Charms of a Dandizette takes a look at what the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt says about its wearer…
The sweatshirt gained its advancement from gym garb to key wardrobe piece in 2011, emerging as a simple grey sweatshirt. In 2012 the sweatshirt was still trending, however it became bolder and braver, establishing itself as a refined and investment worthy piece of vesture, hence the Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt. Everyone that was anyone was either coveting this tiger headed sweatshirt or were pounding the fashion week pavements adorned in said sweatshirt with the bold Kenzo letters emblazoned across their chests. Now the world is coveting the Givenchy neoprene Bambi print sweatshirt. The ‘It’ sweatshirt of the moment, with a price tag of £750, worn by the likes of Beyonce, Milan street style queen Anna Dello Russo and Lilly Collins. You know you’re a member of the privileged fashion community if you already own or personally know anyone that owns the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, the t-shirt, the tote or the clutch.
As fashion’s only promise is change, it could not have been predicted that the sweatshirt would remain so a la mode three winters in a row and wrack up such an expense (for a sweatshirt?). However, to remain as coveted as it is, it was only expected that the sweatshirt had to be changed up a little, evolve and push the boundaries. Of course stranger things have happened, but I am pretty confident in saying that nobody ever expected to be on the waiting list for any fashion item that concerned Bambi, let alone a sweatshirt. Having said that, Ricardo Tisci’s idea to place the adorable Disney character on the front of t-shirts, sweatshirts and even handbags was clearly a phenomenon we didn’t know we were all waiting for. The likes of Matches, Selfridges and Net – a – Porter could barely hold on to the ‘It’ sweatshirt – in fact retailers across London have all sold out of the wistful and warm Givenchy item.
Funny that, isn’t it? That this wistful and warm sweatshirt, ultimately as sexy as a Disney film, has within seconds become the wardrobe piece of the season. Who’d of thought we’d want to wear Bambi printed garb? Admittedly we’re accustomed to seeing Disney icon Mickey Mouse printed on t-shirts and sweatshirts every now and then, usually of the vintage nature. Nevertheless, this is still a pretty bold move in itself. No matter how respected the Walt Disney company might be, most wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing garments with Walt Disney’s anthropomorphic mouse friend printed on them.
Mickey Mouse ultimately acts as an emblem for the Disney company, a company with such a strong sense of branding that it can overpower any outfit and communicate messages we might not be prepared to express via our clothes. Disney is magical, whimsical, a little childish, appeals too easily to the masses and therefore isn’t necessarily considered high culture or high fashion. We want our clothes to say that we’re stylish, socially and fashionably aware, sexy, serious, individual or confident. So what are we communicating when we wear Walt Disney’s Bambi on our clothes?
Let’s be truly honest, we’re not wearing Bambi on any old piece of clothing here, are we? Wearing a Bambi sweatshirt from the Disney Store communicates something very different to wearing thee ‘Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt’. Of course the Bambi print on this garment evokes a sentiment, a sense of nostalgia, memories of our childhood and a cause to recall this sad Disney tale, but this is all an after thought. First and foremost this sweatshirt is Givenchy and its wearer will wear it for no other reason than that it is Givenchy, it’s fashion and most significantly because this item is totally and utterly frivolous – Anna Dello Russo wearing this garment is evidence to this. Only those that can afford to be totally frivolous with their money would pay £750 for a sweatshirt with a Disney character printed on it, the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, that will be just as recognisable ‘as so last season’ next season as quickly as it has been recognised as the ‘It’ sweater of this season.
As I have demonstrated, this sweatshirt fascinates me and peoples reactions to it has fascinated me just as much. I don’t get it – why Bambi? Would I wear this sweatshirt? Do I even really like this sweatshirt? The truth of the matter is I love the concept, probably moreso than I actually like the sweatshirt. I love how creative and unpredictable the design is and I like the fact that I find it so thought provoking – so I suppose fashion is art, then? And for all those reasons I do like this sweatshirt. Having said that, I gave up on conspicuous consumption after my Chloe Paddington bag was no longer deemed the ‘It’ bag and wearing the ‘It’ sweatshirt says exactly the same thing the ‘It’ bag does, ‘Look at me, I’m part of that club. I can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on fashion because I’m privileged.’ Do I want my clothes to say that about me? It’s just as crass as the nineties logo mania, but it’s also just as fashionable as Anna Dello Russo.
I sit somewhere between the two – I like fashion for its language, it’s power and it’s beauty and for these very reasons I enjoy dressing and like to look as though I enjoy dressing. If my wearing the ‘Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt’ secures my fashion savoire faire then I’m all for it. And of course I want to be part of ‘that’ club. I’m just as aspirational as the next person and my dress also communicates that too.
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