Can fashion be fun?
Anna Dello Russo has long embraced kooky fashion. Photo: Getty Images
When Emmanuelle Alt released her Wham-spoof video to promote the new Vogue.fr website, we learnt two things: 1. DayGlo fingerless gloves may be making a comeback, and 2. Vogue editors CAN have fun.
With the rise of the blogger and the democratisation of fashion, the industry is learning to let loose, embracing oddball trends and celebrating the expression of personal style. Gone are the days when “proper” journalists would fill the front row and Anna Wintour’s immoveable hair and glasses reigned supreme. Anna Dello Russo, who admits that she “sometimes looks like a clown”, is part of the new breed of editor who dares to have fun with high-fashion. The Vogue Japan editor-at-large takes whack styling to a cosmic level, pairing Balenciaga with Minnie Mouse ears and rivalling Lady Gaga in all manner of originality and surprise. Daphne Guinness has also perfected the art of looking interesting. The hat-touting beer heiress and couture clothes horse catches eyes wherever she goes, as does Iris Apfel, the 90-year-old New Yorker famous for her bold ensembles and flying-saucer specs.
Today’s fashion frontrunners forgo it-bags and skinny jeans in favour of pom poms, fun digital prints and - in singer Nicki Minaj’s case - KFC-inspired jewellery. As Rookie editor-in-chief Tavi Gevinson says: “Dress however you please and embrace rude stares. It means that what you’re wearing isn’t boring!” One of Gevinson's favourite bloggers, Nicole Eymard from Fashion Forestry (fashionforestry.blogspot.com), dresses a little like your eccentric high-school art teacher. In a good way. Meanwhile, Meg Gray from Vogue Australia sticks out in a sea of black and charcoal at fashion week, clad in Romance Was Born, Miu Miu platforms and topping it off with fairy floss-coloured hair. Models Iekeliene Stange and Hanne Gaby Odiele have ditched the model-off-duty uniform of biker jackets and organic cotton tees for kooky glasses, oversized cardigans and mid-length skirts.
Style icon Iris Apfel. Photo: Getty Images
Designers are keeping the good times going on the catwalk. This spring, Anglo-French duo Meadham Kirchhoff constructed a balloon archway around their runway and dreamed up a mad combo of vintage cartoon appliqués and pastel Marabou coats. The ensuing spectacle was reminiscent of a child’s birthday party. House of Holland delivered a fun, pastel-coloured take on skinheads which featured suspenders and bleach-splattered pants. The designer, Henry Holland, summed up his collection in saying that "If it stops being fun, there won't be much of a House left."
Fun, far-out fashion is about not taking yourself too seriously. And it appears to have some good times ahead.