Isaac Newton were alive today, he might have come up with a fourth law of motion just to deal with fashion trends, which seem to defy all existing rules by moving forwards and backwards at the same time. Fashion is supposed to take us into the future, but wait long enough and yesterday’s trends will come back eventually, some returning faster than others.
In 2017, for example, we’re seeing the return of Paco Rabanne’s signaturemetallic chain-metal dresses, which first walked the runways in the 1960s, and were “in” again in the early-aughts during Paris Hilton’s heyday. Now, they can be found in Paris nightclubs on twentysomethings like Bella Hadid. To boot, white go-go bootsare back as well—a trend that similarly took off in the ’60s along with Space Age style, starting with André Courrèges and was later recycled during the Studio 54 era. Now, they’re back with the help of brands like Balenciaga. (And Hadid too, of course.)
As with the constellations, drawing lines between reoccurring trends can help make sense of where we come from, how we ended up here, and where we might be headed. And fittingly, all roads lead to outer space at the moment, from Chanel’s rocket launch on the runway to Christopher Kane’s cosmic prints.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are the provocateurs of our generation – but today, almost everyone has missed the memo.
Most fashion lovers would have woken up to cheeky photos of Viktor & Rolf’s couture Spring 2019 collection this morning, delivered by media outlets who have lazily re-shared images of its slogan dresses with uninspired hashtags like #bigmood and #same.
However, these people have entirely missed the point – and in a way, played into the exact banal social media behaviour that the duo is examining.
In understanding what they are trying to achieve with dresses emblazoned with meme quotes like “Go F**k Yourself,” it helps to garner some context of their past works first.
Viktor & Rolf is famous for bringing social commentary to life with its couture garments (garments that are themselves a commentary on the excess of fashion), having released collections that frequently question our social interactions and relationship with the media cycle.
The designers’ Wearable Art collection of 2015/16 sent elaborate dresses down the catwalk that were mind-bendingly constructed inside gilt frames – frames reminiscent of those surrounding famous works of art. The collection allowed the intersection between fashion and art to come to life on the runway, and embraced the constant discussion about whether fashion is art or commerce.
Here, Viktor & Rolf said to the pundits – now it is both.
Its Cutting Edge Couture collection for Spring 2010 saw extravagant ballgowns sliced through with holes, a wink at the rich who were financially unbothered by the credit crunch, but saw it as unbecoming to wear their expensive collections during a time of financial crisis.
And now, this year, the iconic duo is taking a swipe at the vacuous world of Instagram and influencers. Think I’m overblowing it? Take Snoeren’s own descriptionof the collection as creating a “strange contradiction.”
“It’s the kind of message you find on social media, with the same instant feeling,” said Snoeren. “All these statements that are so obvious or easy — there’s a lot of banality on Instagram and social media in general — [they] are counterbalanced with this over-the-top, shimmery, romantic feeling.”
It’s an apt metaphor for the lazy content farming of memes in order to drive engagement, with no real connection to the poster themselves. After all, sharing a quote as trite as “Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want To Come” is vacuous alpha-signalling at its basest level. You’re not important or interesting, it tells your viewers, but I am.
A dress overtaken by the statement “I Am My Own Muse” reflects on our self-obsessions. An attention-seeking gigantic gown declaring “I’m Not Shy I Just Don’t Like You” notes our generation’s increasing inability to accept those who are different to us, while also needing to declare it loudly and publicly.
Meanwhile, a completely overblown dress with “Less Is More” emblazoned across it acts as a nod to Instagrammers extolling the virtues of sustainability while shlocking their paid-for wares and encouraging questionable over-spending habits.
Sure, fashion can be playful and fun and decidedly un-serious at times – but in the pursuit of coverage and clicks, many of us gloss over the most important onus of fashion design (and couture in particular): to say something about our society, about our politics, about where we are in history. To help us reflect on what we have created.
And sadly, where we are in history at the moment, is placing Fiji Water Girlover important speeches about the progression of the #MeToo movement.
However, if you think that Viktor & Rolf is judging you for posting your favourite memes, you’d be mistaken. Like true artists, the pair is focused on documenting these moments and our innermost obsessions.
“Fascination without condemning; it’s just the world we live in,” said Horsting. Snoeren agreed: “It’s our way of dealing with it.”
I have seen a lot of wild things making their runway debuts, but extra-terrestrials? That’s, like, next-level strange. Sure, we all witness some absurd styles during fashion week—during couture week, especially—but I honestly don’t think I can say I’ve seen anything quite like this Paris FashionWeek alien trend. Have aliens arrived on Earth, or is it just a coincidence that two different designers decided to incorporate alien-chic into their runway shows on the same day? I don’t know if we’re all just living in the Twilight Zone or what, but something is going on in Paris right now, and I’m not sure if I really want to know the truth.
