Saturday, 24 March 2012


Nosferatu, Verdilak, Lamia.... Vampire, yes,  I am not only a fashion fanatic- I confess (and this will forever destroy my chances to ever work for Vogue!)- but I am also a stylish horror nerd. I just love vampires and I have always have! These blood thirsty creatures of the night are just so perfect- so beautiful, seductive, secretive and of course very deadly.

Yet ever since Anne Rice's internationally praised book 'Interview with an Vampire', we know that vampires not only love blood but also the high life of luxury. Stunningly designed lofts and town houses stuffed brimful with designer furniture and, one of the advantages of immortality, also a few very valuable antiques, sometimes even bequeathed by a real famous historical figure (just image getting a little present from Queen Marie Antoinette of France herself!). By watching series like the very well written& designed 'True Blood' and reading Anne Rice's vampire novels, I immediately felt home with the morbid splendour and almost Byzantine opulence of the vampire lifestyle. And what about vampire and fashion, apparently having a great body which will not age nor but on weight, isn't that just a dream come true. 

Yet before I start to answer above question whether a vampire wears Prada's F/W 2012 collection, I'd like you to bare in mind that this post is part fun and part philosophical think tank. There might be some interesting points coming up, but please do not take it too seriously. I'm just trying to connect things which have impressed me recently. I'm finding links no one has thought of yet between fashion, fantasy, society and death. So let's start with the Fashion Philosopher's curious thoughts on style,  blood, beauty & immortality and of the course the amazing Prada A/F 2012 show.
Vampire's homes: The 'True Blood'  Bill Compton's ancestral home. From the outside: 'Antebellum de Luxe'- from the  inside: 'World of Interiors'  

Viking Eric is having a time out from killing- in style of course! 
You must worry, that a year of an ongoing creative poverty has shrunk my brain and you 'pauvre' Fashion Philosopher thinks vampires are truely real. Don' worry, I get it, I know they are not. Still, with vampire films like ' The Twilight Saga' being tremendously successful and vampire TV series like 'True  Blood' going into their 5th season, our beloved virtual reality ( TV, internet and cinema) has created an entirely separate world for those deadly yet visually perfect beings to inhabit.  And in terms of showing off stylish fashions, wouldn't you mind seeing Brat Pitt as heart melting sensitive vampire Louis from 'Interview With A Vampire', trotting his Edwardian clobber on Comme de Garcon's or Yohi Yamamoto's catwalks, would you?

The depiction of the Nosferatu in cinema and TV has truly been eye candy ever since the 1970's, with German character actor Udo Kier playing a heavily accented Count Dracula in 'Andy Warhol's Dracula' also called 'Blood for Dracula'.

The imortal Count-  style and sadness in one person. The monster has been attributed with a loving and suffering soul struggling for keeping his humanity the struggle for women and gay rights, the student riots in 1968 and the Vietnam war. The 1960's brought social changes which we had to stomach in the 70's- even vampires, here French avant-garde actor Pierre Clementi as Count Matteo Tiepolo in 'Nosferatu in Venice' were allowed to question what is still human in them and how far their freedom of unnatural power meant death and misery for all beings crossing their way. Sometimes even the ones they loved....

The vampire of the 1970's seems almost as lost and alienated as Quentin Crisp's 'Englishman in New York'. Although seemingly abandoned from society and no place in the modern times, the vampire actually transforms into the perfect 21st century asset for the newly emerging global markets- the never dying consumer, eternally young and wealthy and almost even independent of oil?! At the same time, looking back and into the future, designers are right now keenly taking inspiration of this peculiar 'lost soul'. For F/W 2012, a league of ghost like models in clothes reminiscent of Edwardian and Victorian men's fashions started haunting the catwalks.
Look at Comme de Garcons morbid-elegant Tokyo punks, Robert Geller's take on Ziggi Stardust's bitter sweet pan- sexuality of the 1970's and Oswald Boatengs' wild Asian spirts with their dark long hair and attired in knife- sharp suits are have become the cruel yet refined heralds of a fashion winter in a time of discontent.
French actor Pierre Clementi - like a vampire he was never really accepted- always living, working and depicting humanity  on the edge

Above Comme des Garcon Autumn/ Fall 2012- I am sure vampires would love to get their cold hands on these outfits

Actor Udo Kier as Count Dracula- as the story tells, he needs to drink the blood of a virgin to stay young- I am sure there are some fashion editors who would do the same if it worked and some look like it is working more or less successfully! OK, now we know why fashion magazines needs all these sweet& innocent work interns (oh, it feels so good to be bitchy sometimes, doesn't it? And these remarks were not eve mean!). But back to the Count- I am sure these eyes truly can compel your mind!....yes, take me....just me...

