The Wild West sets the tone for POAN autumn – winter 2019 with dark, indigo heavy denim and brownish fishbone corduroy shirt-jackets. Boys can be boys in that setting, heaving with unbridled masculinity, and an unmasked show of bodily strength and athletic capabilities. It’s made to work outdoors, obviously, in harsh environmental conditions.
But then, they seem to be allowed wearing a washed pink hoody, tone in tone with drawstring trousers that taper to the ankle, consciously undermining that testosterone fest. We are reminded that there is always a different angle to one topic, too, and a certain dose of humour can never be misplaced, either. A noodly spaghetti applique on a poncho as a persiflage on the Italo-western genre does that job rather well.
Wild West inspired work-wear works for girls equally well – it almost feels like a liberation, choosing heavy cotton pants and sturdy blazers in ochre palettes. There are dresses, too, for certain occasions, obviously, to avoid making man and woman entirely exchangeable. A chocolate coloured tube dress provides a fitting shell for the body, where proportions are well visible. The pink shirt dress is the other option, with a roomy fit, some girly frill, and a wide belt shaping the waistline.
There are the good girls and the bad girls, and the in-betweens, or, the ones who would like to cross the line just once, as a quick, naughty experiment, only to return to the well-known territory right after. They might want to cross-dress, to look and behave like a guy – manspread in the saloon for one night – to see how it feels to occupy a lot of room, comfortably. It seems possible to wear a dinner jacket for one eve, a dress again the next day.
The Wild West is a myth, a place that is often referred to as the realm of true freedom, where man (and woman) is not bound by the strict rules of society, and by the law not too much, either. Violence occurs, in a society of primordial state, and love is pure and raw, not yet biased by other concerns, or family favours. In a world without official checks and balances, concepts of good and bad become individual choices that can be built upon, or discarded equally quickly.
POAN goes west, in a spiritual more than a geographic sense – and explores its free state of mind in a film project, honouring the medium that established the genre. In our take on the wild west, taboos are being broken. The sheriff falls for the gangster. Girls can take their liberties in love, too. As it is a complicated world with the roles of good and bad guys not always clearly distinguishable, sexual orientations potentially shifting, our take on the genre allows the unexpected to happen. For us, the wild west is a laboratory of love, where research is being conducted in order to prove and disprove a range of ideas. That’s the spirit that enshrines the concept wild west as place of ultimate freedom.
Written for POAN by George Ghon
14th of September 2019
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until 21st of November