2017 has been a rough year for many markets, especially in the creative world. Two of the most influential icons of the year teach us a thing or two about remaining constant. Without wit and tenacity, the entire puzzle piece would crumble. We’d have to either start again or move on. But then, what’s the point of advancement if we just gave up?
A name that takes us back to the stories of the Silk Road is Rei Kawakubo, the solitary punk-chic creator of Comme des Garçons, a fashion company ahead of its time. Paid with the price of intense, chaotic scrutiny of conceptualizing the next “it” design, Rei, an elderly visionary, determined her end was near. Perhaps she must retire, as deep rumination might be undermining her.
For Rei, creation is vital and troubling. “In a way, I do feel like I’ve got myself into a trap. But I can’t stop. There’s never a moment when I say, ‘OK, I’ve done it.’”
Her collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York presented the “Art of In-Between” on May 4. The only time when an exhibition of a living designer occurred. She presented several substances of her vision in “Fashion/Anti-Fashion; Design/Not Design; Then/Now; High/Low; Self/Other; Object/Subject; and Clothes/Not Clothes.”
As a designer attempting to fathom and compress the universe within her designs and representations, Rei may never truly acquire what she’s been looking for and maybe never will.
Rei’s determination in finding an answer through her designs sets her up to be one of the most important people of the year. As the future is at the end of the road, a single idea can take you a long way.
Another name we all know too well is that of Anna Wintour. Wintour’s career, as well as the life and future of Vogue America, is turning out to be jellylike. But with Anna’s momentum and willpower, Vogue will overcome. In present-day America, with digital advancements, political and economic unrest, the future of print magazines is a tricky game to play.
Wintour’s success doesn’t come from meticulous management like Meryl Streep’s role in the movie The Devil Wears Prada, but from Wintour’s sociability in all fashion matters. She’s proficient in financial security and investments, politics, people and the arts. She’s a package deal with the burden of downfall lurking in the shadows.
Vogue, as Wintour said, is a living, breathing thing. It tells you as the reader, exactly what is happening at that very moment, it isn’t narrow-minded anymore, much like fashion’s stereotype. But social change in the eyes of humanity at the right moment is fashion for Wintour. It’s lifestyle, culture and movement. Vogue is amidst us as the times change.
Wintour also interviews influential people to ask for their opinion and advice as to where, what, why and how to move forward, based on previous paradigms in world history. The proposals recommended could be great or small, in specialized industries, or on a global front.
For the digital age, the watchword is flux. Be activated and welcome the thrilling transition. “If you worry about every little tiny criticism, you won’t get up in the morning. It just comes with the territory.”