Robert Geller S/S 2012

One of my favourite designer of the moment- German born Robert Geller's S/S  2012 and A/F 2012-  might there be some inspiration  coming from Count Dracul- maybe not, maybe yes?  But I think it interesting how the recent men's fashion might be connected to the elegant- deadly world of the vampires without even knowing it consciously.

Above: Homoerotic and seduction- yearning for a younger companion in order ' to understand the New World'-Antonio Banderas as Vampire Armand in 'Interview With A Vampire'

Ozwald Boateng's Fall/ Winter 2012- even a designer famous for his colour schemes is reflecting these dark times, in which vampire banks and institutions are sucking the world's population and environment dry and colourless. But fashion hypnotises us like a vampire's deadly stare as Boateng's eerily exquisite ad campaign compels us to forget the ugliness of the world around us. That seems, is the great gift of fashion. 
Compared to the tumultuous 70's as a time of social upheaval and unrest, the Edwardian Era can be seen as a time where everything was still in its rightful place. As with the vampire, a lost and abandoned anarchic creature in the 70's struggling with his humanity, the vampire at the turn of the century could still indulge in his deadly pursuit without remorse.

'The Belle Epoque' or ' Golden Age' with its industrial prowess and immense wealth. Landowning aristocrats and the first super rich industrialists owned not only their countries yet also other peoples countries, the colonies! Maybe designers feel drawn to this time right now very strongly since parallels to our times are more than obvious. The turn of the century was a time of  immense arrogance yet terribly elegant and grand and aware of its refined tastes yet so naively ignorant about its own eminent self destruction- WWI. This erea truly is a time for the gentleman vampire- coincidently during this period Bram Stoker writes his amazing novel 'Dracula'. Published in 1897, the hight of Edwardian life, it brings us the sophisticated and seductive vampire, deadly to everyone who loves and hates him, yet so divine and irresistible.

Gary Oldman as Count Dracula- a soul so tormented by the death of his love, Mina, that he breaks with god to become immortal to wait for his beloved to be re-born and than to come back to him.  Actually a very beautiful love story. Gary Oldman is just perfect as vampire, amazingly attractive with this deep hypnotizing longing for his true and only love- Mina.

Exactly this area of the super rich American industrialists and entrepreneurs like J.P Morgan, John Jacob  Astor and Cornelius Vanderbilt, fashion designer Muccia Prada chose for her stunning F/W 2012 show in Milano beginning of the year. The clothes were mend to be a 'parody of male power' and nothing is what it seems to be- formal trousers were cut from denim, the ornate baroque patterning on shirts are, if you look more closely, rows of American football helmets or feathered Native American head dresses.

Gary Oldman modelling Prada A/W 2012- see the red glasses in his coat pocket- a  reminscence of  his great role as loce sick Blood- Count  in 'Bram Stocker's Dracula'

Yet vampires are also not what they seem to be. Looking like humans but actually dead, giving you the illusion of passion but the only thing they want is your blood. Being alive forever, how much emptiness must be filled with elegance, beauty and wealth. If a vampire looks into the mirror- what does he see? Nothing? He can not be touched by anyone or anything anymore- like the super rich lost in their own nothingness of owing everything. Yet somehow they are alive and want beauty to maybe most of all forget the horror they can bring- and what else is Prada's collection with all there ingenious details ridiculing male power dressing other than beautiful, elegant and divinely arrogant. Is the collection really a historical copy of the past. No, when you look at the world around us today with the upper-classes now owning again everything and the poor getting poorer- the world has gone into the past itself, and this kind of fashion is maybe as of the moment as trainers and jeans- and as a Vampire without the pressure of time nor the feeling of shame and remorse behind  him what else would you want more than feeling of 'being' again even just for a moment!

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