Revivals. Fashion loves them. Look over last year’s fashion trends alone and you’ll see that at least half of the 20th Century’s decades got a look in. The Victorian era, which admittedly closed as the 20th Century opened, barely got a mention however. You can see why designers generally avoid it: a literal translation of the Victorian Era into the 21st Century would be loved by close to no one. And yet there are so many motifs that can be reinterpreted and all without the need to bring any Victorian sensibilities along for the ride. New York’s Ruffian have done so with some of their collections, and Andrew Gn drove home the message with his fall 2012 runway at Paris fashion week yesterday.
Gn did so with a foundation based upon the Victorian Gothic movement, ironically itself a fashionable revival, about his collection. That Gothic edge, easily aligned with winter 2012’s coming noir trend, worked constantly across runway collection’s accessories – these are easy enough stories to tell.
As clothing it’s easier to spot where it does and doesn’t work. As day and party / evening wear? Here Andrew Gn doesn’t so much lay the Victorian era story on thick as he does hack it back, raise the hems and infuse youth. As formal gowns? Well that’s a different story. They’re all still told from a luxury standpoint, but where Gn strays from the Victorian narrative into something a few hundred years preceding the risk is run of telling a story of modern fashion as costume. And it’s for that reason that some of the more Medieval leaning pieces have an air of cosplay about them. Therein lies the danger of a Victorian revival: unlike later 20th Century revivals, modern takes on the Victorian era and its predecessors may leave you looking like you’re playing dress ups.
You can see all of the Andrew Gn autumn (fall) / winter 2012 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photography by Imaxtree