11 April 2009

Organic by John Patrick

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It's official. Style.com is calling it "depression chic". Hmmm. Something about that just doesn't sit right with me. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with someone drawing inspiration from the era. It had an aesthetic that no other era has had and I'm certainly drawn to it, but something about the fashion glamazons over at Vogue dubbing it "chic" and turning it into something luxe and expensive just makes my stomach turn a bit. Perhaps that's me being a reverse snob? It reminds me of the early 90s when grunge hit the runway and suddenly became something it was never intended to be. It also begs the age old question of "which came first?" I've been reading about depression era fashion for months on blogs. So... did the blog world influence this trend or were the blogs simply picking up on the trend earlier than most people?

Either way, as much as the idea of $800 depression-inspired designer dresses makes me cringe, I have to admit that I'm drawn to the Organic collection by John Patrick. He states that his spring collection was about "dust-bowl" creativity and points out that the era was about "crazy resourcefulness." I think the collection also appeals to me because seventy percent of the line is made entirely from sustainable materials. That sort of resourcefulness seems to echo the attitude of the original era. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a gingham print mini dress.
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22 comments:

corrie said...

"Depression Chic" makes my stomach turn a bit too. It mocks the state we're in now and the state people were in during the 30s. I too like the idea of drawing inspiration from the era, but shouldn't simple dresses made from inexpensive fabric with no real new design innovation be priced affordably?

I think I will make my own "Depression Chic" dresses with whatever's on sale at the fabric store.

ryder said...

i have to agree with you and corrie. though this is a very good looking collection and i love how it is styled- especially these haphazard up-dos!

alissa said...

i agree - it seems a little backwards to charge insane prices for something thats meant to look simple/handmade etc.
they are beautiful. when i think of this 'depression chic' trend that has come about i think a lot more about people using pieces they already have in different ways, getting a lot more into vintage/thrift stores etc. using what we already have vs producing new - but making it look badass all the while :)

AlicePleasance said...

Depression Chic or not, just the idea of buying anything wearable for $800+ makes me cringe!

Rebecca said...

I agree totally. Though the line is cute, it does seem ridiculous to turn that concept into high fashion. Disturbing to see models who wouldn't know anything about hard work or being poor wearing these sorts of clothes... tacky.

Ace said...

Leave it to Vogue to miss the point of depression era fashion. Those little gingham dresses are of course darling, perhaps I can find a similar one in my local Sallies. This is after all a depression.

whimsykid said...

I completely agree-- and $800 dresses are ridiculous anytime! The whole point of being resourceful and creative is completely absent... I feel like a lot of fashion-y types superficially throw around random things as "influences" way too often just to get people's attention.

But I do like this line, it's cute.

jayne said...

the gingham is lovely, but yes I find it paradoxical and insulting to call it depression chic

anabela / fieldguided said...

I agree, agree, agree. The same goes for "recessionista." When one has been living frugally for one's entire adult life, it's hard to be a "fabulous recessionista," whatever that means. I laughed when I saw "Derelicte" in Zoolander, but to actually see "Depression Chic" used sincerely is baffling.

copperoranges said...

ughhhh sometimes fashion just appalls me.

Amelia said...

I really like this collection. The gingham is lovely.

Yeah, I'm curious about the which came first question, too. It seems like bloggers influence the trends, but it's hard to tell.

kad the mad said...

that is typical! does kind of remind me of erin wasson declaring homeless people to be oh so chic! people who draw inspiration from something they don't even understand, beeing shallow and only seeing what they want to see. great. i think it's okay to get inspired by the depression, but doing this in a way, that doesn't only follow fashion but also the main spirit of this era, is very important to me.i was just trying to find similar items on ebay, because they are insanely high priced and why settle for copies if there are still originals out there, and i came across the loveliest gingham print dress. it's not my size and shipping would be to high for me, but maybe you'll enjoy it.
here's the link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/30S-VINTAGE-SHEER-BLUE-WHITE-CHECK-DRESS-38-30-40-EXC_W0QQitemZ220391642588QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item220391642588&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A0|293%3A2|294%3A50

The Gel Journals said...

Fashion is for the herd, people! Be your own.

I agree with all above. And unfortunately, I know that these mags have "spies" in the blog world that check out what the next big thing is gonna be. BUT, it's also designers that do it. They're constantly influenced by what people are wearing around them. Therefore I'm sure you have some "spies" on you - waiting with bated breathe where you will lead their little team of money hungry sheep next. Sorry to say. :(

And I too prefer the originals. Why have something new with no history and altered to suit this "modern palate" when you can own something that has its own story and own soul for a fraction of the price?

makes me mad!

Alice said...

Love love loveable site you have here sally jane!
I would like to swap links with you? Have a look at my website, I'm a designer with a blog..
Here is my link:
(if you can't view it, have a look and copy and paste the one I have at my resources page,bottom on front page)
alice fashion news & fashion blog

http://www.hotcakefashion.com

The depression chique is right on the nail and I like the fact that it's brought up and under the loop to be critesized, fashion is a statement not an insult..

All the best! Alice

Abbey at MilkChildren said...

Haha im a sucker for that last white dress, i tell you. Very true comments. and also the hair in these photos :O i love. xo

Sunset said...

'Depression chic' dresses going for hundreds of dollars just doesn't seem right. Paradoxical almost.

Damn, I'm smitten over that bottom left dress though.

Becca Jane said...

great post. I'm with you on the weirdness of "depression chic" but i also love this line. lovely.

Spandexpony said...

Great post. I won't attempt to govern who can draw inspiration from where, but there is definitely heavy dissonance here between depression chic and $800 pricetags. But there have always been rich people who think it's cool to be poor (hello, hippies)... but they don't get any of the character building experiences. ;)

KittyMeow said...

I think bloggers are having an increasingly larger influence in the world of trends. Definitely have been seeing "recession chic" around long before Vogue & co. jumped on the bandwagon. Unfortunately for them, the concept of paying $800+ for a dress that only LOOKS vintage will never hold the same value as finding that one of a kind dress in your local op shop. I think times are changing, and while there will always be a market for couture, we're slowly shifting back to the home grown, home made and recycled.

Emma said...

Yeah, it's the same with the whole ' hippy' trend last year- tie dye dresses and stuff which cost 100's of dollars. I don't really like it.

Meaghan Kelly said...

i see what you mean about the term depression chic being a little off putting...
but i have been in love with this collection since the day i laid eyes on it! and more so, i absolutely love that every single one of the models' hair is done like a modern, lazy gibson girl!

Anonymous said...

FYI the dresses are not $800.
check out shopbop or revolve....
alot of hard work&thought went into this collection....you are
missing the point!