Manish Arora, Fall/Winter 2019
Whether or not aliens have invaded Earth—and frankly, I’d prefer to stay in the dark on this one—they certainly have invaded the Paris Fashion Week runways. On Thursday, not one, but two shows featured alien-inspired looks. Both Manish Aroraand Rick Owens have done some weird things with their collections before. Arora’s spring/summer 2019 collection was wild, but there were no aliens. Rick Owens always manages to somehow make his models look like stylish cavemen or modern art projects, but, once again, no aliens in sight. However, both of these designers used alien-chic looks in their runway shows for Fall/Winter 2019. I truly hope Manish Arora and Rick Owens just happened to both have similar visions for their collections, and we’re not really all about to scroll through photos of real aliens. TBH, I don’t know what to think anymore.
On July 20, 1969, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins successfully completed the Apollo 11 mission which culminated in Armstrong taking that fateful space walk on the moon’s surface, telling those listening, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Armstrong’s legendary accomplishment is chronicled in Damian Chazelle’s latest film, First Man (opening today), which the Hollywood Reporter has called a, “sober, contemplative picture [with] emotional involvement, visceral tension, and yes, even suspense, in addition to stunning technical craft.”
Although the six American flags which have been left on the moon since Apollo 11 have been confirmed to have turned white due to alternating days of searing sunlight and 100° heat and days of numbing-cold -150°, there’s no mistaking the technicolor impact that the mission had on various facets of industries.
Since the days of the space race, designers like like André Courrèges, Paco Rabanne, and Pierre Cardin, have attempted to sartorially predict what the future held for society – whether forecasting the daily uniforms for the masses — or more esoteric fare for those on the fringes as drastic changes occur in society.
Dubbed “space age” in their terse assessment by fashion critics, these looks have permeated couture houses in as futuristic silhouettes, and have been more overt homages to NASA by contemporary designers.
Here’s a look at some of the space age fashion over the years
Designers pulled out all the stops at New York Fashion Week with over-the-top shows that layered on elaborate sets and live performances
Models at rag & bone’s show Sept. 6 during New York Fashion Week.PHOTO: ANGELA WEISS/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
More was more at New York Fashion Week, which ends today, making the case that live runway shows are relevant in a digital world.
Designers, including some who recently had skipped showing in New York, stormed back. Some houses dazzled audiences with glitzy venues, performers—and even a robot—as if conceding that clothes alone aren’t enough to inspire excitement. Here are five highlights of the week.
The Runway Show Is Back
The fashion show, which seemed in peril just a few seasons ago, is definitely in vogue. The number of shows on the calendar of IMG— organizer of one Fashion Week—rose to 100 this season from 83 last season.
Jason Wu is among those who returned to the catwalk after taking two seasons off and hosting small presentations while his label reassessed business. Upscale contemporary fashion house rag & bone hosted runway shows following several seasons of presentations, short films and videos to preview collections. Just last year, founder and chief brand officer Marcus Wainwright told the WSJ the traditional runway show “doesn’t feel original” anymore. This time, Mr. Wainwright shook things up with a blend of technology and live performers. The rag & bone show had a circular runway, dancers, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and drummers from the band Atoms of Peace. A robot captured video of the show and broadcast the footage on screens throughout the venue.
“Taking a break from presenting the collection in a traditional format has allowed us to explore different narratives that align with our brand aesthetic,” Mr. Wainwright said. “And to bring that all together under one roof, was in effect our answer to creating more of an experience, rather than a straight fashion show.”
Take Me Away
Forget your troubles and just get happy. That’s what Ralph Lauren was after when he transformed a Wall Street building into an Art Deco nightclub inspired by 1920s and 1930s New York City. The evening set a new bar for over-the-top glamour and excitement. As guests in black tie or black-and-white arrived at “Ralph’s Club,” a band played American Songbook favorites. Models sauntered among the tables and booths, showing off the clothes. After the show, Janelle Monae brought the house down by singing jazz tunes, dancing on tables and engaging the audience in call-and-response.
“Ralph’s Club was about getting dressed up and wearing something that you love that makes you feel good and then going to a place that lifts you up for that moment,” said Mr. Lauren, who has made his runway shows immersive experiences in recent years.
