All over TV, magazines and the papers we are being told that the ‘twilight look’ is so current. True blood, Vampire Diaries, The Twilight Saga and all other things vampire seem to be influencing the likes of John Galliano at Paris Fashion Week. Designers now are also jumping on this I-want-to-look-like-a-vampire band wagon that is gracing our screens left, right and centre, not just gawky R-Patz loving teens. But is this Edward Scissorhands cool really that new? Does pasty skin, scraggy hair, dark circles and that near death look ring any bells? Is a new wave of heroin chic coming into fashion?
The term ‘heroin chic’ no doubt brings to mind that iconic photo of a young Kate Moss looking emaciated and pale standing under some coloured fairy lights. Or the Calvin Klein campaign that defined mid 90s fashion and the film Trainspotting. But after prominent photographer David Sorrenti died from the use of heroin the style faded and was seen as a ‘cynical trend’ that glamorised drug-use.
Back in 1997 when the hype of heroin chic was rife, 13 designers including John Galliano made a statement, “We disapprove of the fashion industry glamorising the use of addictive substances as this could have a detrimental effect on the lives of young people, many of whom are greatly influenced by the appearance and actions of members of our industry”.
So it’s ironic that Kate Moss’ cocaine scandal was probably the best thing to happen to her career. But how many real heroin addicts have you seen looking ‘chic’? The answer is undoubtedly none. The term is a complete oxymoron, in reality heroin addicts look painfully thin, have bloodshot eyes and usually have no desire to care for their personal appearance because they are preoccupied with begging for money to fuel their addiction, so not-so-chic after all. Nonetheless this season it’s the waif and dark look that’s coming out of Paris, contradicting with the healthy glowing look coming of Milan.
It’s not just French runway that is inducing this Vampire theme into fashion, French Vogue featured a spread called ‘Lara by Night’ whereby Lara Stone was dressed in PVC, pale-skinned, red lips and drinking the blood of her victims. One photo appears to be the scene of a car crash featuring a disturbing zombie like gentleman, covered in blood and juxtaposed to a serene smoking Lara Stone. What could they possibly be glamorising this time? Bloody sucking?
So perhaps we should coin a new terminology, this time vampire-chic? John Galliano’s SS11 ready to wear collection wasn’t really portraying ‘heroin chic’ as such (after all, he wouldn’t want to go back on his words in 1997) more goth-to-glam perhaps? Balmain’s collection was describes as ‘tough rock chick’ and there was a lot of contrasting of dark clothes and pale skin. But its not all dark colours and doom and gloom, Galliano’s ready-to-wear collection for Dior was a spectacle of colour along with vivid electric colour clashes seen at Milan Fashion Week. So no need to go exchanging bronzer for white powder just yet, unless of course you want that Twilight Bella Swan dark sultry and a little bit moody look going on.