From “Fashion and the Romantic” by Rebecca Liao:
There is a call-and-response pattern to fashion collections from season to season, the frenetic creative pace requiring the harshest detox to move from one intense focus to another. This fall, after a tranquil adventure underwater for Spring 2012, designers returned to the old stand-bys of darkness and Romanticism, with whom fashion has had a long love affair. Their cases were certainly helped by Lisbeth Salander, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and how much the look of her character has stayed with previously fresh-faced Rooney Mara. With her signature fringed bangs, blood-red lip, heavy eyebrows, porcelain complexion and supermodel’s bone structure, Mara captured the imaginations of previously inspiration-starved designers and fashion houses looking for the next cool clothes horse to move sales. It isn’t often that a cultural ethos, even one like Romanticism, the emotionalism of which still resonates broadly (though its other sensibilities, such as nationalism and horror, can seem dated and idiosyncratic), so thoroughly permeates a fashion season. The acid kaleidoscope that is fashion month can confer relevance on anything — it did Romanticism one better by liberating it from its historical baggage.
Image: from Alexander McQueen’s last collection, “Angels and Demons,” Autumn/Winter 2010 (www.alexandermcqueen.com)