Misty water-colored memories: 2001

2001 is my second-favorite year after 1997. It was the year I graduated high school in Puerto Rico and moved away to Philadelphia to go to college and it was filled with such WONDERMENT and EXCITEMENT.


Starting off cheekily with Chloe's tropical horses theme. There were shirts with bananas printed on the boobs that said "keep your hands off my bananas" and then there was the TOTALLY AWESOME pineapple cooter bathing suit. The horse print became an instant classic, and then Carrie Bradshaw totally wore it to go on a date with god knows who and I totally remember thinking "UGH HOW DID SHE GET YOUR HANDS ON THAT?". One day this dress will be in my closet and everyone will rejoice. AsFour's circlemania denim, oh the kooky downtown kids!
Meanwhile, Ghesquiere at Balenciaga put out a collection of seeming oppposites; starting out with perfect shirts with metal buckles (I bought pants at urban outfitters months later that carried that same motif!), and ending with shredded Victorian lace leftover dresses as worn by none other than Kate Moss. This season Hussein Chalayan hammered away some dresses onstage, and it really seemed to mark the end of an era. (When are fashion houses going to make DVD compilations of their shows to be sold to the public? I'd love to have easy access to all of Chalayan's shows/performance pieces!).
Tom Ford made Gucci even sexier than before, with both pointy boob-bras AND cupless-corsets. Kate Moss is fucking SEX in that dress, and I still get pangs to go blonde when I look at the campaign from this season. Marc Jacobs brought on Stephen Sprouse for the COLLABORATION TO END ALL COLLABORATIONS at Louis Vuitton and suddenly all hell broke loose. I need those gloves dudes, no kidding. How can you even make a khaki skirt look EDGY? SECRETS.
The bandage top at Helmut Lang was a total sensation, especially since it blends so well with the white tank worn under a long basic trench and perfect black trousers. Tara Subkoff and Matt Damhave started Imitation of Christ, their line of reworked/redesigned vintage apparel and had their first collection at a funeral parlor. It's kinda great to see Hilary Alexander hard at work while all the hipster kids have their moment of CLARITY and IMPORTANCE. (My favorite thing about IOC is this story that ran in like, W or something, where they talked about how they priced stuff higher if a celebrity wanted to buy something? I mean, it makes perfect sense, they're the only ones that can afford all this shit and then they get it for free! ps. that's the secret to wealth, make so much money that you don't even HAVE to spend it, but I digress...).
Marc Jacobs' teal trench with sea shell belt is one that I still dream about to this day. Yohji Yamamoto sent out skirt with a built-in coin purse (is it a symbol for the vagina, aka nature's change purse*? probz not). Jil Sander kept it clean and minimal just the way it should be.
It's amazing to see Alexander McQueen's vision alongside all these others, because it becomes so obvious that he is totally on another level of awesome and crazy. If I had to be in an insane asylum wearing an epic feather dress, well, I guess things wouldn't be totally bad. Tom Ford had his inaugural collection over at Yves Saint Laurent with another host of instantly iconic pieces; the white and black banded dress and the SLEEVE JACKET (which I need like I need air to breathe, advanced DIY project for the new year? WHO KNOWS?!). The simple, thin strap wedges are also one of my most favorite shoes ever.
We end the spring season in a high note, with Prada's old-timey-cut shadow print bikini and vaguely nautical ensemble. I secretly would like to dress in crop tops and high waist skirts all the time but my PRUDENESS gets in the way (mayhaps another new year's resolution?). Versace's floor length, long sleeve, turtleneck shows everything and nothing. S-e-n-s-u-a-l A-p-p-e-a-l.


The second collection of Marc by Marc Jacobs is definitely one of my all-time favorite collections ever. Anytime I went on Style.com I would click through over and over again like a maniac. The clothes were everything I wanted to wear and be and I imagined myself as a mature college student rocking the hell out of this clothes. The graffiti sweater in the middle is the first designer piece I bought myself, on sale at Neiman Marcus' website for like $98 bucks. I still have it, of course, and I bring it out on special occasions. The wool piped jacket I got on eBay like two years ago and it was one of the happiest moments of my life (documented here).
Olivier Theyskens' Fall collection was super romantic, as per ush, but there was a kind of fragility and feeling of defiance in it; these ladies are definitely not waiting to be rescued in their perfect cream gown cut to reveal a fur skirt or a beautiful sheer mint dress. Balenciaga's cut out bustier was decorative and sexy, the perfect topper to any skirt/pants/underwear/nothing, whatever.
At Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford brought boho back in a BIG way! Vogue fell head over heels for the ruched top, but my favorite's got to be the vaguely flamenco-inspired ensemble with sheer shirt, ruffled skirt and slightly oversized men's blazer. The maxi lengths continue with this Alice Roi (remember Alice Roi? total downtown darling young designer superstarrrr).
Veronique Branquinho was part of second coming of the Belgians, aka the Antwerp Six Part Two (Electric Boogaloo) along with A.F Vandervorst and Olivier Theyskens among others, and her clothes always had a kind of quiet sophistication and seriousness about them. This long velvet dress worn over a black turtleneck sounds kind of awful in theory, but it's also really feminine and seductive at the same time. No, it's not blackface, it's Viktor & Rolf's Black Hole-inspired collection. Here's the bride in black, and the designers, for your enjoyment.
Britney probably wore this Dolce & Gabanna ensemble when she was still a hot commodity. The perfect flirty pink Gucci dress (with ballerina-esque maryjanes!). Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro were doing Cacharel at the time and it was always super whimsical and cute, I loved their trompe l'oeil explosion!
Louis Vuitton went to Russia, complete with the sheer polka dot hose that I'm desperately trying to find. I feel like this was the beginning of the babydoll dress explosion, and of course Karolina Kurkova in the fur hat and white coat that was THE look for fall. I'm still totally in love with lace and as such, would love to have this Hamish Morrow dress knocking around my closet being the thing that I'm all "Oh this? It's just a lil' Hamish Morrow from forever ago".
I used to be madly in love with Donna Karan back in the 90's, but I think this was the last collection of hers that I really really dug. The women were total warriors! We finish 2001, with a little humor (because let's face it, we needed it) and some Bjork-approved Marjan Pejoski water fowl dresses.

*There is a really gross story that goes with that, but I mean, it came from a doctor so it's not TOTALLY bad.



One of my fave seasons too, espesh YSL. Possibly Tom's best work for YSL

hard liquor; soft holes said...

ugh, viktor and rolf black collection! and BRING ME THE HEAD OF TOM FORD.

cannot believe you are doing this!

OH, AND HAMMISH MORROW!!!!!!!! god, he was my EVERYTHING for a while!

laia. said...

haha i knew you were gonna LOVE some of these malaries :)

Jerome said...

I know how much work this must have been. This is a great reflection. Not having been fashion conscious for the better part of the decade, I think this is great.

Thank You.