I have mixed feelings about this. I bought my first skirt ten years ago and have since been craving gender-bending menswear that could hold its own without becoming a razzle-dazzle drag costume or androgynous performance art piece. (Nothing whatsoever wrong with drag or performance art, for the record…) Then along came Patrick Salonga with his spring-summer 2015 collection that made me spam friends’ inboxes, walls and screens with links and reposts captioned: finally!!! Contemporary garments that deliver a re-imagined masculine silhouette without fetishizing/exoticizing, for example, middle-eastern wardrobe staples. This is inspired yet non-derivative. Hello love at first look… [keep reading, it gets better-worse-better]
The thrill began to waver as the collection seemed to wither into black leather shorts and banal bandit-kerchiefs. So much for existential hooliganism proclaimed by Salonga’s bio statement. Oh well, and then I saw the season’s lookbook featuring nooses as accessories. Talk about an instant sober-upper / downer. No, just, no. Hardly any amount of context could warrant this in pret-a-porte.
The whole thing reminded me, in a roundabout way, the opening of a Mylène Farmer tour Avant Que L’Ombre at Bercy. The first few intense minutes set expectation soooh spectacularly high. Then the capsule opens and what follows is just a decent pop number… that somehow feels like a letdown. I’ma shut up for now and wait for this Friday’s runway presentation at TOM*. In those haunting vocals of Mylene Farmer: Peut-Être Toi … Perhaps, it’s you, after all. Team Salonga, membership pending.