Tommy Hilfiger also embraced escapism, showing his latest collection co-designed with performer Zendaya at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The outdoor set recreated a ’70s-era block party with models dancing to recorded music amid brownstone stoops and shiny convertibles. Tom Ford celebrated iconic New York by showing in an abandoned subway station. The designer cited a 1965 photo of Andy Warhol and muse Edie Sedgwick atop a New York City manhole as an inspiration.
Turn Up the Volume
Models parading down a catwalk aren’t enough to thrill camera-phone-wielding guests. They need Instagrammable entertainment—so having a dance or song performance has almost become a must. Designers hope such bells and whistles enhance the clothes, not distract from them. Deveaux New York, a New York-based luxury minimalist line that specializes in elevating wardrobe classics, hosted a celebratory show with a drumline, a small band and lead singers who have appeared on “The Voice.” Models, including amateurs as well as notables like Veronica Webb and DJ Honey Dijon, danced on the runway. The Blonds, a luxury house whose over-the-top getups are favored by entertainers, collaborated with “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” for its fashion show at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Cast members performed songs while celebrities including Billy Porter and Paris Hilton made appearances. Ulla Johson’s show included a small indie band. Meanwhile, Christian Siriano of “Project Runway” fame set up gallerist and painter Ashley Longshore on stage. As models including Siriano favorite Coco Rocha strode around her, Ms. Longshore worked on huge portraits of Frida Kahlo, Laverne Cox, Ms. Rocha and others.
A Social Event
Pyer Moss’s show was highly anticipated after designer Kerby Jean-Raymond took a season off from the runway treadmill. Mr. Raymond, who grew up in Brooklyn, wanted his young fans to be part of the spectacle at the Kings Theatre in the borough’s Flatbush neighborhood. The 32-year-old designer used social media to make that happen, first through open casting calls on Instagram and then by inviting 500 fans, also on Instagram. The other 2,500 guests were a mix of friends, celebrities and industry professionals. Thousands of people sought tickets; Mr. Jean-Raymond reposted a fan’s message joking that she was willing “to sell her soul” to get in.
Brooklyn Is the Place to Be
In recent years, just two or three high-profile brands took the edgy step of making the fashion flock trek from Manhattan to the hip borough of Brooklyn. This season, an increasing number of designers—even die-hard Manhattan fan Michael Kors—held shows there. Brandon Maxwell, who won the top womenswear designer award this year from the Council of Fashion Designers, turned a Brooklyn event space into a bar called Brandon’s. A neon pink sign spelled out the name of the bar, which offered cotton candy and sippy cups of cocktails such as a “New Fashioned.” Tory Burch showed at the Brooklyn Museum, where the CFDA has twice held its annual awards. Also showing in Brooklyn were Phillip Lim, Rihanna (for the second time) and Eckhaus Latta, a fashion-show-in-Brooklyn pioneer. Why? Because Brooklyn is cool. Mr. Maxwell lives there, as do a number of young designers, and, he told Women’s Wear Daily, he wanted to celebrate the place.
Corrections & Amplifications The Council of Fashion Designers of America and events and talent manager IMG organized separate New York fashion week calendars. An earlier version of this article failed to mention that CFDA organizes its own calendar, incorrectly implying there is only one fashion week calendar. (Sept. 13, 2019) Models at the Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya show danced to recorded music. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said they danced to live music. (Sept. 11, 2019)
EPSI partner Warrant Hub, through their Belgian subsidiary company BeWarrant, organises the workshop in the framework of FBD_BModel.
EPSI has recently signed a partnership with Warrant Hub from the Tinexta Group, organisation offering integrated services for industrial projects and who has expertise in specific sectors such as advanced materials and carbon fibers for sport application.
Next 24th September, in Paris, our partners, through their Belgian Associate BeWarrant, will organise a specific workshop titled “Fashion Big Data Technology Platform – A way for developing new digital business models for the whole textile supply chain”.
The event is organised in in the framework ofFBD_BModel Project, co-funded by the European Union through Horizon 2020 Research&Innovation Programme
Internet, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence constitute the key technology drive for the future of fashion textile industry, permitting to create new business models for the whole supply chain.
In this workshop, we will report a novel fashion big data technology platform linking consumers’ needs and market demands with the manufacturing processes. This platform will enable the development of new business models for retailers (B2C) and business partners in the supply chain (B2B).
You will have the opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations and how to develop your business with big data, establish new collaborations and ultimately define recommendations for the future funded research
The textile and clothing industry still occupy a crucial position in the manufacturing sector in Europe.
However, this industrial sector is challenged by a drastic reduction in Europe due to relocation to countries outside the EU with cheaper labour costs, leading to the reduction of manufacturing in Europe and leaving facilities as well as data and knowledge unexploited.
