When we were young my sister and I had the crème de la crème of dress-up boxes. My mom always had a really quirky sensibility when it came to clothing, accessories, cool sh*t to play with, etc.
One day she brought home a pair of Lucky Brand denim shorts, with a cotton rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sewn on the front. Even better, hidden under the fly was the best stitched in branding possible: a little piece of fabric that read “Lucky You”. Quite clever we thought.
This patriotic display under most circumstance would appear tacky, particularly if you were American (even moreso if you weren’t).
So nevertheless it struck me as odd that Karl Lagerfeld would feature a 2.0 version of the stars and stripes in his Spring 2008 ready-to-wear collection for Chanel, something he called Nuits d’Été, a.k.a. Summer Nights, a.k.a. Grease 1950s American style (style.com; see below).
I appreciated the print for what it’s worth – a healthy dose of irony. Don’t forget this was prior to the economic recession of recent and prior to the election of President Obama, when the US seemed really out-to-lunch with domestic and foreign policy.
But after reviewing the Balmain Spring 2011 collection – a highly-anticipated one at that – I’m starting to wonder what’s with prominent French design houses and their affinity for the American flag? And how will such a tongue-and-cheek high-end fashion be received?
It just goes to show you that delicate balance we call cutting-edge: being “in fashion” means wearing a patriotic flag, perhaps of a country not of one’s origin, and a highly controversial one at that. Can you see the Balmainese sporting this statement? Think Paris Vogue’s Fashion Director Emmanuelle Alt.
Nevertheless, this hot-off-the-press fashion from Balmain just reminds me of how I should never get rid of any clothing, especially denim shorts from the early ‘90s!
Inset images Balmain Spring 2011, above Chanel Spring 2008, both style.com.