A global pandemic, increasing global temperature, a war—we are living in a post apocalyptic-like atmosphere.
And it seems the fashion world is dealing with this reality by translating their emotions into garments that shout dystopia-core, a trend of taking grunge and goth dressing to another level. It was all on display during the recently concluded Paris haute couture fashion week.
Many high luxury labels indulged in futuristic designs, which had hints of defiance. Use of neoprene, metallic fabrics, faux leather, VR-inspired glasses, all with minimalist touches, reflected what fashion houses felt: being cheerful, wearing colourful clothes, is not so cool, because it is not in sync with the world we are living in. Let's look at some of the showcases that were part of the Paris fashion week.
Otherworldly looks have become the norm at Balenciaga. For the Paris show, creative director Demna Gvasalia collaborated with Japanese manufacturers to create sustainable neoprene looks. The fabric exuded a rubber-like visual, looking like second skin. With face covering glass shields, space boots and acoustic glove speaker bags, the runway models appeared like an army of a futuristic AI models.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Olivier Rousteing's showcase for Jean Paul Gaultier was an ode to the maison and fuelled by pop culture references. The collection was built with the use of intricate craftsmanship and life-size glass corsetry. Metallic elements were curated to create futuristic outfits.
In a carefully choreographed showcase, the Loewe display at the Paris fashion week was a physical experience of the metaverse. Loewe combined natural elements with tech relics—plants and living greens sprouted out of trousers, tracksuit bottoms and shoes. The label creative head Jonathan Anderson worked with Spanish bio-designer Paula Ulargui Escalona, who has been experimenting with live plants growing on fabrics, to create the collection.
Presented at the historical sight of Palais De Tokyo, Rick Owens presented a lineup of futuristic outfits. Avant-garde looks, featuring The Matrix-inspired glasses, monochromatic looks, paper-thin inventive fabrics and asymmetrical silhouettes dominated the collection. The play of contrast was Owens' interpretation of the dystopia of our times.