Supply chains in the EU are still too weak when facing international competition due to low levels of communication and cooperation between the concerned actors and lack of efficient tools for quick access to their target consumers. And the existing digital platforms can only process relatively simple interactions, in which B2B (interactions of professionals) and B2C (shopping with consumers) models have not been systematically integrated.
The FBD_BModel project, funded by the European Commission, aims at creating a digital technology platform for enabling small series innovative high value fashion and functional garments manufacturing and e-commerce, through a fully connected and data-driven local supply chain in the EU, to meet consumer’s personalized needs in terms of fashion and functional performances.
Based on this platform, a novel B2B2C business model will be built, helpful for creating customized textile production in Europe, promoting material innovations of European SMEs with connected professional networks, and preserving and updating professional knowledge in Europe.
FBD_BModel Consortium will meet academic and industrial stakeholders, to discuss research results and future developments for the development of novel supply chains supporting innovative services in fashion industry.
A few months ago, Business Insider featured Wildfang, a brand that is designing masculine-style clothing tailored for women’s bodies. TomboyX is the underwear equivalent. The company took masculine-style underwear like trunks and boxer briefs and adapted them for women’s bodies, opening up underwear possibilities for those whose tastes fall outside traditional feminine styles.
TomboyX makes boxer briefs and trunks that maintain a masculine aesthetic while removing the excess fabric that often comes standard with men’s underwear to accommodate a … certain anatomy. This leads to a distinctly sleeker silhouette without the excess bulk that often leads to bunching or discomfort under tighter clothing.
I’ve worn men’s trunks or boxer briefs for the better part of my adult life, so I had grown used to the design shortcomings as a necessary evil to get the style I wanted. When I first heard about TomboyX, I jumped at the chance to try them. Initially, I went with its 4.5-inch trunks that, based on their online photos, seemed to be the closest option to the underwear I was used to wearing. I found them to be a little long for me, so I tried its slightly shorter option, the boy shorts, and I knew right away I’d found something here. When I tried them on, I wasn’t quite used to the fabric laying flush against my body, so it was a little strange at first. But after a few minutes I was totally used to it, and once I put pants on, I didn’t think another thought about my underwear that day, which is the ultimate goal, isn’t it?
TomboyX offers a wide range of styles, from 9-inch boxer briefs that come down to the mid-thigh all the way to more feminine styles such as bikinis and thongs. Size inclusivity is an unflinching tenant of the brand, so every item is offered in sizes from XS to 4X. What’s more is all its products are sweatshop-free and produced by workers that earn a living wage.
Additionally, TomboyX strives to be eco-friendly, with many of its products certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, an international organization whose strict specifications ensure the human-ecological safety of textiles. This certification ensures limited levels of harmful chemicals in the fabric, which, if you ask me, is incredibly reassuring given underwear fabric’s proximity to sensitive areas.
Of the fabric options offered — a basic cotton, MicroModal, and Active Drirelease — the cotton is my favorite (I’m not fancy). But the Active Drirelease is great if you’re an athlete or an avid gym-goer. I am neither, so they’re just another pair of underwear for me. The specialized fabric is sweat-resistant and moisture-wicking and has reinforced seams that will stand up to lots of stretch and movement. The MicroModals are criminally soft, and a bit lighter than the cotton ones, but I find them to be less breathable.
In my experience, none of the three fabric styles ride up at all.
With every other brand of trunk or boxer brief I’ve worn, it’s been a constant battle of trying to discreetly tug my underwear down to unbunch them. Imagine picking a wedgie, but with a higher degree of difficulty. TomboyX has managed to eliminate that problem entirely, at least in the boyshorts style I tried.
Naturally, TomboyX hasn’t abandoned underwear’s favorite companion — the bra. It offers four styles — two that mimic traditional sports bras in aesthetic and two more feminine bralettes. I tried the Essentials Soft Bra, one of the sports-bra styles, and while it was extremely comfy, it didn’t offer much support, so it wasn’t quite right for me. I prefer something with a little more compression, but my partner loves it as a casual lounge-around option or for wearing under T-shirts.
If you’re looking for more masculine style underwear, but want a sleeker aesthetic than traditional men’s underwear, TomboyX has finally answered your (and my) prayers.
Plus, you get the added benefits of undies that are eco-friendly, size inclusive, socially responsible — and most importantly, incredibly comfy. TomboyX checks all the boxes as the type of brand I love to support, and it’s single-handedly changed my underwear standards forever.
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