INTRODUCTION TO AVANT-GARDE FASHION
Break the rules of fashion and create showstopping ensembles by mastering the art of avant-garde dressing. By Mughni Che Din
WHAT IS AVANT-GARDE FASHION?
Avant-garde is considered as one of the most biggest artistic movements, it taps all fields of expression, from art to music, to fashion, in a way that goes against the norms through continuous experimentation and reinvention. The best way to describe avant-garde fashion is “A forward-looking movement led by innovative designers and artists who dare to go against the mainstream and introduce fresh ideas that stands out for the conventional.” Avant-garde fashion is usually translated through constant deconstruction and reinterpretation.
AVANT-GARDE VS HAUTE COUTURE
People often mistake avant-garde for haute couture (and vice versa). The difference between avant-garde and haute couture is evident from the name as haute couture literally means high-end tailoring or dressmaking in French and is synonymous with luxurious, often intricate designs, produced by the world’s biggest fashion houses (Think Chanel, Christian Dior and Iris Van Herpen). Haute couture does not necessarily go against the grain, but rather to craft highly conceptualized designs-- which is the complete opposite to ready-to-wear designs. On the other hand, avant-garde designs are considered ready-to-wear and are accessible to everyone and features innovatie details, colours, textures, shapes, or silhouettes--catered especially for bon vivant fashion enthusiasts.
HOW TO DRESS IN AVANT-GARDE FASHION
There are no rules when it comes to avant-garde fashion. However, you will need to be courageous and bold when putting an avant-garde ensemble together. Here are some pointers that could help you make this style work IRL:
1. MIX & MATCH
Consider remixing a variety of fabrics, cuts, textures and accessories to achieve that coveted avant-garde look. Experimentation is one of the essential values of the avant-garde movement and it is the only way to create innovative designs and achieve bold, inventive style combinations.
2. THINK DRAMA
Avant-garde fashion is all about telling a story through your look. Think of your body as a blank canvas, so conceptualize your look in a creative manner to ensure that every element is part of the story: from your clothes, accessories, make-up and even your attitude.
3. TURN UP THE VOLUME
Opt for modern cuts, with voluminous geometric structures, asymmetric hemlines, or even exaggerated ruffles and pleats, if that fits your personal style. As previously mentioned, the idea of avant-garde fashion is not to showcase the body, in the way that mainstream fashion does, but rather to make an object of art out of it, through the sculptural elements of the garments.
4. LAYER UP
The best tool you can incorporate to achieve a killer avant-garde ensemble is layering. Play with different textures and find contrasting combinations, but avoid mixing materials that are too contrasting. Remember, it’s all in the details.