Contrary to being fickle, fluff, and superficial, fashion is
one of the most important, although under rated art forms of all
time. Beyond requirement to protect us from the elements, and
cover our nakedness, fashion goes a step further, and merges the
practical necessity of every day living, with the higher minded
aesthetic of art for arts sake. Largely Impermanent, reactionary,
and now, fashion is as brave as the ready to wear moving body
that displays it's motif.
There was a time when men wore skirts, even today with kilts, and masculinity was not questioned. Today, when a man buys a Jean Paul Gaultier ‘manskirt,’ he is not only acknowledging fashions historical perspective, he is immediately making a political statement. When Marlene Dietrich first wore a suit with pants and tie, she caused an uproar with her lesbian proclivities.
Fashion can box us in, through the adherence of conformist stereotypes, or it can breathily liberate us, such as with the early freedoms of the flappers, beats, mods, greasers, surfers, hippies, punks, rude boys, riot grrrls, metalheads, glams, goths, fetishists, and more.
Fashion says out loud, without us having to say a word, who we are. Or, it can hide us like a chameleon as we bridge stratas of society from day to night and back again. It is a form of art that is purely global, that can be shared, that can be as daring as life itself. It is as important as we want it to be. And it is ours.
To be a great fashion designer then, is to be an artist of the purest form. An artist who manifests thought to action, from mind to body, in the literal sense. It is one who can not only make you feel great and confident by the clothes he or she designs that you may wear, but that can influence a generation. Maggie Barry is one such designer. I had the fortune to catch up with her, Hollywood’s hottest designer to the stars, after her sold out show and red carpet party this spring.
Bruce Edwin: You obviously had a lot of rock and
roll in the show, does rock influence you a lot as a
Maggie Barry: We’re in Hollywood, so I guess if I were in Paris, I’d be inspired by something in Paris, but I’m in Hollywood, and I work with music, and rock, and just growing up, I’d ask my self ‘Why am I in this business in the first place?’ It was because of all of my music icons, that made me want to make clothes. I didn’t think about clothes that real people wore, I thought about clothes that had memorable moments, so that’s why I always think in terms of ‘Is it legendary?’ ‘Will it make a good picture?’ ‘Will I remember it forever and not hate it later?’ ‘Does it have fun?’ And I always approach any thing that way. If I was going to make a sweater I think that way. So that’s kind of how we do it, and we’re lucky that we have a grassroots market that we are free to do what we want.
Bruce Edwin: That’s great.
Maggie Barry: Yeah, it’s very freeing.