Techno Funereal Warriors

One of my favorite fashion narratives to emerge in the last two years has been the rise of the Asian designer, particularly in New York.  Name check:  Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Jason Wu, Joseph Altuzarra, Thakoon, Richard Chai.  All Asian, with the exception of Gurung, all yellow, youngish (who can tell with Asians?) and all good looking boys.  Bryan Boy has even named the posse his Gaysians.  The part of the narrative I love the most is the idea that the reason that these designers are suddenly appearing and getting promoted now is the rise of the Asian market.

Did you get that?  Not their own talent, or the photo ready pretty faces.  Not their ability or their skill.  They just happen to be the right color at the right time.  Despite evidence to suggest that the burgeoning Chinese market is really interested in the very un-Asian helmed and very established brands Prada, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

Can we discuss white privilege?

And if you really looked at what these designers are proposing, then this narrative, would seem even more untrue or the poor boys are so out of touch with their cultures.

This is going to be the rare posting where I am focused only on the coming season, no weird ass traipse through the annals(tee hee, yes I am 2) of fashion history.

Alexander Wang is probably THE golden boy among the young Asian fashion designers, the biggest show, the biggest aftershow party, the coolest models.  Everybody wants a piece of him.  Let’s see what he’s proposing for Spring Summer 2011, which will be available right as my most fashion forward Chinky brethren get ready for Chinese New Year, when we wear embarrassingly bright colors, as a tribe we look like Rainbow Bright threw up all over us.  What we don’t wear is white and black, because they are colors of mourning and inauspicious.

Cue Alexander Wang:

all photos:

Ummm. Auspicious FAIL.

I was however really interested in this army of techno funereal warriors.  Marching forward, fierce, thrown out of Chinese New Year visiting to be sure, but fierce anyway.

It made me think of 90’s Ann Demeulemeester you know like these photos from her archives:


Sorry couldn’t resist the historical reference.

Also, this historical reference:

Of course there are masters of this sort of funereal aesthetic.  Notably, and it has been suggested, very profitably, Rick Owens.  For Spring 2011, he proposed a mostly grey palette with these incredible hair combs and the best winged eyeliner I’ve seen in a while, extreme and soft at the same time.  The girls looked like they knew what the hell they were doing and if someone died, they’re not wasting time grieving.  No, if someone died, they are out to kick some ass!


Rick Owens also owns the label of that other master of the monochromatic techno show stopper, Gareth Pugh.  When Gareth Pugh first appeared, I was really excited by the uncompromising aesthetic.  His collections, since moving his shows from London to Paris, have gotten much more wearable, or as the fashion press might say, “mature” and “sophisticated”.  Whatever. For Spring 2011, Gareth Pugh proposed a collection that perhaps, if not intentionally, then by some bizarre fluke, seems to connect with the terracotta warriors at the top of this post.  And OOH! Men! Okay, 1 man.


I know, I know, that might be a bit more Japanese than Chinese, but it’s still yellow.  You dig?

Continuing the idea of the fierce woman in funereal colors ready for battle, this time with war paint in her hair, Spring as envisioned by Joseph Altuzarra.  It’s kinda primal.  But also oddly polished (that’s fashion press speak for “wearable” and “expensive looking”, both good things in their books.)


In a way the ultimate statement of this fierce army of mourning women out for blood belongs to Riccardo Tiscci at Givenchy and his gorgeous Fall/Winter 2010 Couture collection of just 11 outfits, displayed as tableau vivant.



3 Responses to “Techno Funereal Warriors”
  1. Tom Bardwell says:

    The last image is so true, miss Diva. The look is DON’T FUCK WITH US.
    I live.

  2. Crystal says:

    While Wang’s looks have some hanger appeal and are perhaps among the more “wearable” pieces, they don’t strike me as “fashion.” As in, Nina and Michael would rip into him and he’d be Auf’d before mid-season. On the other hand, Gretchen won last season, so maybe not…I wonder where they got that crazy crack they were smoking while judging.

    • And Alexander Wang is the DARLING of the scene.
      I think Nina was smoking the “I work at Marie Claire” crack
      and Michael was smoking the
      “I have a t-shirt license” crack.
      just saying

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: