Using Your Re-imagination
Designers have to adjust their creative volume levels.
Victorya didn't re-imagine it, it didn't go through any kind of transformation. I think all designers struggle with the idea of being too pragmatic, too practical, versus too much fashion. I think the plus with her is that her clothes were consistently wearable, and I think she is very pragmatic. I think she's stretching herself, and for a woman who's designing clothes I think that's a very big plus.But I think sometimes you can get pigeonholed into thinking, "Oh, that's wearable," and I think in this instance denim can already be a little bit of a bore. It's something we all live in everyday, but I can't remember the last time I sent denim down the runway. It's something that we don't do everyday. So, in this instance, if you're only going to deal with one look made out of existing denim garments, Victorya needed to push the envelope really far. I think she just didn't turn the volume up at all, and when it came out you didn't wonder what she'd done because it was so obvious. I think that's finally what ended up doing her in.
Denim is hard to work with, but these days there are many kinds of denim. There is tissue-thin denim that you can drape and tuck, but when you're dealing with heavy, rugged denim it looks best top-stitched and it's a tough thing, especially when you're using existing garments, to re-imagine. When people think designers never have to do anything like this in real life, I did. I did something very similar to this years ago for Mademoiselle magazine, and they gave six designers a denim shirt and a pair of jeans and we could make whatever we wanted out of it. I remember just sitting there and looking at it thinking, "How do I take it out of the realm of workwear?"
Fashion people complain all the time, "No one gets dressed," "No one's dressed up." Well the real reality is that we owe a lot of that to California and to Hollywood. If you live in L.A., that's a pretty casual life, and you can go anywhere in a pair of jeans. So, it started there, then spread to Asia and across America and then to Europe. I think today there are so many washes that if your jean is dark you could get away with wearing them just short of black tie, and just short of Wall Street. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I don't think they should be torn-up jeans, but I think there's a different jean for every situation. Let's put it that way.
Christian's style is kind of a romantic Mad Max. There's definitely something a little apocalyptic, a little '80s, but I think it's very tailored at the same time. So I never look at his clothes and think, "Oh, punk-ripped," it's always very perfect. I think that's one of the things that's interesting about him. He's honestly young; he has an interesting point of view, but he likes clothes that are polished. You don't have to be 20 to wear his clothes. When I see his clothes come out, if you're in shape, you could be 50, and I think that has definitely served him well.