Don’t touch! No communication of any kind! » That’s the Bruce Nauman sound bite we hear in Viktor and Rolf’s winter fashion show. « No emotion! » echoes Jun Takashi, who mumified the bodies and faces of his Undercover models.
The mood of fashion has drastically changed this winter, unequivocally heralding a new decade. It’s all about chaste sobriety, shouded decadence, secret perversity, masked self-defense, isolation and exile. An almost violent austerity. Fashion clearly has an apocalyptic vision of our brutal world, and has responded with one word: Protection. This solemn elegance, paradoxically, reinforces the power of women, amounting to a political reaction to sexy glamour, and over-exposed vulgarity, a power that Stefano Pilati celebrates in his brillant new YSL collection.
We see a novel gender crossing, blurring the boundries of sexual identity, and of man/woman duality. Until now, the qualities of strength and fragility, romance and violence, visibility and concealment, were thought to be totally separated, but here, they are inventively, and profoundly, bonded.
To convey a sense of this emerging mood, I’ve asked film-maker, actor, and musician Vincent Gallo to model the women’s collection: perhaps only a person such as he, facing the solitude of an artist with total dignity and elegance, can understand and express this transition to the new age. Only a brillant and complex personality could reveal all the innate tension and detatchment these clothes manifest. Only an actor of his talent could make us feel the dramatic melancholy and emotional sterility of this new epoch.
— OLIVIER ZAHM