Friday, October 28, 2016

Streetwear - Half History, Half Project Runway

Yesterday's "Project Runway" episode was devoted to streetwear. Hmmmm. I'm not really sure when this word snaked its way into the fashion vocabulary, but it certainly is a category that has changed dramatically over my lifetime. I admit that I'm an old cuss, but still ...

In 1960 fashion was fitted tops, flared skirts and gloves.
Mom always had an extra set of gloves in the glove
box of the car. Wow! Rather scary! 

Streetwear when I was growing up was quite different than what was walking down the runway last night. My streetwear was tie dye and long skirts, headbands and granny glasses, beads and gypsy garb. My streetwear populated Woodstock (the rock festival, not Snoopy's friend) and the streets of San Francisco.

1969 fashion had a lot of divergence. Here are two photos from Woodstock showing
true streetwear of the time. Not really fashion forward except in later decades
when people tried to reproduce the look. 

Fashion had changed dramatically from the early to the late 1960's. It was a pivotal decade in fashion. In fact, I can't think of another decade that was more dramatic. At the beginning of the decade we had tight bodices with flared skirts, gloves and hats, and handbags - matching the shoes always. Then America and the world was invaded by The Beatles and things changed - dramatically and quickly. Their new style of long hair was seen as radical. Their music led the way to the music of the late 60's - Janis Joplin, Gracie Slick, Jimmy Hendrix. By the end of the decade we were protesting the war in Vietnam, having sit-in and love-in events, and were ready to jump into one of the more turbulent decades of the late 20th century - the 1970's. The changes in streetwear reflected that change.

These outfits were more typical of 1969 mainstream streetwear
fashion. The hippie clothing was off in the field an on the
back streets, we were wearing shorter skirts, but more
fitted garments. 

So last night the designers on Project Runway were challenged to design streetwear influenced by a new ride at Universal Orlando - Skull Island, a King Kong adventure. Maybe the trip scrambled the brains of some of the designers, but really? SPOILERS AND PHOTOS BELOW

Dexter was trying to be cutting edge and a bit avant guard
with his streetwear choices and left the judges divided.
One judge said that the concept was really interesting,
but that if you walk this road, the piece has to be perfect
and the shoulders on this were uneven and ill-matched. 

The judges likened this item by Cornelius as a disaster
from the knees up. His idea of patches, a drop crotch and
a poorly fitted top got him to be one of the last two
standing for elimination this week. The poor construction
was what really hit the judges who called it a school project. 

I like Brik, but he has real problems choosing fabrics
to go together and cannot seem to come up with a plan.
It wasn't badly constructed, but it was a really poor fabric
choice and once again pants were his downfall. Brik
was sent home - a nice guy who really needs some seasoning. 

Erin decided to return to her comfort zone and spent the
entire day of the challenge embroidering those yellow
splotches on her shorts. Really? Horrid - just horrid. Still,
the judges liked the offerings by Cornelius and Brik even
less, so Erin is safe for another week. What happened to
the designer I loved? She's gotten lost. 

There were two standout designers this week - Laurence and Nathalia. I'd wear either outfit in a flash, both were styling, street-savy and nice.

Nathalia opted for a large dolman-sleeved jacket over
a drop waist pant with a little crop top. The pants were
a bit too long, but she really knocked it out of the park
with this one. I'd buy that jacket in a flash. Thank goodness
she didn't like it with the faux fur. 

Once again Laurence proved that she knew her way around
a sewing machine. Using red leather, she made a street-wise
interesting style for her jacket that just had me drooling.
What a great piece. I'm not fond of drop-crotch pants, but
she didn't go to extremes. The crotch area needed some
adjustment, but despite that, she was the clear winner. 

So there you have it - a busy night on the Runway. Next week they are doing a public show and working in three teams of three. I assume that is so that they can show a "collection", although with only three designers per team, it'll be a very small one. Still, a street show for a Manhattan audience could be very interesting. Have a wonderful Friday, and just think about how far we've come in the past 45+ years. We've survived Nixon and Watergate, Vietnam and Woodstock, and the computer revolution. We'll survive this election too. Just a few more days of election commercials ...

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