Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Fashion Designs of the Year

The Designs of the Year 2013 exhibition opens at London’s Design Museum tomorrow. Now in its 6th year, the show is considered to be the Oscars of the international design world. A panel, consisting of respected members of the design community from a variety of disciplines, including museum curators, journalists and architects is asked to nominate projects, which then make up the shortlist. The overall Design of the Year will be announced this Friday. 

At the press launch, some of the jury members - Nicholas Roope, Griff Rhys Jones and Johanna Agerman Ross - posed alongside a life-size model of Yayoi Kusama, whose curiously dotty designs for Louis Vuitton are on the shortlist. Others on the fashion shortlist include the vintage Balenciaga-inspired Anna Karenina costumes, designed by Jacqueline Durra; Giles Deacon’s A/W12 womenswear collection; Craig Green’s AW12 collection; Prada’s S/S12 RTW collection, Proenza Sshcouler’s A/W12 collection, Comme des Garcons RTW A/W12 range and two short films directed by Lisa Immordino and Elisha Smith-Leverock.

Categories encompass architecture, furniture, digtial, graphics, transport, product and fashion. With 90 or so nominations, including Heatherwick Studio’s celebrated Olympic Cauldron, The Shard and a 3D printer, it could prove challenging to judge table and chair designs, let alone fashion accessories and items of clothing. 

Recent Central St Martin’s graduate, Craig Green, has won accolades from the press for the curiously unique designs in his MA Fashion graduation project (see below).

In this collection he plays with ideas of utility and function. Inspired by trompe d’oeil imagery and oversized luggage, huge architectural structures and geometric shapes dwarf the models to create eye-catching abstract silhouettes. In his catwalk show, models looked like nomads laden down with their luggage. For each patterned outfit, there was an extact replica in black, which walked behind the main garment on the catwalk to create a live ‘shadow.’ The large wooden structures attached to some of the garments are designed to symbolize religious pilgrimage.

Miuccia Prada’s collection, drawing on the theme of ‘sweetness’ and past generations was influenced by the 1950s style popular style, including car designs such as the Chevrolet. 

Vintage automobile-inspired designs see exhaust-pipe flames bursting out of the heels of shoes. This theme was carried across the whole accessories range.  

For Proenza Schouler, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack Mc Collough experimented with padding and quilting for their ‘protection’ ‘themed collection. 

They took inspiration from the Samurai, from martial arts like Kendo and from fencing. Their aim was to achieve a structured toughness, integrating modes of protection via intricately woven leatherwork and armour-like grids on bomber jackets, layered capes, skirts and boots.

Giles Deacon combined ideas of death with the exuberance and decadence of life to inspire his flowing torn silk gowns. 

His collection featured a theatrical series of delicately burnt and water-stained gowns and blouses, infused with gothic influences and an atmosphere of decaying opulence. Deacon wanted to convey the idea of a fire at an English stately home – which pieces would someone save in that situation? Fabrics such as Victorian style ivory silk, black velvet and chiffon with copper embroidery were burned by hand to reveal the layers underneath. His collection featured corseted gowns, high club collars and split-tailed jackets. Milliner Stephen Jones designed the headpieces, handcrafted from porcupine and ostrich feathers.

ShopCurious would love to know which fashion design you think should be the winner…

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