when you think of fashion you probably
think of outfits like this or this or this but you might not think about outfits
like this or this or this today I’ll be talking about avant-garde and artisanal
fashion avant-garde fashion stems from the avant-garde art movement which is
primarily based on creating radical unorthodox or experimental work Avant
Garde is a French term which literally means advanced guard or Vanguard the
term implies forward thinking and progressive work and that’s exactly what we find in the
garments of avant-garde designers work that is pushing the boundaries of
conventional taste avant-garde fashion is tricky to box into a specific
category but for the purpose of this video I’ll mostly be talking about the
types of designs pushed forward by designers like Yohji Yamamoto Rick Owens
and Rei Kawakubo of comme des Garcons so what does avant-garde fashion
communicate all of the following would be valid terms to describe avant-garde
fashion bold minimal dark edgy unique elegant futuristic and extreme in many
ways avant-garde fashion is about the rejection of mainstream fashion and its
breakneck pace in favor of something slower and more thoughtful as you know
the market in the world became like fast fast fast cheap cheap cheap sexy
sexy sexy it’s a very far from me when you have designers producing garments like
this you might think they can only cater to a small group of dedicated fans and
while that may have been true and then you can use our 90s it’s not anymore a
hunk art fashion is present in a lot of mainstream culture now actually one of
the primary examples being hip hop music where these kinds of dark experimental
outfits appear in a number of recent music videos from artists like Kanye
West Rihanna and ASAP Rocky in fact ASAP Rocky is a known fan of
Rick Owens and similar designers as he says in his song and peso brass Simmons
Rick always usually when I’m dressed the avant-garde designer Yohji Yamamoto is
also recently broken into the mainstream with his Y 3 line in collaboration with
Adidas Yamamoto’s goal with the y3 line was to
bring more elegance back to casual style at street wear which he felt was
becoming ugly the street freshman became so dirty
it wasn’t fashion in his autobiography Yohji Yamamoto says black is modest and
arrogant at the same time black is lazy and easy but mysterious and I think that
sums up one of the key aspects of avant-garde clothing it’s paradoxical
and offers a unique dissonance in the image it creates it’s both elegant and
chaotic aesthetic and luxurious bold and timid it creates a nice juxtaposition
and that’s what makes it so interesting it’s easy to think that avant-garde
fashion is bland or boring especially due to the lack of color in most
avant-garde collections but this is actually one of the ways a long card
fashion is able to stand out because of the self-imposed color restrictions
avant-garde designers are forced to innovate in other ways like shape volume
texture and silhouette leading to some beautiful and intricate creations
reduction yields innovation it’s the same in jazz music where musicians
improvise around a melodic structure the soloists are constrained by the chords
that the band members agree upon but free to improvise and create something
new each time they play in this way restriction provides a framework to
innovate upon and makes the creations that much more impressive
in order to really appreciate avant-garde fashion you have to set
color aside and focus on those other aspects you see with fashion we often
expect clothes to be perfectly symmetrical so when we see an outfit
that artfully breaks that rule we’re immediately drawn to it our brain
expects symmetry but we get something else this is one of the ways a funk art
outfits can pull you in traditionally runway designers focus on
getting a silhouette of the human body underneath their clothes the garments
should skim the body and show its shape but avant-garde rejects that idea as
well instead of body silhouette we get clothing silhouette we all know what the
human body looks like so traditional clothing can become visually boring
avant-garde designers aren’t limited by the shape of the body they’re free to
imagine their own shapes and volumes this lack of symmetry and invention of
shape and volume gives the impression of a shadow it’s mysterious and draws us in
it gives us just enough visual information to let our imaginations run
wild despite its experimental and often
futuristic look you can see a lot of references to traditional fashion in the
works of avant-garde designers a key example is the drapery and wrapping you
see in Yohji Yamamoto as designs that echo traditional Japanese clothing even if you’re not interested in
adopting a full avant-garde look if you’re trying to improve your own
fashion I would encourage you to try experimenting with muted palettes
focusing on blacks whites and Gray’s see what you can create with just these
colors be creative of course in order to really adopt the avant-garde image
you’ll probably want to buy clothes from celebrated designers in this niche and
that brings me to one of the major barriers to entry avant-garde fashion
the cost or rather our perception of the cost for example a single piece of
clothing from Yohji Yamamoto tous collections can easily cost over 1,000
US dollars and a pair of new Y-3 shoes is often over 500 the interesting thing
is that when I say that many people watching this video will think those
prices are high and they are but that’s only because our price anchors are set
so low thanks to fast fashion brands like Zara and H&M we’re so used to
prices that are incredibly low and we balk at the prices that these artisanal
designers are asking for even when those prices are relatively fair at the end of
the day only you know what you can or cannot afford but I wish more people
would treat their wardrobe as an art collection rather than a batch of cheap
and disposable clothing I’m not encouraging people to buy name brands
because of the name alone but it is important to support fashion designers
because you like the work they do and believe in the values of the designs
Eugene wrapkin creator of the avant-garde fashion magazine and forum
style zeitgeist said this far more elegantly than I could if you can’t
afford it you can’t afford it I’m not talking about the poor but there are
millions of people who can but don’t just because there is always H&M
affordability is partially a mental construct I’m sure absolutely everyone
here knows people who will drop hundred dollars going out in one night
but we’d never for the life of them buy a $100 shirt and they don’t bother
asking why they’d pay for a four dollar cup of coffee every day often twice a
day but consider a $100 shirt unaffordable that being said there have
recently been a lot of new designers creating avant-garde pieces at more
mid-range price points so I’ll list a few of them here Julius 7 first aid to
the injured artifact Andre ya’akov army of me matsuhiko of maruyama Incarnation Isamu katayama Thom Krom I want to once again encourage
people to support these designers if you can afford it they’re catering to a
small niche and doing great work in the fashion industry it’s also possible to
find used pieces of avant-garde designers on sites like eBay or Yahoo
Japan if you can’t afford to buy the pieces you
so consider stepping into the shadows you might like it there