We are all actors, audience, observers and co-participants: selves upon selves upon selves. But is there such a thing as a ‘real me’ or a ‘genuine self’? How does one live an authentic life? These are some of the questions addressed in this piece where four performers: a model, an actor, a drag king and a cabaret queen, speak candidly about self-presentation and persona, and about how they each consume, shop and get dressed in order to construct or enact identity.
What does a Michael Jackson impersonator, a drag king, a conceptual clothing company, an improv actor, a smell artist and a robot have in common with socks crafted in a DIY Off-White workshop? Well that’s for us to know and you to find out.
Simone de Beauvoir once said that ‘one is not born a woman, but rather becomes one,’ and many would argue that the same could be said about being a man. Today, it seems more apt to talk about ‘masculinities’ in the plural, to underscore the many ways in which one can be a man, or become one.
This month long residency allowed us to explore and experiment under the umbrella of the Palais de Tokyo’s La Manutention initiative. For Vestoj this culminated in three evenings exploring the themes of our most recent issues: On Failure, On Masculinities and On Authenticity. Each theme was investigated through music, dance, films, installations and performance.
Power Dressing examines how clothes emphasise certain roles in power structures, and what happens to our expectations of those roles when these signifiers are altered. With this in mind, we looked at the official and unofficial uniforms that the Palais de Tokyo staff wear, with particular emphasis on the guards’ uniforms.
The Vestoj Storytelling Salon in New York brought together six people who have shaped the New York fashion scene over the past five decades.
In our time of ceaseless busyness and constant fear of falling behind, slowness has turned into a subversive act, an exercise in cultural disobedience. Quiet dissenters can be found everywhere, if only you look hard enough. In a world where the cult of speed sometimes feels overwhelming, could it be that in the cracks of the system, a slower, more reflective pace is gaining traction?
Discarded garments reflect our history, becoming tangible material memories of times past, love lost or found, disappointments endured or victories won. These lost objects of desire could be read as a map to our past, momentarily resurrected and brought back to life once more.
Following his mea culpa interview on PBS’ Charlie Rose, Little John Galliano spoke to Vestoj about bad memories and good ones, the constant rewriting of the past and whether there is in fact such a thing as a ‘free will’.
On the surface, appearing like any other fashionable magazine launch, upon closer inspection this evening was anything but. Hostesses greeted guests with lipstick stains on their teeth, a guest had her skirt tucked in her underwear and another had the price tag on her trousers still attached.
While sharing a meal themed around ‘reading between the lines’, Grazia’s Melanie Rickey, Disegno’s Johanna Agerman, Bon’s Madelaine Levy, Susanna Lau of Susie Bubble, Tamsin Blanchard of the Telegraph and scholars Elizabeth Wilson and Caroline Evans talked about the difficulties of negotiating editorial freedom and commercial dependence, how to bridge theory and practice in fashion and what writing about dress should aim to say about fashion today.
Rick Owens’ Michèle Lamy showed a select audience personal archive images and garments while telling tales about childhood rebellion, her love of adventure, how to create myths and the most important fashion moments in her life.