Many designers at Paris Fashion Week last September were inspired by 1970s era science fiction – idealised visions of a future/past are a logical muse as fashion attempts to banish real world concerns through the illusion of altered realities, spaces beyond the critics gaze where strange alien forms can co-create equally and diversly.
part of what makes fashion great (and not great) is the battle for current relevance. Science fiction on the other hand, is susceptible to ideological fatigue – Jettisoned of its grounding in the present it either has the tendency to shoot off into asbtractionism or it dates.
Attempts to return to the seventies in Paris by the likes of Celine, Guy Laroche and Paco Rabanne then reflected the times only as a form of conscious escapism that had – if truth be told – been features of the original decade: the desire to shine, to embolden, enliven and live counter to the (de)pressing concerns of the moment via the fantasy elements of disco lights, flared trousers and roller skates.
Thankfully for Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton (currently the world’s best clothes designer) it wasn’t simply enough to revisit.
Last season he’d already shown how the eighties should be tackled – via the Centre Pompidou, cultural melting pot in a pre-digitized Latin Quarter Paris. The results spoke of everything we’d forgotten of that era: the narrowness of trousers, single-symbol statements and pastel-romanticism created a hard politik – a version of a time through re-imagining not referencing.
Referencing is the modus operandi of all fashion these days. From the (beautiful) anime or military inspired cuts of Sacai to high street collaborations and labels, style is an acknowledgement of the known as opposed to a journey into the unknown. Obviously a completed jettisoning of the past is impossible without falling into the kind of naivety of … but for his S/S 2020 collection …