TAKING INSPIRATION IN DECONSTRUCTIVIST ARCHITECTURE SUCH AS THE GUGGENHEIM BILBAO BY FRANK GEHRY AND THE CITY OF ARTS AND SCIENCE IN VALENCIA BY SANTIAGO CALATRAVA, DESIGNERS THIS SEASON PRESENT US WITH STYLES THAT IGNORE THE TRADITIONAL PRINCIPLES OF PROPORTION, CREATING FORMS THAT SEEM TO DEFY THE LAWS OF GRAVITY.
Reminiscent of Gehry’s flowing lines and organic, titanium clad forms as well as Calatrava’s distinct, unconventional, abstract structures, designers across the board seem to be experimenting with materials and shapes. Rick Owens has dived deep into the avant-garde this season by deconstructing garments into simple, basic shapes with a heavy emphasis on draping. While he sent his mannequins down the runway with silver and gold-foiled faces, his collection is characterised by sequined sparkle and crystalline geometry that seems reflective of Calatravas attention to material when trying to achieve aesthetic harmony. Stella McCartney also opts for asymmetric, architectural styles. Featuring both static pieces as well as experiments with movement and folds, she creates looks that transform the wearer’s body into something sculptural. One-sleeved ribbed knit sweater dresses and handkerchief fold skirts, are just two examples for how this season McCartney is both working with material to enhance its organic properties while using techniques such as knitting and the layering of materials to create silhouettes that seem to go beyond the natural. Another stand out feature this season is the use of metallics. From Proenza Schouler’s use of silver metallic leather to lend her minimalist bags a touch of steel, Acne Studios metallic trainers to Alexander McQueen’s terminatoresque pumps, designers are working with surface texture to give familiar materials a contradictory feel. Just as Gehry and Calatrava managed to turn the world of architecture upside down with their bold reinvention of shape and matter, designers are working to expand the capacity of texture and cut. Through reassembling, overlaying and deconstructing, designers are managing to go beyond the traditional, presenting us with ever-new excursions into the avant-garde.
© Imaxtree, Acne Studios, Stella McCartney, Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs,
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