This week in an email to WWD, Rick Owens responded to all the controversy surrounding his interpretation of reveal and/or conceal in the clothing he presented in his AW 2015 menswear collection. Reminding us that there are countless statues and sculptures in museums and other public spaces where the male form is draped and/or revealed in all its’ glory and that women appear nude in fashion shows all the time, he suggests that along with portrayals of sensuality comes the potential for grace and freedom. Likening fashion to other artistic forms he asserts his right to use this imagery in his work in the same manner a filmmaker or sculptor might. Most importantly, Owens introduces the concepts of fear and shame into the conversation. The designer reveals that he was heavily influenced by fear and shame as a young person and because of this he wants to present a world that is free of fear and shame; a world of loving acceptance.
Used to remaining rather private, and believe it or not kind of shy, blogging has introduced me to a new world of risk taking. I have decisions to make that revolve around reveal and/or conceal and moving beyond fear and shame. Girls like me, who I call “Good and/or Bad Girls”, are compelled to risk and provoke but must simultaneously conquer the fear attached to being “good” and the shame that may happen when you are “bad”. When designers offer us opportunities to reveal and/or conceal and transgress we have access to a wardrobe that allows us to be Good and/or Bad Girls and in this case “Boys”. They give us a way to feel graceful and free while breaking rules, in most cases rules usually made for us by others.
I saw the potential for this photo but it involved transgression and being a Good and/or Bad Girl. Clearly marked as territory not to be infringed on, I wanted to climb on the pedestal and channel an image of woodland nymph in the middle of unblemished snow. Terrified though triumphant, I took a breath, hauled myself up and we were able to get this one shot off before an army of park workers started screaming and running towards us. When I look at this photo, perhaps not as glamorous as some of the others in this series, I think of the statues in parks that Rick Owens refers to and his belief that pushing through fear and shame makes you graceful and free. In this photo I am free because I took a risk for my vision. I wonder if this is how Rick Owens felt when his clothes walked down that runway?
For looks from my favorite designers, including Rick Owens, that offer possibilities to reveal and/or conceal see my Pinterest board.
Do you ever feel graceful and free because you took a risk that involved fashion?