‘Stay weird, stay different’ – from Dries Van Noten to Top Man

Fashion: Bring in the clowns for inspiration and a fun look

 

The celebrated British photographer Tim Walker, known for his dreamlike fantasy landscapes whose work is regularly featured in American, British and Italian Vogue, was one of the sources of inspiration for this fashion feature.

Claire wears Dries Van Noten coat €887.50 (sale price), Samui, Cork; polka dot blouse, €199, and trousers, €179, both Joseph Ribkoff at Sheena’s Boutique, Cork. Handpainted corset, stylist’s own; flamingo headpiece, €135, Mary Ginnifer Designs; earrings, €35, Diamond Buyer’s Club at Sheena’s Boutique, Cork; chain Rothlu by Frances McGonigle, rothlu.ie. Lara wears jacket, €309, and flower embellished tee, €35, both Joseph Ribkoff at Sheena’s Boutique, Cork; polka dot shorts, €52, Topshop, Cork; earrings Rothlu, rothlu.ie. Props: The Village Hall, Cork, Declan O’Meara Art; Williot Menswear, Cork.
Claire wears Dries Van Noten coat €887.50 (sale price), Samui, Cork; polka dot blouse, €199, and trousers, €179, both Joseph Ribkoff at Sheena’s Boutique, Cork. Handpainted corset, stylist’s own; flamingo headpiece, €135, Mary Ginnifer Designs; earrings, €35, Diamond Buyer’s Club at Sheena’s Boutique, Cork; chain Rothlu by Frances McGonigle, rothlu.ie. Lara wears jacket, €309, and flower embellished tee, €35, both Joseph Ribkoff at Sheena’s Boutique, Cork; polka dot shorts, €52, Topshop, Cork; earrings Rothlu, rothlu.ie. Props: The Village Hall, Cork, Declan O’Meara Art; Williot Menswear, Cork.

His collection of portraits and illustrations called The Granny Alphabet in 2013 celebrated grandmothers coinciding with Simone Rocha’s autumn winter collection that year dedicated to her two grandmothers, one Irish, one Chinese. Perhaps not surprisingly, granny chic has dominated the last two graduate collections in NCAD.

Floral jacket, €309, Joseph Ribkoff from Sheena’s Boutique, Cork; earrings, €32, Rothlu.ie.
Floral jacket, €309, Joseph Ribkoff from Sheena’s Boutique, Cork; earrings, €32, Rothlu.ie.

Walker may have unintentionally ignited that trend, but when it comes to fashion, looking to the past has become more personal.

Difference

Like many fashion designers particularly John Galliano, Walker is drawn to difference, intrigued by people with character and the visual aesthetics of clowns citing Graham Moore’s 2015 Oscar “Stay weird, stay different” acceptance speech as a mantra. “Trends and catwalks don’t interest me. I love clothes – they represent the spirit of the age,” he says.

Pink trousers, €70, and jacket, €150, Topman, Cork; knit waistcoat, €150, Salinger’s Cork, salingers.ie; pink marble daydream eco cotton throw, €120, Aisling Duffy Designs, aislingduffy.co.uk; silk scarf, €130, Ciara Silke, ciarasilke.com; purple earrings, €19, Sandia Dublin, sandiadublin.com; chain €55, Rothlu.ie; props: The Village Hall, Cork, Tom Campbell dog sculpture.
Pink trousers, €70, and jacket, €150, Topman, Cork; knit waistcoat, €150, Salinger’s Cork, salingers.ie; pink marble daydream eco cotton throw, €120, Aisling Duffy Designs, aislingduffy.co.uk; silk scarf, €130, Ciara Silke, ciarasilke.com; purple earrings, €19, Sandia Dublin, sandiadublin.com; chain €55, Rothlu.ie; props: The Village Hall, Cork, Tom Campbell dog sculpture.

Some of his memorable images include Karlie Kloss as a Russian doll and Scarlett Johannson as a clown in that characteristic combination of playfulness and sadness. Elsewhere clowns continue to influence fashion campaigns; Kenzo’s recent one featured models dressed as clowns in a homage to Fellini’s La Strada, and an American design house fronted its debut denim campaign with sexy clowns. Escapism in fashion can take many forms.

Dress, €68, Topshop, Cork; shirt €100, Salingers, Cork, salingers.ie; silk scarf worn as headscarf €180, Ciara Silke, ciarasilke.com; earrings €19, Sandia Dublin, sandiadublin.com.
Dress, €68, Topshop, Cork; shirt €100, Salingers, Cork, salingers.ie; silk scarf worn as headscarf €180, Ciara Silke, ciarasilke.com; earrings €19, Sandia Dublin, sandiadublin.com.

Playfulness

So the ideas of Tim Walker and the current vogue for clowns all play their part. The playfulness and theatricality of clothes come across here in the considered use of various elements – how they are put together takes considerable skill. There are 10 items in one outfit, for example, in complete defiance of Chanel’s maxim that less is more, but the overall effect of combining disparate and unlikely textures and colours is engaging, quirky and an individual form of expression.

Stripe trousers, €750, and gingham blouse €675, Samui, Cork; paper manuscript fan collar €65, Mary Ginnifer Designs; basket bag, €38, Topshop, Cork; earrings €35, Diamond Buyers Club, Sheena Boutique, Cork.
Stripe trousers, €750, and gingham blouse €675, Samui, Cork; paper manuscript fan collar €65, Mary Ginnifer Designs; basket bag, €38, Topshop, Cork; earrings €35, Diamond Buyers Club, Sheena Boutique, Cork.

Anna Piaggi was a past master at the style and so is Iris Afpel. It is not easy to dress in such an elaborate and madcap way unless you have that ease and nonchalance, but certain items may catch the eye.

Trousers, €52, Topshop, Cork; shirt €745, Marni, and brooch, €430, Samui, Cork.
Trousers, €52, Topshop, Cork; shirt €745, Marni, and brooch, €430, Samui, Cork.

The clothes are a mix of high end – Dries Van Noten coats and Issey Miyake trousers – and menswear along with high street dresses, socks and other accessories. A clutch of vintage items and props sourced from boutiques and antique shops set the tone and amplify the settings.

Director, creative concept, art director and stylist: Mary Ginnifer assisted by Catherine Ginnifer, photographer: Steve Savage; MUA: Nicole Lynch; Hair: Alison O’Brien of Bespoke Hairdressing, Carrigtwohill, Cork. Models: Claire Aherne, Assets Model Agency; Lara Quinn, Distinct Model Management, Aaron Murphy. With special thanks to the Village Hall, Cork, Irish artists Declan O’Meara and Tom Campbell, PAB Travel, Oliver Plunkett Street Cork, and Williot Menswear, Merchants Quay, Shopping Centre Cork for props and artworks.

 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.