A few thoughts from Alessandro Turci following the presentations of haute couture fall/winter 2021-22.
Following the presentations of haute couture fall/winter 2021-22, a few thoughts and questions arise spontaneously.
Why? And above all what are we seeing?
An initial answer is given to us by one of the latest interviews with Yves Saint Laurent in his Parisian atelier while setting up one of his haute couture collections. Surprised by the bizarre proposals of fellow designers, YSL asked his interviewer if the collections on the catwalk would actually have a sales response. “No, mostly they are made for brand promotion, communication and image” … amazed and a little bewildered, he replied … “I couldn’t create something that isn’t worn! I can not afford it!”
A mentality now almost lost, obsolete, far from the intellectual spectacle of the “young” creators.
Let’s remember what couture means, the atelier work done on the body, manual, ad personam, a search for workmanship, details, excellence, rarities dedicated to an elite of very demanding buyers.
That’s why roads with a high-profile prêt-à-porter often intersect, interpenetrate.
The basic problem, as always, lies not in the form but in the sense, as Paul Klee already stated in his artistic manifesto.
If couture is a different way of building the garment, which necessarily feeds on time and careful work, on a profusion of energy at various levels without reservations, then here lies the research, in the wise competence that looks to the future not for strangeness but for the personal vision.
The eye sees what it knows and therefore, to see more, it is necessary to know more.
The low level of knowledge shown by the collections speaks to us of mannerism, baroqueism, complacency, not of renewal. It speaks of forms but not of contents.
Significant, signified, referent, Saussure’s dialectical triangle is mystified.
The image is enough in itself, the symbol is no longer linked to a reality to represent nor could we say to a need to be satisfied.
The customer is not looking for culture but for the effect as proof of the still absolute validity of Guy Debord’s premonitory thought.
So what’s the point of couture without the customer to dress?
What if that same customer no longer has competence or discernment but confuses the effect with the construction, the signifier with the meaning, the symbol with the image?