I recently visited The Vulgar exhibition at The Barbican – an examination of taste within fashion through the ages. Personally I found certain obvious periods like the 1970s curiously underrepresented, while the chosen designers throughout seemed a little repetitive, with many exhibits drawn from very recent collections.
I was less struck by what was on show, and more intrigued by what my fellow attendees had chosen to wear. In robust contrast to the garish and gaudy exhibits (selected presumably as a celebration of brazen sartorial rule-breaking) those gawping collectively presented a homogeny of Converse trainers, black jeans and nondescript cagoules. All dutifully ‘ooo’d and ah’d’ at the bejewelled capes, appliquéd trousers and assorted headwear absurdities, seemingly oblivious to their collective, submission to banality.
Would have been nice to see someone wafting through the show in something like this.
I expect there are many for whom this jacket from Visvim could be considered vulgar. Those for whom good taste begins with an off-the-peg from a provincial Gieves and Hawkes and Barbour for the country and ends with pillow cases from The White Company. A person of non-eastern origin wearing a coat like this, well I never.
Well, I’d never consider the alternative.
For the more enlightened, this is Visvim’s latest update to their Sanjuro jacket. Clearly kimono style; onboard you’ll find a wool-linen-mohair fabric, hand-stitched detail and water buffalo horn buttons. Less a garment, more a collectors’ piece, with a price to match. And arguably more deserving of a place in The Vulgar than much of what I saw.