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Why exalting «bad taste» means being fashionable?

14.09.2017 — by Victoria K

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To find beauty in Vulgarity is the most daring gesture of a modern Aesthete

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«100 enviable brides» magazine, «dick» or «fuck-the-whole-world» obsession, shoes on the platform as an office dress-code, the best flower-bed contests, Ukrainian park «Mezhyhirye» as a symbol of modern Versailles style, the wedding salon in the underground passage. This has become the symbol of revolt among some people with critical thinking. Too much poison come undone. But there is a savage – «so bad, that it’s good»- the claim of Susan Sondagh in her «Notes on “Camp”»


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To explain the term, most usually such a context is recalled:

  • The taste of the camp was common in gay communities cultivating a feigned, hypertrophied femininity
  • The French origin of the term (se camper – “taking the pose of excessive mannerisms”). Camp helps to recognize this pose and enjoy its artificiality – no matter how monstrous it may look

«Camp was born as an “identification sign” in the circle of the intellectual elite, confident in its refined taste so that it can count itself entitled to reconsider what was perceived as “bad taste” yesterday and overestimate unnatural and excessive», Umberto Eco wrote in the “On Ugliness”, interpreting the notes Sontag.

Modern “posers” is the ability to exalt a bad taste with the help of an ironic look and an erudite brain that can find quotes and surround something with a lot of meanings. Have you already found beauty in the concerts of Kirkorov? In the dressing to the church – net tights, leather jacket and leopard dress. To show everyone you saw a different dimension of the podium trends. Noticed a set of inexpensive lace underwear as an example of democratization of fashion.

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According to the recipe of the Camp, advanced modern fashion is being made: it transmits radical, borderline aesthetic things – sandals and jeans with tights, bracelets from table porcelain, souvenir sweatshirts, fakes – into fashion. A warm look at “chavs”(British slang) is a Camp.

The cooperation of Gosha Rubchinsky with Burberry in the spring-summer collection – 2018 might seem fatal for the brand. All eight models introduced into the men’s collection reminded of the very same football fanatics, because of which the brand rapidly lost its reputation in the 90’s. Modern “chavs” versions of Rubchinsky were stylized to the collection to revive the falling sales.

https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2018-menswear/gosha-rubchinskiy

The capsule collection, released by Gucci together with the Spanish artist Coco Capitán, went on sale in late July, is an assortment of layouts with staff like waistbags or a T-shirt with a large logo. The introduction of such an assortment to the collection of the House is a trick concerning the subject of counterfeits and an example of the “overall redundancy” of the style that creative director Alessandro Michele has made Gucci a new style.

https://www.gucci.com/us/en/st/capsule/coco-capitan-men

The winner of the LVMH Prize 2017 Prize Marin Serr won with a collection, mixed in sports and a Muslim costume, which she dedicated to the Syrian emigrants.

https://www.vogue.com/article/lvmh-prize-2017-winner-marine-serre

Camp taste is, above all, a mode of enjoyment, of appreciation – not judgment. Camp is generous. It wants to enjoy. It only seems like malice, cynicism. (Or, if it is cynicism, it’s not a ruthless but a sweet cynicism.) Camp taste doesn’t propose that it is in bad taste to be serious; it doesn’t sneer at someone who succeeds in being seriously dramatic. What it does is to find the success in certain passionate failures.

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