From my blog post for Singularity&Co., the futurist digital publisher and vintage pulp bookshop:
The fashion industry is the kookiest contender in the futurist camp, but it belongs there. From the thousand-yard stare of runway models to the lament of “that’s so last season,” the discourse is always intent upon the horizon. It’s no cosmic coincidence that a serious sci fi, fantasy and comic slant dominates designer narratives and editorial imaginings this year: In this time of vivid geopolitical and economic anxieties, escaping to the future is so very now.
Annually fashioning the Western psyche, the definitive September issues look forward to the heroic attitude and quixotic allure of femininity that’s lived on the pages of pulp. Photographer Steven Klein’s unsettling “Space Odyssey” story for Vogue strands a cyborg beauty in a stark landscape of interstellar transport and faceless drones:
Elsewhere in the issue, David Sims shoots model Karlie Kloss styled as a cyberpunk corporate climber in angular office ensembles resonant with a modern metropolis:
Casting the cartoonish coiffure in a softer light is fabulist photographer Tim Walker in this Vogue beauty spread:
Critics see protectionism in harder edges and androgynous shapes, a form of fashionable firewall. The heroine chic in ELLE magazine gives this a potent pop twist with a comic book primary palette:
The printed sweatshirt-style top from Balenciaga seen above was shown at the top of a customized floor in a Parisian office tower, part of a collection inspired by corporate spies and IT workers (see the runway video here). From the looks of the iconic Givenchy tees released earlier this year, an unholy organic/inorganic hybrid of Voltron robotics, bird-of-paradise biology and Bettie Page pinups, science fiction sportswear has indeed become the new style overlord:
The worlds of sci fi, fantasy and comics have put women in powerful roles for decades–it’s about time fashion looked for inspiration not from street style but space opera. We’ll update this post with the most futuristic looks as Fashion Week continues worldwide this month.
Images courtesy of Vogue, Elle, Harvey Nichols. Video courtesy of Americanvogue.