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Avant-Garde

read more:

http://zouchmagazine.com/avant-garde-or-crazy/#ixzz2DSARMd2W 
http://www.sharecom.ca/greenberg/kitsch.html
http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f81/avant-garde-what-does-mean-41204.html

inspiration
http://pinterest.com/robertopins/costume-couture-avant-garde-fashion/

Avant-Garde?
Yes.  A famous design from the late Alexander McQueen
Avant-Garde?
Actually it's a clown from Cirque Du Soleil
There is a significant push for Avant-Garde in SL.  It is artistic movement taking fashion and suggesting something more revolutionary or innovative to it.  It is taking the constraints of the traditional and offering something creative, innovative, progressive, rebellious.  The best take on avant-garde I could find on the Internet is from http://forums.thefashionspot.com/f58/pushing-envelope-avant-garde-style-79430.html.

The poster called Softgrey offers this definition:

"avant garde means...AHEAD...BEFORE...everyone else...

(literally- 'avant' means ahead or before in french- this is not open to interpretation)
fashion FORWARD...

it means that you are wearing it this year..and everyone else will start wearing the same thing a few months later ...
it means ahead of the curve...pushing the envelope...

it doesn't mean just being different...
it is different for a REASON...
it is what fashion (and the masses) ultimately follow...

it may be in the selection/editing of the garments...
but it is ultimately about how you wear them/put them together/style them...
if you do it well...people will notice and try to copy it...
and that is why you always have to keep moving forward..."

the author offers a roadmap that pretty much follows the course that SLers take to present an Avant Garde style:

In fashion, the avant-garde style is defined through its personality.  If asked to define this abstract concept people use the terms: sophisticated, mysterious, intimidating, intriguing, striking.


  • The accessories have to be very modern, unusual, but elegant. 
  • All clothes should be matched with hats, belts or shoes in the most unusual shapes. 
  • The models may intimidate because what they wear is beyond a normal image.
  • Avant-garde fashion means a little bit of theatre. 
  • Most of the time, the clothes cannot be worn in the street because they belong to a flamboyant style. 
  • They are very innovative and can be a bit shocking. 
  • Somehow, this style does not refer only to fashion. It means a mixture between fashion and art.The avant-garde fashion teaches women to have a certain attitude.
  • Avant-garde clothes mean unusual ones, which catch the eye and does not let you fade in the crowd. 
  • In fact, when we discuss about avant-garde fashion, we should not talk only about clothes. In the end, the result of the avant-garde has to be a whole form. For this reason, the make-up has to go hand in hand with the clothes.
  • The make-up has to express something new, unexpected, and even exotic. 
  • A niche for the avant-garde style in fashion was connected to men and the items designed especially for them.
And you certainly get some eye catchy pieces when you try that hard to look avant.  But remember Avant.  You want to be ahead, to push fashion forward.

It's not a matter of making something look strange.  There's the eccentric stylist who is not the same as the avant garde stylist.

The poster wheniwakeup writes this which I believe expresses it well:


"Nothing the avant gardist does is by accident. A lot of thought and conscious effort goes into every aspect of their style.

This style of dress is one that requires lots of thinking + pondering... very cerebral as well as organic... However, because it is such a personal, subjective experience, the avant gardist never looks overt or fussy... because it is their natural disposition to be dressed as they are.. 

Eccentrics definitely want to be different, too. Some want to seek attn and others really don't give a damn. However, unlike an avant gardist, Eccentrics never really capture that sense of timeless. I feel this happens because they are mostly hellbent on setting themselves apart from the 'now'. Whereas avant gardists aren't really following a scale of time... their instincts and motives are from within.... it's somewhat of a war raging with themselves... to do what has not been done and never repeat themselves... it has nothing to do with society or what society may think of what they're doing... 

You can definitely be avant garde and still have a practical wardrobe. As softgrey mentioned, most avant gardist have many classic pieces in their wardrobes. The classic pieces serve as a basis... like clay that is ready to be molded into something subversive + fresh by way of styling and/or the aid/support of garments specifically derived from the science of avant gardism as well as counteractive garments... two elements, that, otherwise, would never have been paired together... 
ex - mixing Yohji with J.Crew & vintage pieces.. but in a thoughtful, elegant, timeless manner... one that defies the trends and satiates the desire to find new light in a dim surrounding..."

She has many good takes on the subject:


However, the difference between genuine avant garde dressers and those masquerading as such, is one seeks approval/praise/shock-value while the other only wishes to establish a voice by way of clothing..

Like many have already stated, avant garde dressers are not looking to impress or seek approval...
It is a personal journey of self-expression... the only person the avant gardist is dressing for is themselves.


I also find that avant garde styles tend to defy the usual restraints placed amongst other styles of dress. There is not a set of rules for how an avant garde dresser should look or what they should wear. I think the only elements that unify avant garde dressers are elegance, simplicity, and most importantly, a sense of timelessness. All else is up for individual interpretation. I find that very refreshing since many other styles of dress are so precise and constricting and as a result, ppl end up looking like one another. Whereas avant garde dressers, though essentially avant garde, all tend to look incredibly different from one another.

<more to come>

Original article: http://cgi.sfu.ca/~scahome/sites/default/files/Nicole%20Kunkel%20Fashion%20as%20Avant-Garde.pdf