Urban Sentiments: Coda Three Iconic Girls Part 2

For me there is nothing more stimulating, potentially transcendent and pleasurable than collaboration. In order for collaboration to go beyond merely working together to the achievement of something truly innovative, the partners must possess certain characteristics. Collaborators must be true to themselves in all things, they must have the capacity to dream and imagine and they must be able to attend to the practical yet be a visionary at the same time. 

Patti Smith and Ann Demeulemeester share these characteristics and have collaborated on several occasions most recently when Smith wrote the forward for Demeulemeester’s book. Both women have a free spirited approach to life and both (whether it is saying no to a teacher who wanted her to imitate Coco Chanel or caring whether someone looks at your style or not) steadfastly go their own way. Both are practical yet capable of romantic and imaginative musings. Pragmatism is shown by Ann in her approach to fitting for more than one size woman and Patti when she acknowledges the materialism of fashion but also says, “I just like clothes”. Their work speaks for itself regarding their capacity to imagine and dream.

LunaLuz shirt dress, Jil Sander oxfords

In this photo I am doing what Patti Smith would call "Woolgathering". On a very ordinary day, during an ordinary life I am daydreaming. My favorite of the two women’s collaborations is the one realized in Demeulemeester's Spring Summer 2000 collection. The collection takes its name from a short autobiographical novel, really a collection of prose poems, written by Smith entitled “Woolgathering”. First published in the late 80s as a series of small books, Smith credits the work with pulling her from a state of melancholy and fulfilling an earlier imagining that she would one day write a book. For Patti Smith, woolgathering or “indulgence in aimless thought or dreamy imagining” is the stuff that can pull us out of states of grief and longing. For the collection, Demeulemeester took excerpts from Smith's writing and embroidered them onto silk tulle dresses and cotton tops and as models walked the runway, Smith read excerpts from her book. The clothing evokes a sense of ghostly fluidity and one imagines wearing them as we take the flights of fancy compellingly described in the prose.

For photos of the collaboration see my Pinterest Board "Woolgathering"

How does your "Woolgathering" take you on flights of fancy and what do you wear for the trip?


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