Sunday 8 July 2012

Pyjama party hard - part 1

"Oi! I said oi! What you looking at, you little rich boy?"

... well, that would be at the latest statement in smooth evening chic if word on the celebrity style street is to be believed...

..for, stepping out in something resembling satin pyjamas and slippers of sorts was Rihanna, at  the premiere of her iconic film, Battleship (I say iconic - I'm talking, of course, about the long-wait-passing travel game on which it was based). The outfit in question was Emilio Pucci's satin printed suit from the autumn/ winter 2012 collection. Not that we would want to give undue credit to Rihanna, for sparking a ground breaking fashion trend. How could a knowledgeable fashionista like myself overlook that time when Jessica Alba wore a very luxurious satin set at the premiere of My Bloody Valentine, back at the beginning of 2009?

While we're on the subject of recognition, I personally have to commend the stylist's attention to detail in the couture context of this one, as it appears he or she has even left the curlers in. B1 and B2 would surely approve. The boudoir's back in business as the shape of fashion to come, but don't just take my word for it. Shortly afterwards, in 2010, it became a talking point of underground culture when the two main protagonists of Irish film, Pyjama Girls, worked the pret-a-pyjama look religiously, indoors and outdoors (and in my lady's chamber - or whatever is the equivalent of a Dublin inner-city high-rise block. Here to observe not to judge, dear readers!) A staple of teen rebellion and an uncharacteristic nod of approval from the designers, in fact,even the stars  - there's even an already burgeoning mainstream chav avenue to whom the trend can so easily sell. It almost seems too easy - and too obvious, as fashion, by its very nature rebels against the static, and all old-hat notions of typically "good taste."

Also, while we're on the subject of stepping out in something resembling men's silk pyjamas from 1930-something, let me tease your grey matter with the following Jean-Paul Gaultier quote:
"Gender-bending, huh! It's a game. Young people understand that to dress like a tart doesn't reflect one's moral stance - perhaps those jolies madames in little Chanel suits are the real tarts? I'm offering equality of sex appeal"
With that in mind, could the paradigm of taste be shifted from tacky to tasteful with the mere change from sweaty polycottons to silk satin? Is there a bigger picture - a paradox even - that betrays an awkward cluster of inner conflicts at the core of fashion? Fashion as an artistic avenue has always been hard-pushed to justify its conceptual and intellectual worth, and, as a result, has always had to be in constant flux, ever changing, ever evolving. Yet, by the same token, those who design it must create a unique, timeless legacy, that endures to be taken seriously and not be caught on the ice floe of transient fads and superficial - even joke - trends. You have to run the risk of the latter to hope to achieve the former. Perhaps it's less about breaking down the boundaries of taste and identity than it is a need to keep asking new questions about them, to gain an ever better understanding of them before you can successfully transgress them. We, in turn, gain a better understanding of society and ourselves as attitudes progress, as well as a better grasp of what the wearer underneath is genuinely intending to say, from within the confines of their clothing. It is only through understanding the complexities of your inspirations and muses that you can truly do their statement justice, and where you take it from there is where your creativity comes into its own. Time will tell where the pyjama trend goes but if you look at other designers' challenges of taste that have gone on to revolutionise fashion, such as Gaultier's pert, feisty conical bras and body-exploring bondage, you'll see that it can be done.  At least that's my take on it. My justification, even. To be honest, anything that could take away the sense of shame that comes with plodding around to the corner shop in pyjamas of a Saturday morning, when I've finally caught up on a week's worth of lost sleep, to buy some emergency milk, because I'm starving and my last drop has congealed, would get my vote. Applying the deodorant can stay, though.

For further reading on the subject, check out this other blog review I found about Pyjama girls:


  1. Great post! I love the idea in theory of rocking PJ's in public, though I'm not sure I could pull it off. Love that Rihanna had the guts to do it -she looks amazing as always.

  2. I know, right? Glad you like my post. I like to think of pyjama-wearing in public as an idea still in its raw stages that will most likely cross over after a teeny bit more refining and adapting.