The world of fashion can be expressed through multiple disciplines and influenced by other artistic movements. BA (Hons) Menswear student Dominic, lists five fashion designers that have combined performance design to inspire their collections.
Within the fashion industry there has always been an on going relationship between performance and fashion. All the practitioners listed have either collaborated with dance companies or designed specifically for performers. Some designers have been known to think about the performance first then thought of the fashion after. As a menswear student who takes all of his inspiration from dance, theatre and performance, these practitioners show how there can be a good fusion of high-end fashion and a visually impressive presentation.
Fashion is bringing about new ideas and viewpoints on how to present ideas and showcase work. There’s an established trend of doing a presentation to display the work, which is reminiscent of the ‘art school’ environment. This is where the exciting and interesting ideas seem to be coming from. I’ve highlighted a few designers that have all used performance in their work to elevate the level of the fashion show experience.
Featured image credit: OWENSCORP. Photography by Valerio Mezzanotti
Aitor Throup – New Object Research SS17
Credit: Aitor Throup SS17 Collection, 'New Object research' via YouTube.
Aitor Throup is an alumnus of The Royal College of Art MA Menswear programme. Throup is an ellusive part of the fashion scene, choosing to remove himself from the regimented seasonal collection and instead, doing his own thing by his own rules. Throup has in the past taken inspiration from performance, and created his own work; he was inspired by Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’, which itself was a ground breaking and revolutionary dance piece in the early 20th Century. Throup's SS17 Menswear collection, ‘New Object Research’, was presented as a set of prototype garments on giant marionettes instead of real-life conventional models. The collection was built on a previous collection by the same name that was originally just four garments, showing that Throup likes to build on and reinvent his work.
Advisory note: Please be advised the footage features themes of an adult nature and some nudity.
Rick Owens – SS14 ‘Vicious’
Credit: OWENSCORP. Photography by Valerio Mezzanotti
Rick Owens’ SS 2014 collection saw four sororities – the Washing Divas, Soul Steppers, Momentums and Zetas – produce a ‘stepping’ performance. Stepping is a dance style that evolved in African-American colleges as a hybrid of step dancing, cheerleading and military drill routines. Choreographed by Lauretta Malloy Noble and her daughter Leeanet, they added other elements of Zulu dancing to enhance the dance style. The garments created by Owens are a good example of how to create fashion for dance. The dancers needed to move so the clothes were adjusted accordingly; high cut trousers and shorts, laced up fastenings and slitted garments to allow maximum motion and movement.