Fairy-tales and fashion… is a bond made in heaven/hell of the collective subconscious since both feed on our primal fears and desires (mostly of the erotic variety) and look for a way to articulate them into shapes, textures, layers of something tangible, malleable, controllable. For his fall/winter 2015 collection, David C. Wigley turned to East of the Sun and West of the Moon, a classic Norwegian contribution to the Beauty and the Beast fetish genre: a prince who turns into a bear, a fearless girl who tames him, a supporting cast of winds, witches and weaponry of mass seduction. “Whimsical virility” is what Wigley was after and that is exactly what he gave us, take it or leave it.
Since the male protagonist largely remains an animal in illustrations for the tale’s various editions, I was very curious to see what he could look like reimagined off the pages and onto a runway. Hm, he’s a bit all over the place… which makes sense when you’re dealing with transfiguration yet raises flags if you’re dealing with retail. On the (b)right side, the self-assured punkish prince had rather sharp denim jackets and noteworthy retailored sweatshirts (promptly added to my wishlist!). The wool suits and overalls gave the neo-dandy prince perhaps his most exciting looks complete with an assortment of fabulous Coup de Tête hats. All of these clothes were was instantly wearable fun pieces for the mix-n-matchers amongst us.
And then… whatever that cropped fur number was, sure he’s half-bear, we get it, but seriously?! It must’ve been the Siren Call of the Costume that had veered the collection a bit off course into tuxedo-pajama/prom-loungewear velvety ‘n glittery territory of the notorious International Male catalogue-land. That thin line between desire and aversion, must-have and never-have-I-ever, wardrobe and theater stage… began to blur again. However. If East of the Sun and West of the Moon is to be taken as a guidepost, it’s probably best to focus on its theme of perseverance and tenacity in the face of temptations, decoys and detours. Good going, David C. Wigley. Yours is a trek WORTH tagging along for.
P.S. In that last line I used brand name as a word in a sentence about the brand. It seems clever, but it’s kinda actually just tacky. Not unlike the aforementioned cropped fur-thing. Just can’t get over it 🙂 #nofur