From Future Perfect, Elle, March 2007.
One of my all time favourite fashion editorials is ‘Future Perfect’ which featured in the March 2007 edition of Elle UK. Ever since its publication, I’ve looked to this fashion shoot for continual inspiration, even enthusiastically ripping out some of the pages and tacking them to my wall.
The aesthetic is space – age meets urban nymph. A blonde, Scandinavian – looking model wears metallic mini-dresses and sci-fi shapes with bandage tights and safety pads like a 21st century version of Barbarella. She poses against industrial, space – themed backdrops and otherworldly meadows wearing battered high-tops in one shot and shiny wicklepickers the next. It was the sparkly – luminosity of the dresses that garnered my greatest appreciation - stunning silvers and dresses adorned with shimmering discs resembling Quality Street cellophane wrappers, a mermaid sculpted scaled dress and a Gareth Pugh jacket like a tinfoil checkerboard. In my favourite shot, the model wears the most unforgettable besequinned dress with silver – grey satin platforms. Crouched against an ugly background, that dress is iridescent and extraordinary, glimmering multi-coloured with light dancing on its surface.
Walking aimlessly around Topshop the other day, I was reminded of ‘Future Perfect’ and particularly that shot. I think that is the wonderful thing about an image – it can stay with you forever and crop up when you don’t even expect it to. With so much pale shiny things about and clusters of sequins catching my eye at every turn, I found myself recalling once again, the ethereal atmosphere of that beloved editorial.
Generally, sequins and glitter are considered as winter, ‘party season’ additions; therefore, I rather enjoy the possibility of summer sequins and modern metallics combined with softest springtime shades. Silver glitter dresses, power blue lacquered shorts, pleated pewter skater skirts, out- of-this-world shiny heels, pearly – white space-age dresses and dustings of delicate sequins everywhere; Topshop, dare I say it, was like a fairy- grotto – a treasure throve of sparkle just waiting to be foraged.
Christopher Kane’s S/S collection provides catwalk inspiration on a similar note. The collection was a technical masterpiece rendered in shimmering fabrics in shades of mint, platinum and cerulean blue as well as the highly-innovative use of what style.com refers to as ‘ghost fabric’, 70% aluminium organza, so sheer that it is almost invisible. It is a stunning collection; thoroughly modern and cool in that manner so typical to Kane. And again, it brings ‘Future Perfect’ to mind as there is this space – age sensibility - flat sandals and slightly Trekkie dressies with sharp angles and cut-outs and short hemlines - and a plethora of jewel – encrusted pieces – dresses, sandal straps and glamour – puss clutches. Finally, you’ve got appliqué flowers on that barely – there material, supposedly inspired by sticker books. It’s a sparkling vision of a futuristic spring.
Christopher Kane s/s '12
Chanel of course, takes the pastel – sparkle trend to a whole new stratosphere. The standout piece in the S/S collection is white mother-of-pearl dress with bib front detailing with matching jacket included in the following ensemble. This dress is the closest to the Sublime in fashion. A simple 60s’ shape twinkling blue, green, lilac like a mermaid’s tail. The nearest thing to perfect.
Chanel s/s '12.
Incidentally, the Chanel showstopper dress was featured in an editorial last month in The New York Times Style Magazine which has a vaguely ‘Future Perfect’ vibe too. In an irresistible shot (which I spotted over at Discotheque Confusion), a smiling blonde model (similarly nymph like...) with kitsch bubblegum –pink sun glasses poses somewhat awkwardly outside a suburban home with rose bush and burnt shrubbery. It is a fantastic image with the model so bizarrely out of place in her silver space-age booties and luminous party dress.
Best pic ever via discotheque confusion.
The rest of the images are equally brilliant. Sequins and shiny materials against grey, non-descript suburbia. A sulky model poses against a garage door in an ultramodern indigo and sky blue dress with arms crossed. In another shot, the model wears a suit decorated in a hundreds of thousands of sequins. In the bright light, the front of the jacket flows like a waterfall of silver and with her platinum hair, she’s the chicest space cadet yet.
From The New York Times Style Magazine, by Colin Dodgeson.
In case all those sequins are just a little too much, I'm gonna take Stevie's advice and throw on a much worn denim jacket over that shiny summer dress. As ever, it’s all about the contrast.