November 11, 2014

Janina Nectara on designers’ style at Observator Special

Most people daily come up against the same dilemma: what should I wear? They don’t even think they could go to work wearing the same outfit two days in a row, and when there’s an event to be attended, have their look down pat weeks on advance. But if they’d analyse the world’s great designers, maybe they would loosen up a bit. Even if they regularly show all sorts of most creative collections, fashion designers dress the same every time they go out in the world. Could it be that their imagination runs out exactly when it’s time for them to pick out an outfit? Of course not! It actually is a well-crafted move.

The world’s greatest personalities have had unmistakable styles. Einstein’s hairdo is instantly recognisable thanks to the man of science’s lack of time to prune his generous mane. Famous is also Salvador Dali’s twisted moustache, or the personal brand turtlenecks of Steve Jobs. But when fashion industry pivotal people adopt the same strategy, along comes the obvious question: Why would someone who can wear absolutely anything adopt the same look for years?


Janina Nectara: Most designers, and the young ones in particular, in order to stay present in the collective memory, for becoming easily-recognisable, need to create a strong visual identity.


Such an example is Jean-Paul Gaultier. Even if he’s always wearing costumes, his outfit consistently includes a certain element.


JN: All of these maritime-inspiration tops have already become his trademark, everybody associates him with these stripes. And they actually have been extrapolated to virtually everything touched by Jean-Paul Gaultier.


As far as Tom Ford is concerned, even if he constantly designs and reinvents fashion, he acts the total opposite when it’s down to his own image. Even so, he remains the sexiest man in the industry.


JN: Tom Ford displays the great confidence he has in his own taste, and for knowing his best features so well, knows exactly what clothes best emphasise his masculine allure.


Marc Jacobs has also made a very strong visual identity for himself, through his well-known kilt – the one he’s wearing at the end of every fashion show.


JN: The story of the kilt is very nice indeed, Marc Jacobs sent his personal assistant one day to get him a pair of funny trousers from Barneys and his assistant, instead of coming back with trousers, came bringing a kilt. Ever since, Marc Jacobs and his kilt have been inseparable.


Still, the most well-known look in the world of fashion is that of Karl Lagerfeld.


JN: He never parts with his Dior jackets, to which he always pairs some skinny trousers, usually from his own collection. Likewise for his high collar shirts, extremely high collar, inspired from the shirts of the 19th century. Another distinctive characteristic of Karl Lagerfeld is his hair, that he wears in a ponytail, not before having it dyed, since his hair is in fact not as white as he likes to wear it.


Also, the designer invariably wears fingerless leather gloves and smoky sunglasses. As a matter of fact, he has declared a number times that they are part of his identity and that he does not intend ever parting with them, be it day or night.


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