Geraldine Wharry: Modern Fables Trend – Fall Winter 2016 Catwalks
today Apr 4, 2016
Across the global Fall Winter 2016 catwalks, “Modern Fables”, a trend we predicted16 months ago, became a driving aesthetic examining a darker and more menacing vision of the world, one where the oppositional forces prevail: black and white, life and death, chaos and control.
With direct references to subcultures such as Punk and Goth, the Fall Winter 2016 collections across Mens and Womenswear are imbued with a sense of morbidity, disillusion, reflecting current geo-political and socio-economic concerns.
What transpires is an interest in macabre design, the disguise death wears in ancient tales with myths such as vampires, Frankenstein and the Undead. The interest in the cycle of life and death is in direct correlation with designers questioning the status quo, the impact of civil unrest, terrorism and transience as seen in brands such as Yamamoto, Hood By Air, A.F. Vandervorst, Y Project, Alexander Wang and Vêtements.
What is key here is the loss of innocence and the interest in Gothic literature with Frankenstein representing a key visual influence from its the 1931 movie depiction to the original novel by Mary Shelley. The story is centered on a grotesque creature born from an unorthodox scientific experiment held by scientist Victor Frankenstein. The result unleashes a bold aesthetic stitching together Goth, Monastic costume and Streetwear influences.
Occult symbols and ritualistic séances are also referenced. We examine the representation of Death. In Celtic tradition and Breton folklore it is represented as a spectral figure, the “Ankou”, and appears as a tall, haggard figure. Folkloric tales are also an inspiration, such as the “Little Red riding Hood”. The tale is seen by cultural anthropologists as a solar myth about the bright sun swallowed by the terrible night (the wolf), with the ultimate escape representing the dawn- spring and the winter.
Frankenstein’s character inspires a wide range of mechanical metal components such as staples, rings, metal clamps and bolts, seen infused into garments and their articulations. This results in a Punk Anarchy look aligned with areas of political tension in the public realm: the hairline fractures in societal systems – nationhood, environmentalism, states of war and resistance.
Metal parts including d-rings, grommets and chains become integral to the garment, surrounding garment openings, sewn in or pressed in, adding both a sense of entrapment and dark sensuality.
In line with the Street Goth trend seen on the catwalks for the past 2 1/2 years, multiple zippers adorn garments and nod to 90s Rave styles. Here designers focus on skirts and dresses to enhance volumes with gore panels and resulting peekaboo effects.
What is particularly interesting is the haphazard and non-functional placement of zipper
openings across the front chest and sleeves. This detail gives way to see-through aspects highlighting undelaying patterns and bright linings.
The sense of unease and entrapment continues with ties braided and attached in sporadic ways, referencing historical costumes and corsetry. Lacing takes on repair and surgical qualities with garments appearing stitched back together. Exaggerating lacing and hanging straps also refers to a haggard monster or fully wrapped Frankenstein.
To download your sample of our extensive Fall Winter 2016 report click here
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