Reading an Anthem article on fashion designer Tao Kurihara, I was about to completely revise my post The Myth of a Quiet Launch for 2006, which happened to be the first time I was ever Scobleized (latest Scobleization here).
But then I had a conversation, which catalyzed this post instead. There exists many a fashion designer looking for the big bang launch: wishing Paris Hilton wears their creation (if you're a book designer, you might hope Oprah pitches it) and they'll make their mark, and their sensation will ripple out like waves through the oceanic universe. Yet rare is the fashion designer that considers everyone wearing cookie cutter clothes any utopia.
Talking to two friends, let's just call them designers outside the fashion industry. I could tell that the word fashion connotes what someone else says is "in fashion." What someone else dictates is de rigeur.
To me, fashion is in season. Fashion is wearable art. I don't particularly care if it's regarded as in style - although if I'm really in tune with the collective mythos of the moment, it tends to feel right and fit with the times. A snapshot of one season of the collective consciousness in movement.
Wordplay: Fashion from Old French façon, from Latin factionem (nom. factio) "group of people acting together."
"The function of the fashion industry is to have things be temporal: this season only," she says. He adds tidbits about the fashion industry's consumerism and how it behooves them to crank money each and every spring and fall.
"I like design because it is the intersection of function and beauty. Design lasts," she says.
I've come to realize I prefer my food and my clothes to be extremely temporal.
Flowers are the enlightenment of plants, Eckhart Tolle begins in his latest book. They have no utilitarian purpose. They simply are. Beauty. In May, I watched the roses in the garden bud, blossom and begin to wither; in June, the magnolia blossoms; in July, the agapanthus. Each time I was absorbed in the cycle of their life as I'd stroll past them. As one flower decayed, just then another species would be coming into their own.
I like temporal, it reminds me of life and not to take it for granted. I like ephemeral. On this green and blue sphere, I know of only one thing that lasts - flux. I know of only one thing that lasts - that which is timeless, deathless, unconditioned. Whenever an artist tells me: "that's original, one of a kind, and I never repeat my work," it's like music to my ears.
"Live in the moment. Live in the season. Live in the moment," read the bright sunflower and California poppy-colored facade. "Seasonal California cuisine." I walk into the adjacent store where hiring was set up for the debut of Tanglewood Restaurant in San Jose. "What type of position are you looking for?" she asks. "I'm actually not looking for a job. I just had to meet the people behind the 'live in the moment, live in the season' philosophy." And that's how I began my love affair with Tanglewood, a restaurant that hasn't even opened yet, but I've spent hours chatting with.
Ephemeral. Ethereal. Renewal. "One meeting, one time," the elder woman ended the tea ceremony demonstration with the Japanese equivalent and bowed to her guest (at the recent Obon Festival, Palo Alto Buddhist Temple). The narrator explains the scene before us, "They close the ceremony acknowledging there will never this precise moment again, thus they cherish it."
I recall in my now lost Tea Celebrations book that the Japanese tea masters have a theme for each tea - a cohesive, almost curated, pattern, poetry, music, theme that celebrates that particular tea time. They are never repeated. That signalled an acknowledgment of the infinitude of the reservoir of possibility. An acknowledgment of the river of flux within time: "You cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you," said the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus.
I lost one of my favorite blouses I've had for years on my last trip to Seattle. Left behind in the hotel dresser. It was the color burgundy. I'd been musing about burgundy and gold accents and accessories for a new look in the bathroom when I packed the blouse. Serendipitously, when the sleeveless top was left behind, I started envisioning avocado green and sunflower yellow vividly in my mind. I'd opened up a fresh door by accepting this loss, this death, this cycle...that is after I tried in vain to reach housekeeping from the airport.
"Miranda hired me. She knows what I look like," Andrea says as she stands in Runway magazine's cafeteria line balancing her corn chowder on a tray.
Nigel replies, "Do you?" - from the movie, The Devil Wears Prada
The infinitude expressing itself as Evelyn is constantly growing and evolving -- like nature.
So if one can have compostable cutlery, why not clothing? I only need it to last for this season anyway. And so it is that someone else today is enjoying the oversized curvaceous collar, the burgundy, the cross-hatching that reveals the contours of a nude back on that long-lost shirt.
I listen to what I said six months ago, my own teacher has said, and to myself, he says, I sound like a buffoon. Did I say that? That's what I say about my own blogging. The zen of blogging: It's where I'm at today, what's up for you or me right this precise moment. In six months, I may not even believe anything that I wrote then. That was then, this is now. Blogging is a slice of a seasonality revolution:
A fundamental shift in what the Web is. In fact, it's something brand new. Allen Searls calls it the World Live Web. The Live Web is current. - The World Live Web, by Phillip Windley
Current, just like the river's current.
Bonus: Check out how Italian fashion designer Luisa Beccaria lives in the season, lives in the moment at this slideshow. One photo caption: "The family's fresh bread is made daily in this old-fashioned oven (do not try this at home while wearing a Beccaria dress!)." Another: "Luisa's husband, Lucio, produces his own olive oil."
Bonus: Check out Linda Loudermilk (see also Treehugger's Picks for Best Sustainable Designers. Loudermilk had an epiphany she describes as: “I realized I didn’t want to be just a fashion designer; I wanted to boost people’s spirits, not just their egos.”
Maybe compostable clothing isn't far off, she already does a Luxury Eco line. A sustainable denim line is due out Spring 2007: "Loudermilk uses a corn-based fiber called Ingeo from Italy and sasawashi, a Japanese leaf that has antibacterial properties, in addition to bamboo and organic cotton blended with 1 percent spandex."
And says Apple profile on the Patrick Tighe, the "urban, green, socially conscious" architect: He’s creating a store where fashion designer Linda Loudermilk can showcase her environmental sensibilities — and not just in the couture clothes she creates using sustainable materials, but in the “Luxury Eco” lifestyle products she’ll introduce to bring more green options to her customers.
“The store is an extension of her whole philosophy,” explains Tighe. “It will be a fully LEED-certified green building, using all recycled or rapidly-renewable materials, with a roof garden irrigated by a storm water retention system. Linda will even sell some of the materials we’re using to build the store, like tile and renewed wood products.”
images A tea ceremony photo by Anatol; Linda Louderback bamboo fiber blouse: "Ever an artist, Loudermilk traces the blouses’ pattern of delicate Audubon birds and swoopy, circular lines modeled after natural forming lava tracks."; a Luisa Beccaria winter 2006 coat.