I couldn't help but be struck again by the creativity of the designers at New York's Fashion Week which just ended. But I was also perplexed by questions some of the outfits raised, proving once again that avant grade fashion is like modern art -- it's supposed to make you think:
A couple of Nicole Miller's designs for women featured peacock feathers. But in nature, it's the peacocks -- and not the peahens -- which sport such bright plumage. (Peahens tend to be dull brown.) Does this not then constitute a form of cross-dressing? And why is it that humans so consistently do the opposite of the animal kingdom, and encourage the female of the species to dress in bright colors, and the male to wear darker colors?
It is often said that clothes make a statement, but what is this outfit by Lee Jean Youn saying? That the widow has been driven crazy by grief?
People generally wear hats for one of two reasons: to keep their heads warm, or to protect themselves from the sun. Which of those purposes does this headwear by Lee Jean Youn serve?
The jacket and skirt by Hache are each nice enough in their own way, but under what weather conditions would the winter parka-with-miniskirt-combo be appropriate? And what is it about that utterly impractical combination that makes it seem so right for a fashion show? (The answer to the first question must be, the weather on a catwalk.)
What exactly is it about this outfit by Charlotte Ronson that evokes S&M? Is it the leather pants, the crossed suspenders, the sheer top, the severe hairstyle, or the model's zombie-like expression?
What exactly is this design by Nicholas K opposed to signify? What is that thing around the model's right wrist? Why am I put in mind of The Gimp from Pulp Fiction? Is Nicholas K too embarrassed to use his full last name?
Is the Jay Godfrey model on the left channeling Michael Jackson? Am I the only person who thinks the sitting model looks like a drug addict? Is she sitting because she's too weak to stand? If I found her attractive, would that make me a pervert?
Did designers Mark and Estel steal that rubber chest plate from the set of a Batman movie? Given the nature of the breastplate and the model's short hair, was this outfit supposed to strike a blow for transgender rights? How does a beautiful woman who's probably not transgender herself feel about being a symbol for the movement?
I've only seen that collar in paintings from the Elizabethan era and on playing cards. Which one is Ruffian trying to evoke? (This outfit is actually weirdly attractive, as opposed to the other outfits shown here, most of which are merely weirdly weird.)
In my day Lacoste was known for their preppy alligator polo shirts. Does the fact that they are now featuring cat burglar outfits mean that they have fallen upon hard times?
This Son Jung Wan outfit is quite striking, but it's hard to tell whom it's for. Would this be worn by a rich playboy, a bellhop at an expensive hotel, a doorman at an exclusive nightclub, a gay gigolo, or an extra in The Nutcracker Suite?