This year the Occupy Wall Street movement got the attention of the world and last year it was the Tea Party. However, this post-modernism has long been culminating before the recession. People have been disenchanted with the ideals of capitalism waxing and waning since the 1870s. The hippies knew money was not the root of happiness critiquing capitalism for the way it relentless sped life up and only to leave people perpetually dissatisfied. The Evangelical Christians on the other hand focus on the moral bankruptcy that liberal government fosters. They represented a majority of 2008 GOP primary voters in 11 of the 29 states in which exit polls were conducted. Nonetheless, both strive for simpler times and have issue with the values of what they see as the status quo.
Now it’s fashion’s turn. Italian design team Salvatore Prete and Filippo Bruno bring their collection the United States for the first time on a mission to bring back the “authentic elegance” of old Hollywood. The implication seems to be that today’s is not authentic, which is a legitimate critique when today’s celebrity trendsetters include Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna. They describe this bygone era as encapsulating “evening noir meets swanlike elegance”, certainly words that could not describe most of today’s stars…except maybe Natalie Portman, since she was the Black Swan.
The duo execute this by implementing couture inflections only visible close up. At a distance, the garments are clean, simple, and feminine, which is refreshing between the colorful textural mashups and the hard androgynous minimalism we see elsewhere on the runway. The sheers, metallic gown, ruffle neckline of Mozart’s era, and feathers are all Marlene Dietrich. The tweed suits and riding coats evoke Jackie O. There are Hepburn updos and eyeliner, Kelly green, and structured babydoll dresses. Clearly the late 1950s and 60s played a major influence. The only ingredient missing were the full skirts.
And just to throw it a little off, the collection is styled with accessories from the 1970s and 80s with their Whiting and Davis-like mesh metal belts and clutches and chunky Versace-like chain belts. Furthermore, the music was not nostalgic and instead digitally epic filled with adrenaline bass and galactic battles. I suppose this choice was to not completely trap the buyers and press in a time warp.
Nevertheless, as we all know by the time we’re teenagers when our parents cry, “Ugh! I had one of those when I was your age!” Fashion like any history repeats itself. All of the looks could have been worn right off the runway by many of the guests that evening and they certainly would be chic.
Images via Getty