Thursday, August 11, 2011

In which I crave some ugliness

"Life bends joy and pain, beauty and ugliness, in such a way that no one may isolate them."
-Jean Toomer

Do you ever go to Dress Code High Fashion ( former Boheme Noir)?
I love the posts on that blog: they are like fashion education**.
Well today I saw a post on Alexander McQueen's  S/S 2001 "Voss" collection there. It reminded me of the brutal beauty he was a genius at and how I miss a bit of "ugliness" in both my work and things I look at. I am a lover of beauty (bit on the obsessed side) but this can sometimes lead to overuse leading to a feeling similar to when you overdo sugar: all the loveliness starts to blend together in a kind of a pastel, sweet paste, that is more pain than pleasure upon consuming it.
So I got a craving for ugliness: am not sure how successful I was, but I loved that this girl at least isn't overly pretty. She has angular lines and shadows where they shouldn't be any, mouth that are a tad too big and a bow that is not even close to the cute bracket it usually comes from. So I like her.

** They remind me of high school  when I used to study subjects like History of fashion. We would learn about dresses in 16 th.century or designers like Elsa Schiaparelli, about runway shows that changed the way we look forever. This is very important, I feel, for anyone seriously interested in fashion, so one can get a bigger picture of the styles and how repetitive and at the same time original fashion is. Her blog is like a wonderful fashion archive where you can see next season styles and Chanel ads from 1989 until today. Where does she gets some of those pics I have no idea, but if you hadn't yet you should definitely check it. 


  1. Life bends joy and pain, beauty and ugliness, in such a way that no one may isolate them.
    -Jean Toomer
    I thought I would share this quote with you as it seems appropiate per your craving.
    I do think sometimes it is necessary to see the other side. The contrast...

  2. It is great and exactly how I feel. Am gonna borrow it and update the post. Thank you lovely! :-)))

  3. McQueen was a genuine creative in the sense of the word, with an imagination capable of translating any obsession and vision in reality...Very few designers changed fashion like he did.
    And yes, ugliness is always more interesting and attracts more than perfection

    Very good post here and on Boheme Noir :)

  4. Oh, I like that blog, very different to majority I've seen, nice discovery.
    When I draw, I like to have a 'perfect' face and proportions to draw from but that's only because it makes it easier for me to draw it, I think it's time to attempt drawing something that isn't so 'perfect' it could make the whole drawing exercise a lot more interesting.

  5. Hey dear,

    thanks for the mention and link!

    Hm..."brutal beauty...and a bit of "ugliness". Interesting point of view. My view on McQueen is a different one; I have never perceived ANY of his work as even being on the edge to ugly. It feels "natural" to me (since it doesn`t have any 'superficial glamour' like Lanvin f.e.).

    I guess the hair hidden under those 'caps' or wraps in Voss and the insane behaviour of the models contributes to the perception of 'ugliness' since sickness is a taboo and hair is an important part of women`s beauty in our culture. I LOVE that McQueen took this away in his presentation - it made his clothes stand out more.
    Don`t get me wrong, I don`t want to see any more 'bold' models on runways and I cherish my long hair but McQueen pulled it off! I adore his 'radical' approaches since I (if I had been in his place) had not gone so far.

    We need radical artists that go further than we do, they extend our horizons and confront us with our own limits.

    Hugs, Jen

  6. I like your version of ugliness. Especially her eyebrows and bow!! Very 80's Brook Shields.

  7. Oh Maya, I'm so in love with your illustrations. <3
    And thank you for talking about Dress Code High Fashion, they're great, and until now I didn't know about them.
    Love your blog, from the beginning!


  8. unconventional beauty could be considered ugliness too?
    loving your illustration Maya, it has a lot of character!!


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