Fantasy v. fantastical

despite the category's name, not all design translates as "ready-to-wear" to all people. besides the personal preferences for style, fit, color of t-shirts and jeans, there is an amazing amount of fashion out there that is literally amazing. a fan of fashion maybe has one of four responses to some of the more ... impractical or unrealistic creations presented on runways and on pages:

a) huh? i don't get it/this does not appeal to me. (fantasy)
b) wow, pretty/interesing. (fantasy)
c) if i had the money, i would buy/wear/love that. (fantastical)
d) how can i incorporate this some way into my life? (fantastical)

i put the parenthetical distinctions by each option to id how i personally apply these responses. when something is entirely see-through, too low or too high, for example, it might garner an "a" response; it's fantasy clothing, and not for my fantasy.

when a look or show seems costume-y, i might go with "b" but here there is a fine line between a "b" and "c" response, and i realize that some things that i wouldn't wear, others mights, and vice versa - one woman's fantasy is another's fantastical.

fantasy clothing does not tend to appeal to me, but the fantastical, the things that are well beyond the scope of daily wardrobe necessities, items with magic, those are precisely what keep me so in love with design.

this coat/blanket/sleeping bag from yohji yamamoto's fall 2000 collection was definitely a "c" for me. the fabric is gorgeous and the cocoon it forms at once obscures and reveals her body (in the most subtle yet sensual way, i might add). if i could have it, i definitely would wear it. fantastical.

this was in a small fashion spread in a mini-insert in the april issue of vogue nippon and by itself made the $20+ totally worth it. the whole shoot "plastic dolls," featuring these two in those fantastic wigs, is a total keeper, going to be filed under "great ideas for hair"!!! an absolute "d."

how do you differentiate between fantasy and fantastical?
or is it all too inaccessible for you?


enc said...

Fantastical is something I could never wear, because it's too weird.

Fantasy is something I might wear if I had the guts/money/occasion.

I love this post.

Anonymous said...

How do I differentiate? Fantasy, I never buy, and fantastical, I wish I could.
I think I'm intimidated by it. I always admire it on others.
Great pictures.

landis smithers said...

i think life is real enough without denying oneself a healthy healthy dose of both fantasy and fantastical. we need the "too low cut" AND the "sleeping bag". it's the balance that makes a life of elections and wars bearable. the ability to say "yes, there is all that, but there are also fantastic red wigs that i must wear. today."

greying pixie said...

I think it is easy to get confused between the presentation of a collection and the actual garments themselves. Visionary designers such as Yamamoto are constantly looking for new ways to present their collections to make an impact and attract media attention - fashion is a fiercely competitive industry. So there will always be one or two 'catwalk' pieces which set the tone of the collection, then the rest of the garments are designed around them and are much more 'wearable'.

If you look at each garment in isolation without the dramatic make-up, hairstyles, shoes and other accessories, you see it for what it really is - an amazingly beautiful and original piece of design.

There is a fine and subtle difference between 'costume' and 'fashion' and Yohji Yamamoto is a genius at treading that line season after season.

I think the coat you show is absolutely beautiful - I would wear it without a second thought. I own two pieces of Yamamoto which I will wear until I die; they are timeless and utterly elegant in their simplicity. My favourite designer by far!