Thursday, July 24, 2008

Much ado about bling

Much ado about bling
By Miguel Paolo Celestial
Published in The Philippine Star, 9 November 2007

The fashion world still hasn’t gotten over its mania over gold, stimulated by Comme des Garçons’ 2007 Homme Plus spring/summer collection. Entitled “Golden Boy”, it flashed gold in shirts, shorts, jeans, shoes, hats and belts. A year after, collections still had remnants of its reign. Such is the influence of Rei Kawakubo, who became famous in the ‘70s by making black the color of fashion, when she defiantly decided to make gold the new black.

In a previous interview*, Kawakubo mentioned the Catholic Church, Dubai, shopping malls with marble floors, and teapots as references. She remarked that gold for her meant “medals, money, religion, authority and power”, and expounded: “It is very rare, and because of that, has come to denote richness, and then because of that power and authority and of desire and ambition and ultimately success, and Hollywood and the Olympics…”

It was gold’s depth of meaning that interested Kawakubo, its multiplicity of connotations. She deployed the color for its significance to society, but not to pay homage; like all great visionaries, she utilized the element to turn it into something else...

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*Interview published in Arena Homme Plus #27: Dreamworld, 2007. Jewelry photographed using phone camera.

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