Sunday, 14 October 2012

Reading... encens

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Encens is a publication to get utterly lost in. More object than book, each well crafted issue collates and articulates convincing, fruitful points of view that transcend time or trend. It is an exploration of its two editors and publishers, Samuel Drira and Sybille Walter, aesthetics and something of a manifesto against disposable fashion. Stylist Drira and photographer Walter share a passion for the drape and fall of clothing, a subtle tailoring and a softness of finish and form. Throughout this weighty hardback, there is an incessant delivery of their vision as opposed to a summation of the trends or season based investigations that we have come to expect from style magazines. Neither Dirra nor Walter are obsessed with clothes of the moment. For them, the best fashion has three common denominators - simplicity and style but also a sense of timelessness, the capacity to either be or become a classic. Effortlessly moving back and forth between the present and the past, encens moulds an enchanting world that has its reader desperate to discover. Issue twenty nine focusses on a topic ever close to our thoughts, a personal uniform.


I have always been fascinated by the idea of uniform. No, I'm not admitting to a long held fetish for the attire worn by french maids, schoolgirl or even nurses but rather an interest in what individuals regularly turn to for comfort and confidence, the sartorial habits of the everyday. The latest issue of encens shares this interest and examines it closely. With content from the likes of Dior by Hedi Slimane, Comme des Garçons, Rick Owens, Damir Doma, Issey Miyake, Chanel from Coco to Karl, Michel Schreiber and so many more, it is an absorbing delight. I've been lost in it all morning. Despite the temptation to share every single page with you, I've decided to pick out a few highlights. Let the images inspire...

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I'll leave you with how this issue compelling issue began, an exchange between Mary McFadden and Calvin Klein from 1978. Here the pair discuss the merits and problems of uniform. The simplicity and ease of them versus the potential loss of individuality and enjoyment of dressing...

'Mary McFadden: What about the uniform? I think it's the easiest thing in the world to put on, atleast every four weeks, the same thing to feel comfortable in and to have no decisions to make every morning. You do that Calvin, I do it,  My Grandfather had one hundred grey suits and one hundred of the same tie and never made a decision. I mean, I think it's a fascinating other way of looking at dressing; you're comfortable and you don't think about it. I wear more or less the same dress every day. I have absolutely no problem.
Calvin Klein: I think comfort is really important - because everyone is so busy doing things, working or moving or accomplishing something that comfort related in fashion to all of that. But I don't know about uniforms. That word scares me. That sounds like computers and numbers. I don't have the time for either; but I still have a sense of myself; and I don't like things packaged for me. I don't want to call a store and say send me a room of furniture. And I don't want to ear the same clothes that everyone else wears because I just need something on my back. I still have a sense of individuality.'

1 comment:

Low Couture said...

I consider myself a Fashion person - experimental even - but i loved wearing a uniform in high school (blue or white oxford, khakis, usually boat shoes..)

I felt really stylish in that uniform.

Great post!

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