I love Lagenlook!
The literal meaning of the word “Lagenlook” is layered look. It refers to a fashion movement that started in Japan and Europe around 3 decades ago. It has developed into a strong niche in Europe and the UK but is only slowly starting to infiltrate Australia and the USA.
The style had such a strong impact on me that I remember the very first garment I ever saw around 1987 when I was training as a patternmaker in the fashion industry. My reaction: AWESOME! Here is a picture of THAT dress by Rei Kawakubo (who is still the designer behind “Comme des Garcons”)
I imagine that many of you would be quite astonished by this image and wonder how or why anybody could possibly wear it!
I’ll just briefly explain myself, as I want to devote most of this post to showing more images of Lagenlook and giving an overview on how it has evolved to the present day.
I’m primarily a textile artist and a “fashionista” rather than viewing clothing as a functional commodity. As an artist I’m instinctively drawn to the avant-garde and concepts that challenge conventional mores. When I was studying to become a patternmaker I was already running my own fashion business and feeling some ambivalence as I didn’t want to become a purveyor of disposable junk (mass produced fashion) or have a business that compromised creativity for commodity. To (young idealistic) me Rei Kawakubo’s dress seemed an anti-fashion statement in that it completely subverted the expectation that a woman’s dress should be crafted to make her look nice and pretty….this could lead into a great big philosophical and sociological reflection but that’s for another day.
Most of the Japanese designers who brought this look to the fashion world during the 1980s are still around and going strong. Names like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamahoto might sound familiar to many. Like a lot of “high” fashion most of the clothes by these designers are more suited to art galleries and conceptual installations than a realistic proposition for ordinary people to wear. So over time the look has filtered down and been adapted to be functional for the mass market.
Here’s a selection of patterns from the Big Four pattern companies that have lagenlook features, from the very popular designers Sandra Betzina (V1234 is the diagram) and Marcy Tilton –
None of these styles is based on the classic hourglass shape or have conventional design features such as collars, waistbands or button plackets. But they have many typical lagenlook features such as draping, geometric design lines and illogical jutting angles.
Some contemporary fashion labels that do lagenlook and appeal to me are Shonmodern (www.shonmodern.com, Canada), Euphoria (www.euphoriadesign.co.nz, New Zealand) Blue Fish Clothing (www.bluefishclothing.com, USA) Sarah Santos (Germany), Alembika (www.alembika.com) Habibe Clothing (www.habibelondon.com, England) Kedem Sasson and a couple I’m a bit dubious about sometimes as they can segue into a few too many frills and furbelows for my taste – Mara Gibucci and Tina Givens
Heres some “street” versions on larger women that I think look FABULOUS!
…and just to prove it’s not all about black and grey
Many of these were taken from one of my most favourite websites to find lagenlook – www.artrageousclothes.com
Lagenlook retains its appeal to me today as I’m still attracted to the “anti-fashion” elements and having become a full figured middle aged woman it is simply a practical and comfortable alternative to more constrictive garments that are closely fitted to the body. A year ago I became so frustrated trying to find clothes I liked I decided to dust off my old patternmaking skills and updated to the digital era so I could publish my own range of pdf patterns. This is a statement is taken from my blog – “I want to offer a style of clothing that is loose, relatively unstructured and that moves on the body when worn. Clothing that is designed for comfort and practical ease of movement but still shows off the wearers individuality through innovative cut, embellishment, detailing, colour, pattern and design features.” Some of that is lagenlook, some of that is just getting older and mellower…
If you’d like to know more about my art and clothing designs please visit my blog www.pearlredmoon.com, and here’s my Pinterest page if you want to dive in the deep end! https://www.pinterest.com/pearlredmoon/gorgeous-clothes