Josep Font has defined his vision for Delpozo in three short years and the exaggerated proportions and elaborate details of his aesthetic were on display more than ever at yesterdays’s runway show. Wearable, and often predictable, contemporary collections tend to crowd the New York Fashion Week schedule, allowing Font’s creativity and imagination to stand out. He found inspiration for Spring 2016 in Gustav Klimt’s muse Emilie Flöge and Federico García Lorca’s Gypsy Ballads, two references worthy of his fantastical approach.
Though the ideas were inspiring, the collection was often executed in such a way that came across as overly theatrical. I found myself pondering where one might wear a sheer green floor length shirt dress with rows of pink chiffon or a button down with two dimensional orbs for sleeves, mint trousers and a metallic fringed cummerbund? How does one sit, eat or walk wearing such clothes? Outfits like these are too elaborate for the workplace, too fancy for brunch, too casual for black tie, and could possibly upstage the bride at a wedding. That the models were all Caucasian with no exception, and walked in such a punctilious way, made it nearly impossible to imagine their existence in a world outside of Font’s fantasy.
A particularly stylish friend of mine asks herself “Is this fashion or is this a costume?” before walking out the door each morning, a question which echoes in my head often during fashion week. One could argue that a costume is worn in a fictional setting and fashion is worn in real life but in deciding what to wear each day a person, in effect, is choosing her own reality. Or in this case, choosing Delpozo’s. The problem is not fantastical fashion. Of course fashion depends on fantasy, but the statement fashion brands that have had retail success such as Comme des Garçons, Rick Owens, and Maison Margiela have all grounded their art by clearly defining their customer (and offering well designed commercial basics like tees, leather jackets and boots). What’s missing from Font’s proposal is a clear definition of his customer based on reality. Another detail worth mentioning is that Rei Kawakubo, Rick Owens, Martin Margiela and now Margiela’s successor John Galliano, have always designed clothing for strong, fearless and fiercely independent women. The Delpozo woman is precious like a doll, she cannot sit, eat, walk or work – and I’m just not sure any real women are looking to buy into that kind of fantasy anymore.
– Rachael Wang