Last week PDD was at London Fashion Week to see what the best of the British fashion world was showcasing for their Autumn/Winter 2011 collections. Catwalk fashion’ has a heavy influence on popular consumer culture, which is often reflected in how design trends manifest in the everyday products that we buy. While this influence can be quite subtle and lengthy in dissolution into mass culture, being a product and service innovation consultancy we often we this influence from the fashion world on mass market design in the regular trends work we do for our clients. The areas that we work in range from the automotive industry to consumer electronics and beyond, so it’s vital for us to know what’s happening on the catwalk today. Given that we live in an age where ASOS.com can do a perfect catwalk copy in less than a 4 week turnaround, it is even more important to capture these visual trends at a quicker pace.
Below are a few interesting trends we captured at London Fashion Week, we would love to hear what your thoughts on our observations.
Diverse subcultural references
The direction of design influence is not one-way. Fashion often chooses to explicitly reference aspects of subculture, often by adding humour and visual familiarity to designs. LFW A/W ’11 was no different, with more diverse references coming out this season, in a reaction to current affairs and political references alongside artistic ones.
The enfant terrible of hairstyle artistry, Charlie Le Mindu‘s shock-inducing collection could not have been more explicit about the presence of violence and gore. This was sexualised with nudity being rife, nodding to sadomasochism with wartime slaughter references. Military hats covered in lace and pearls and gas masks combined with wigs were some of the specific pieces with explicit military influences, with capes taking it a step further being emblazoned with ‘blood is the war’ in red graffiti. Blood-drenched wigs, models, lace and the literal presence of the word ‘violence’ were reminiscent of Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho in their dark, satirical and graphically thrilling nature.
Maria Francesca Pepe continued on with the S&M theme, in a more tempered, thoughtful and artistic way. The presentation of the collection, ‘Fortuna’, in the appropriately grand surroundings of the Freemasons’ Hall featured a mixture of displays, including cases of accessories, mannequins and models. All were carefully placed to play with the viewer’s perceptions of reality, ultimately making the viewer question their own stance. The accessories and styling around the clothing pointed to sexualised violence with studding, masks and phallic shapes being reminiscent of the work of artists Jake and Dinos Chapman. The collection juxtaposed the angelic and religious in the light, translucent, pearlescent fabrics and finishes, with the dark, demonic and violent clothing and accessories pointing towards the scene of the fallen angels, vulnerable and trapped in a dystopic world of predatory (‘dark side’) monsters.
Holly Fulton‘s stunning collection was mixed up with more light-hearted and fun feeling subcultural references. As ever her collection was more about showcasing her textural obsession, as opposed to dramatic silhouettes. Architectural and art-deco references shaped her collection of clothing and accessories, setting a bright, celebratory, even opulent feel to the glam-rock inspired colours, patterns, crystals and diamantes she used. Madison Avenue glamour was translated through the use of big, alluring red lips in the collection, which also felt Americanised in its obvious Rocky Horror Picture Show aesthetic.
Posted by PDD
The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
My dream project: A project that makes a difference in the world.
My obsession: Develop successful, award-winning and world-first products and experiences.