April 25, 2013

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I was reading fellow blogger Edoardo's post about Alexander McQueen's hole heels way back when, and there's one thing I wish to quote from him:

"I love their innovation against the general boredom of the model: I mean, heelless heels?  Now they are everywhere...the absence of a heel is not even something interesting."  

When I read that, I was mentally nodding and agreeing with him.  But then I immediately caught myself, and thought, "Did I really just agree that heelless heels are nothing special?"

It dawned on me how critical we've become of fashion and how designers have to continually sweat it out each season to bring us something that will get our stamp of approval.  It's becoming harder and harder for designers to innovate, and there's no doubt they struggle to stay ahead of the ever forward moving interests of society.  Is not every design worthy of some praise, however simple?  Everything is about immediacy nowadays, and as fashion lovers, we hunger for the next new thing.  But the moment an innovation has been licked clean, we drop it like a bone and move on, scouring for our next target.

The inventions and innovations of the past were tremendous, and to try and equal that would require a truly groundbreaking feat.  Naturally, as time goes by, it will become more difficult to innovate.  I was reading a coffee table book titled Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century (a book I highly recommend for its spine-tingling, absolutely beautiful recounting of historical fashion), and I realized what it would take to equal the sheer magnitude of past innovations.  Whether it be Coco Chanel's androgyny, Rei Kawakubo's body-modifying designs, Elsa Schiaparelli's Surrealism or Christian Dior's New Look, there has been little in modern time that has shook the entire fashion world as these past innovations have. Yes, we've had our outstanding technological innovations, and I am hardly saying those are insignificant, but have we really had an innovation that has changed the way we dress?  We've shocked, but we haven't shook.

We've been exposed to absolutely everything in fashion, from meat dresses, to robotic skirts, to transparent crocodile skin.  We continue to set the bar for innovation higher and higher, to the point where there's really nothing we won't expect.  Ironic then, that we still search for innovation with such vigor.

With immediacy and accessibility showing no sign of relapse, I can assure you this hunger for innovation will not end any time soon.  While the world continues to look endlessly forward, I think I'll take some time to look back and marvel at a history I didn't live through, but which contains an abundance of great innovations, both small and revolutionary.

Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3, 4


  1. Those shoes are AMAZINNG!!! I want!



  2. id step anywhere in those shoes!


  3. wowwwww i love the first pair of shoes =)