EACH x OTHER Paris FW16
(Photo: Skylar Williams)
Central to EACH x OTHER is providing meeting grounds for fashion and art. In fact, designer Ilan DeLouis and artistic director Jenny Mannerheim cite the poem by Robert Montgomery, “Safe and warm here / in the fire of each other,” as the spark behind their initial collaboration in 2012.
This show orbited around a billboard piece by Robert Montgomery declaring, “The Future is an Invisible Playground.” Pamphlets of poetry from both Montgomery and Greta Bellamagina were also handed out.
The current collection, “Love is a Verb,” takes some favorite current trends like a good leather jacket, a puffy fur coat, a heavy trench, and a party turtleneck and makes them just different enough to be their own.
For the record, a “party turtleneck” is a garment of clothing with a high neckline that is unfairly limited to the daytime by many, but works just as well — or even better — for soirée attire. Paired especially well with a party turtleneck would be the denim dress with suspenders.
Since one of the aims of EACH x OTHER is to pair fashion with art, I figure I’d talk a little more about the poetry handed out at the show and the music selection. The poems contained messages against war, against the glorification of celebrities, and, interestingly for a prêt-à-porter fashion show, against consumerism.
The poems contained messages against the glorification of celebrities …
One of Montgomery’s poems is:
“I close my eyes and think of all the things I
Don’t want and I visualise them rolling by,
Vacuum cleaners, 3-d tvs, new phones and
Cars and hand bags, a neat house in the
Suburbs. I think of how unhappy these things
Would make me and then I am free. If you
Don’t want these things they can never
Truly take you. Then I think of wood and I
Think of my bones as wood, something
Slow and put here a long time ago”
(Cambridge Heath Road, London, 2011)
(Most photos: Skylar Williams)
Reminiscent of the theme of this poem is a sweatshirt’s declaration, “Poetry finally kills ‘celebrity culture.’” Perhaps a jab at the way the fashion industry is paired with Hollywood celebrity increasingly today, EACH x OTHER insists that fashion is best paired with other art.
EACH x OTHER insists that fashion is best paired with other art.
“It turned out this way cos you
Dreamed it this way, cos all you could
Dream is what you saw in magazines,
And this is how it feels to win, and
Have everything, all the luxury and
Power you ever wanted and still feel
Disgusted. Ronald Reagan blues/a
Million-dollar house in L.A./
50 f*cking white anaemic stars my
Darling and all the blood and dust of
The world on your hands”
(Old Street, London, 2012)
Even after acquiring fortune, everything you ever wanted, you might still feel “disgusted.” The music selection for the show, “Hey Now” and “Wasting My Young Years” by London Grammar adds a yet another facet to this mantra of dissatisfaction.
Even after acquiring fortune, you might still feel “disgusted.”
The first song expresses an irrepressible infatuation and an instinctive burning desire, similar to the dreams of luxury in the poem:
“Hey now, letters burning by my bed for you
Hey now, I can feel my instincts here for you, hey now”
(“Hey Now” by London Grammar, from If You Wait, 2013)
The song “Wasting My Young Years” posits that we might be “chasing old ideas” and walking a straight line through life, unquestioning if there might be a better way to live.
This progression — from the chase to acquisition to dissatisfaction — is a framework that can be applied to anything, but EACH x OTHER underscores its application in consumerism, and the thoughtlessness that often accompanies the pursuit of fashion. The designer, in this poetry / fashion collaboration, challenges us to act not as reflections of others, but rather to reflect more and propose our own style.