Always one to make us look beyond the fabric and into deeper meaning behind what we wear, Vivienne Tam challenges us with her Fall/Winter 2013 collection not to revolt but rather to “[evolve] to transcend politics and ideologies and move toward a…common good”. It’s a heavy subject to tackle with a clothing collection, but Vivienne Tam has a way of showing us that there are no limits in fashion and placing heavy context on a piece of clothing is okay. Her inspiration came from both the punk movement and Pop Art, which led to a collection that is not for the faint of heart. By viewing a single look, you know that Vivienne Tam means business, and encourages us to look beyond the clothing. But looking past the clothing is very difficult to do, as the garments- without all of the context- have such strength and dimension that they force you to take a closer look.
Vivienne Tam used black, white and red predominantly with pops of electric blue that has the suggestion of Mondrian’s color palettes in his work from the 1930’s and 40’s. She also used “graffiti prints of Mao’s writings and other mantras” on the sleeves, backs, skirts and bodices of many of her garments, taking her punk inspiration and running with it. With a collection that is revolutionary both in theme and in design, what one comes away with after viewing it is the idea that sometimes fashion is more than just what we wear. It represents who we are, where we’re from and what we aspire for.
Theme: Vivienne Tam’s F/W 2013 collection is about “cultural dialoque, change and awakenings”, and taking her Pop Art and punk movement inspirations, she has created set of looks from jumpsuits to trench coats that is a symbol for the times and for our need as a people to move forward in hopes of being more unified; that we can “transcend politics and ideologies”.
Elements: Breaking down the looks, the elements that stood out the most were leather tartan panels, mesh mantra graffiti and wide sleeve cuffs.
Beauty: Pencil-thin cat eyes with a black lip and faux bangs made with twisted-up ponytails.
Stand-outs: Black utilitarian jumpsuit, turtleneck and military-inspired pants with mantra graffiti head to toe, and a black zipped trench coat with a plaid panel.
By Whitney S. Williams
Photos by Whitney S. Williams