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If the word ‘patchwork’ makes you gag, immediately bringing to mind a Holly Hobby ragdoll and hippie-dippy psychedelic references, then you’re in good company.  Having grown up in the 1970’s, I was never a big fan of crafty homemade-looking hippie clothes.  Those who wore them were never cool in my ii’s, just unkempt.  Even with the work of designers like Giorgio di Sant’Angelo and Ossie Clarke bringing it to the next level, it still wasn’t my thing.  I gravitated toward the more polished chic of, say, a Halston or YSL.
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Regardless, I wasn’t sporting either style back then anyways.  Given my grammar school status and meager weekly 50-cent allowance at the time, I didn’t exactly have the funds to afford high fashion, nor did I frequent the playground of the who’s who. Being a fast pedaller on a banana-seated two-wheeler didn’t give me access to the fast lane, either.  But, I did have license to an opinion…I knew what I liked at an early age, and patchwork wasn’t it.

Semantics aside, whether you call it ‘patchwork’, ‘mosaic’, ‘print blocking’, or something else, it has found its way back into fashion and art.  There are plenty of designers who’ve brought a new sophistication to this technique, without sacrificing texture and depth, whose clothes I would live in and wear now (photos below from Style.com).  I also came across a couple of artists whose current work parallels this fashion trend.  Seems I’ve been completely won-over by this grown-up version of patchwork.  Needless to say, my own tastes have grown up a bit too.

Comme des Garcons Fall 2011

Comme des Garcons Fall 2011

Duro Olowu Fall 2011

"Contamination" by Joana Vasconcelo-- currently on display at the Venice Biennale

Joana Vasconcelo 2011

Giorgio di Sant'Angelo 1969

Dries Van Noten Fall 2011

Dries Van Noten Fall 2011

Kirra Jamison's "Willow Weep" 2010

Mary Katrantzou Fall 2011

Kenzo Fall 2011

Clements Ribeiro Fall 2011

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