Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Form follows function?

I saw a pair of COMME DES GARCONS boots on www.yoox.com with a price tag of $129. The boots looked uber cool and the last pair was just my size. I ordered it right away after my friend Faust told me that it was a "collectors' item".

The bad news is that they don't fit. To be accurate, the leather and the "decorations" are so stiff that I can't walk in them in my natural way and the top of the toe box hurts me every time I bend my feet. No matter how cool the boots are, I will not be able to wear them and show people the look. I am sure that there are other customers who purchased the boots and wore them, but I can't help wondering if and how they could wear the boots without suffering and if the "form follows function" rule ever applies to fashion.

A good example of the "form follows function" is my Burberry trench coat. From the belt to the protected pockets, every single detail is designed to prevent water from leaking in. I was caught in a thunder storm on a summer day a couple of months ago and I managed to keep my entire outfit dry, thanks to my Burberry trench coat.

Another good example is the crooked heel design shown on some of the designer shoes. I tried a pair of Louis Vuitton heels on the other day and they are extremely comfortable despite the 3.5" heel. Why? The crooked heels indeed support my heel from a perpendicular direction which is the most efficient angle from a physics perspective.

Don't make any conclusions yet. As I received a Jean Paul Gaultier cardigan from my beloved www.yoox.com today, I found that I need to think about that rule a little more. I ordered that cardigan because it looks different. I couldn't tell exactly what it was from the pictures online, but I decided to give it a try because the shipping was free. It came in, and I was in shock.

It is in fact a plain gray cardigan attached with a plain gray short-sleeve crewneck back to back. Yes, I can wear either side yet I have to wear both sweaters together no matter which side I choose. It's an interesting concept, and it is very architectural. The form doesn't really follow the function, but I am going to keep it because I will wear it. I like how Jean Paul Gaultier played with a simple but naughty idea. Therefore, when it comes to fashion, form doesn't have to follow function. However, if the definition of function is simply "wearability", then the rule still applies. In my case, the Jean Paul Gaultier cardigan stays and the COMME DES GARÇONS boots have to go.

7 comments:

pluff said...

I sure enjoyed reading this, makes you appreciate the wonder that we call fashion in all it's form wether it's really bad or really good.

Jing said...

I am so glad that you liked it Pluff! Please let me know if you are interested in any topics in fashion and I will write about it!

Danielle said...

You have to wear them in! I used to rock the doc martens and now I wear Fluevog's Bond Girl boot religiously (I buy new ones when I wear them out)... but tough, practical boots are made from thick leather for a reason. Wear them every few days or so, for as long as you can stand it. At first they'll hurt like hell and you'll want to return them... but be patient. The leather will form to your foot and you'll have boots that go anywhere, go with anything, and are tough, practical, and, well, fashionable! Get that shiny newness off them and wear them out - I'm so jealous they're really cool!
I guess if you treat them as a collector's item then it is different, but think about it... the designer made them for a purpose.

Jing said...

You have a point final fashion. I guess that my feet are spoiled too much to take that. In fact, I had a foot surgery in last year to fix some problems on my pinky toes, so I am very careful now. I am sure you will enjoy those boots, and if your feet happen to be size 6, get them from Yoox.com! I will be so happy for you!

Danielle said...

alas, I am more like a 7...
even if I could afford capital D-designer boots ;)

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Maggie B. Wagner said...

The booties are looking so gorgeous. I always prefer black booties for my outfit. Black is generally stunning and fabulous. Black shoes are so charming and attractive. I love all black shoes. This one referred here are so gorgeous and wonderful. I will love the booties with my long denim skirt