idiot in those clothes. however I am willing to blame it on him rather than the clothes...


  11. #411
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    [quote user="laika"]

    Faust and Johnny,



    It's not a criteria at all (or a "moral" thing). I don't expect designers to be Marxists. The point is, Altieri's ethics are, as far as we can judge, absolutely no different from Margiela's. What I am objecting to (and Seventh too), is that his image as a "craftsman," who supposedly refuses fashion, and who is lauded for this very reason by many of those who buy his clothes, is belied by the fact that his business practices reinforce exactly what the fashion industry stands for.



    I certainly don't think he's a money grabbing capitalist, any more than any other designer whose clothes I buy. But I'm not going to give him credit for being a Marxist!



    [/quote]



    Haha, I'm sorry, I went too far. Of course not in the sense that he wants to end the current order by a means of a violent revolution for the end of handing over the means of production to the proletariat. :-)



    I was thinking more in terms of not driving consumerism by over-production and fueling demand every 6 months (well, at least as an idea), which I think subverts modern day capitalism, no?

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  12. #412

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    I sort of seem to be getting lumped in with the pro-Poell-to-the-sacrifice-of-anything-else camp (!) but i was originally taking issue with Albert''s smmary dismissal of Junya. I may be getting confused here, but all I would say about Poell is that he makes some very nice very highquality clothes. He does follow the fashion ideal to some extent, but you have to give him some credit. In discussions like this its tempting to take entrenched positions. But I dont know of any other designer that sends his modelsdown a canal rather than a catwalk. He also does sometimes drop out and not produce a collection. This is to some extent irritating and decadent, but is not the fashion norm. CDiem does produce the same garments each season with some variations. You may not like this, and I personally find it a bit dull, for the reasons that Seventh refers to, but its not the fashion norm. So I think some credit is due in this respect.I don't think tese guys do fully play the fashion game.


  13. #413

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    I was thinking more in terms of not driving consumerism by
    over-production and fueling demand every 6 months (well, at least as an
    idea), which I think subverts modern day capitalism, no?



    Yes-- it's the same spirit as the one I was admiring in Ann a few posts back. I recognize and respect that idea very much. [51]



    Johnny, I am definitely not lumping you in! Not at all--I know you are really thoughtful and balanced about how and why you choose things (cf. style philosophy thread). [Y] And I have respect for everyone that we are discussing here. Of course these guys make good clothes. I love my Linea jacket dearly--love it even more because Faust found it for me and it was $150.00. [:P] I was batshit excited about it (am excited for something else too, soon to be revealed, heh heh). These things speak to me as well (or rather, they whisper).



    I have more to say in response to Albert's post, but I will shut up for awhile...I don't want to give people the idea I am anti-CCP or CDiem. [*-)]





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

  14. #414

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    Johnny,



    Good point about how easily one can seem to fall into entrenched positions, Johnny. I am passionate about discussing some of these ideas, but discussions don't go anywhere without open minds. I do like some of Poell's work a lot-- especially his shoes and jewelry. I am currently figuring out how to make the jewelry myself.



    It is just such a shame that your not a fan of Comme des Garcons or Junya...[;)]


  15. #415

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    [quote user="Seventh"]


    Johnny,




    Good point about how easily one can seem to fall into entrenched positions, Johnny. I am passionate about discussing some of these ideas, but discussions don't go anywhere without open minds. I do like some of Poell's work a lot-- especially his shoes and jewelry. I am currently figuring out how to make the jewelry myself.




    It is just such a shame that your not a fan of Comme des Garcons or Junya...[;)]




    [/quote]




    [^o)]


  16. #416

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    sorry, poor attempt a humor. [51]



    I think of you as a CDG expert...


  17. #417

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    NO need to apologise. My smilie was my poor attempt at humour!

  18. #418

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    "poell has (I am guessing) a pretty small, clearly defined market, made up a certain cultural class (with access to his clothes) and a certain economic wealth (to afford the clothes) -- that?s kinda sad to me."

    Seventh: Surely this statement applies equally well to Comme (with pants in the 500 to 700 range) and to most any brand that's been discussed on SZ. People who can afford to blow (or invest) $500.00 on a pair of pants is a "pretty small, clearly defined group".

  19. #419

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell



    This is indeed a very interesting discussion, with many excellent viewpoints. I consider myself to be quite new to the ranks of such labels as Junya/CCP etc etc, and so perhaps I can be considered as an outsider's opinion.



    As far as I'm concerned, somewhat analogous to 1000quid being a drop in the bucket to Jude Law, someone who follows and consistently purchases new items from season to season of Junya or CDG etc, isn't all that different from the person who picks up the CCP/Carpe etc., purely on a financial basis, of course. If you can spend 500 on a pair of pants a few times over, you're probably in the situation that you can spend 700 and not be in the poorhouse for a month.



    In terms of aesthetics and principle, part of me fully agrees with Faust, in that Poell is taking an old world approach to his design and construction. He makes pieces that he expects to last, that will be staples, similarly to Margiela and his basics. Junya is more of an innovator and trend setter of the markets. And so, comparing the two isn't so easily done.



    The other, more cynical part of me, takes it all as a marketing strategy. Have a limited production, high prices, get the right exposure and the right people to be seen/noticed and you've got a golden product. Of course, it's already been done to death via Nigo and BAPE, and so this is the "new and improved" version, where only those really (and I mean really, in Poell etc's case) in the know, will recognize and appreciate it. Which coincidentally goes quite well with the idea of "stealth-wealth" that is becoming so prevalent these days.






  20. #420

    Default Re: Carol Christian Poell

    I still have to go through all the answers in detail, but I wonder if price should be put out of the equation totally when judging a piece of clothing.



    The price shouldn't be an argument for or against a garment.





    My $.02.

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