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July 19th, 2013 / Milan, Italy/ Rob Chamaeleo
Enfant Terrible: French terminology that translates to “terrible child.” An enfant
terrible is one who defies, unorthodoxly; one who turns water into vodka and pours
it inside the punch at an AA meeting. In fashion, we like that, we like the curious
bunch; not necessarily the malicious implications of it all, but we like the stir
and the mayhem, the gasps of the English tealadies. And if we “like it,” we euphemize
it; we translate it to reverie and fascination. Enfant Terrible, how many times have
we heard of that in fashion? Too many, and we can attribute that to the ballyhoo
of the journalist-
Franco Moschino, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Alexander McQueen, just to name a few, have all earned that title, well deserved, as they caused their commotions in their respective periods of glory. With all that has happened in fashion, is there anything that can startle us anymore? Is there a new McQueen? Let me take the liberty and respond that with a very biased: No, there is no new McQueen; but there surely are designers who propose radical changes, in their own distinct ways.
Jonathan Anderson is the new enfant terrible, and his proposition is androgyny. Androgyny by itself is too simple a concept, a burnt subject at least today, as androgyny and unisex have even struck couture through Gaultier and Hourani (and Cardin in the 60s?) So what is so terrible about this “enfant?” It is the way that he presents these clothes: asexual, nonsexual, neuter, as you please…
‘'I like idea of a shared wardrobe when garments don’t really have a sex. It’s about
what a garment means to a person.” -
So let me correct my misguidance and say that this is not even androgyny; it goes
beyond that. Jonathan Anderson unchains a new epicene argument, one of those “design-
Clearly, when the Fall 2013 male models trod down the runway, in “skirts,” ruffles,
If people start opening up to fashion’s articulate side, they will understand there are more than just immediate visuals: clothes can be clever. Evidently, one cannot exempt the “mad designers” from all their madness, but in Anderson’s case, the tantrums that appeared in the media were quite melodramatic (CNN? VogueParis.com’s most bashed?). All this enfant terrible proposed were clothes for people that are not about people. Let us give him a break. This terrible child is special.
Concept in Fashion:
Enfant Terrible: J.W. Anderson