“When I returned to designing, I was taken aback by how everyone was seeing shows through their phones,” John Galliano confessed to the press after the spring-summer 2018 couture show for Maison Margiela. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em? Well, you can say that Galliano found a compromise for his initial frustration with the Insta-phenomen. A very, very innovative one. The audience members were asked to turn their cameras to flash throughout the show, which resulted in a totally unexpected experience. Everyone captured their own images of fabrics of the high-tech garments as the models walked down the runway. “It’s quite scientific,” Galliano continued. “We recorded every moment of what we were making, then looked at the photographs and altered what we were doing according to the photos.” The reaction of polyurethane to camera flash works magic on holographic material that was layered over polka dots and artisanal chinoiserie jacquards. In other words, what you see IRL, looks (and shines) differently, when you compare it to digital shot of the same piece. Fashion, for goodness sake, is a dream! And Galliano knows that. If your pocket isn’t filled with a haute couture budget, it’s just the matter of time when the hi-tech concept hits Maison Margiela’s regular ready-to-wear.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Junya Watanabe is considered as one of the most modernistic designer of our times. This season, he prepared another break-out which seems to be out of this world – thanks to high technology and Tomihiro Kono’s help, the AW15 season for the designer means the importance of maths. Isamaya Ffrench doodled mathematical equations onto the arms, legs and necks of the models while Tomihiro Kono created angular foam sculptures to sit on the top of their heads. The two Japanese geniuses worked together to create fashion in new dimension. The capes made out of hexagonal, laser & hand – cut textiles were fixed and improved for more than three months – it took a lot of time calculating its durability. If talking of the alien head-pieces, Kono approves – that was a hard thing to do. “I started to calculate the circumference using the diameter…it was like studying maths back at school. I made a column for the base of the head-pieces and then added some hair-wings in a radial pattern.” Definitely, science and fashion get closer and closer together each season…
Oh yes! Raf Simons again makes his fashion interesting. For fall, the RTW collection looks cosmic – high-tech sequins look like second, shiny skin of the model; the psychodelic latex boots and printed dresses are super eye-catchy. The green coat is toxic in it’s beauty. Everything lacquered and at the same time reminding something of reptiles and other animals. The furs and interesting fluid-like craft techniques are mind-blowing. Raf Simons described this collection not only primitive in a sense, but as “something more liberated, darker, more sexual.” Something more than Dior’s femme fleur, in other words which he brought monotonously for few seasons.
Yang Li sculptures clothes while other design them. For fall, Li sculptured bodies as silk bonded with aluminium, featuring heavily throughout the collection. This malleable fabric could be moulded and shaped with the hands – it was made up in to jackets and coats that covered the body, holding their shape like tin foil or other faun material. This not only gave a cosmic result – the fluid-ness of the overall collection was present everywhere. This copper coloured dress is out of this world, too. Is it avant-garde? Yes. YES.
Iris Van Herpen is known for her scientific approach towards fashion. For summer, the designer was inspired with magnets- the name of the collection Magnetic Motion, which matches perfectly. A visit to the Large Handron Collider in CERN, Switzerland was for Iris the thing. There, where the atoms are divided in two, Van Herpen learnt how to “connect”. She applied the idea to manipulating the building blocks of the collection at times—for example, the shoes were “grown” with magnets and a fixative applied, each one slightly different. The pièce de résistance “halo” silhouettes at the end of the show were the physical embodiment in silicone of invisible magnetic forces. These were perfected by the Canadian architect Philip Beesley, one of Van Herpen’s frequent collaborators, who was joined this time by the Dutch artist Jólan van der Wiel.
And all of that super high-technology applied on a simple, black dress or a tunic. You must admit- the effect is ground-shaking.