Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fashion from the Past, to the Future, and to the Past again

Note: This was originally published on the 2Modern Design Talk blog.

I was asked what I would like to write about, what kind of things interest me. The first thing that jumped to mind was Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie, Blade Runner. It is a perfect image of the mixture of future and past design, described sometimes as a retrofitted future. Its dark vision of the future year 2019, expertly stays linked to the past.

From the poetic first-person narration, the moral ambivalent hero, to the femme fatale, it has all the earmarks of a classic Film Noir. But those elements also brilliantly shared the screen with life-like human replicants, sky-driven cars, and the threat of acid rain.

From the 1940s look of Sean Young’s Rachael, to Harrison Ford’s mood and speaking manner as Deckard, to the J. F. Sebastian toys, that strangely evoked toys that were already collectibles by the time of the movie’s production.

Last month, Japanese fashion designer Junko Shimada presented her fall/winter 2008/2009 collection, which was greatly influenced by the movie. While thoroughly modern in gold and silver fabrics, it still evoked 1950’s fashions with the ratted bouffant hair, the strong shoulders, and peplum jackets. It also seems that designers Christian Lacroix, Yves Saint Laurent, Monique Lhuillier, and Balenciaga were influenced by the retro-Sci fi blend of Blade Runner for their fall ready-to-wear collections.

I still have not seen the 25th Anniversary Director’s Cut; therefore, to me this movie is perfect as it is. I think this movie is a great example for the future of design. Truly great design does not go out of style. It just needs to be seen in a new light and appreciated anew.

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