A personal research into futuristic fashion inspired a few previous posts on space age and sci-fi looks.
Today it’s the 20th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope being launched into its orbit around the Earth.
You can find out more about the Hubble discoveries and achievements on its site, but I would really urge you if you are a fashion student to check out the gallery that features hundreds of pictures taken by the space telescope.
The gallery features indeed amazing images of galaxies, nebulae, black holes, asteroids and constellations. The picture posted here shows for example Saturn’s rings in ultraviolet light and the more I look at it, the more I find it fascinating for its beautiful nuances.
The Hubble is a telescope, so it's a machine and one of the most interesting and inspiring “machines” from the future are robots.
Despite contemporary discoveries and researches on humanoid robots like the ones carried out by Prof. Mitsuo Kawato mentioned a few days ago in another post can be considered as extremely exciting, when it comes to creating robotic looks, inspirations mainly come from sci-fi films.
The list of movies featuring robots is quite long and features the most disparate films, from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927, already analysed in a previous post about womenswear and robots) to the Star Wars saga, from the heart-warming Robot Stories (2003) by Greg Pak to the anime inspired 3-D animated film Astro Boy (2009).
Fred M. Wilcox’s 1956 Forbidden Planet, a film with a great visual richness and very advanced special effects for that time, definitely provided sci-fi fans with one of the first and most successful cinematic robotic incarnations, Robby the Robot.
Designed by Art Director Robert Kinoshita, Robby was a very elaborate prop, made in thermo-formed plastics and featuring roughly 2,600 feet of electrical wiring. Being very expensive to make, Robby often reappeared in later years in other films and TV series.
The film also features very interesting architectural shots, especially when Morbius takes the crew of the United Planets Cruiser C-57D on a tour of a vast cube-shaped underground installation, while costumes worn by Altaira (Anne Francis), are also very interesting since they were designed by Helen Rose.
The costume designer worked for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, designed famous creations for many different Hollywood actresses, among them also Judy Garland, Lana Turner and Elizabeth Taylor, and became well-known all over the world for having designed Grace Kelly’s wedding dress.
Rose’s costumes for Altaira are inspired by a sort of mix of classicism and sparkling Hollywood glamour, but what I want to focus on at the moment is the robotic look and its transliteration into fashion design.
Robots have thick metal shells and the latter have often been the main starting point for many fashion designers's robot-inspired looks. Yet, the problem with robots and fashion is that it can be extremely difficult or at least tricky to inject a bit of sensuality into a robotic armour.
Fashion designers often played with male and female identities, but Mugler often played with fetishim, power dressing and sci-fi.
The missing link between sci-fi and S&M, Mugler visualised in some of his designs from the Autumn/Winter 1995-96 (and Spring/Summer 1991) collections, the perfect hybridic transformation between woman and machine, coming up with iconic and
robotic metal and clear plastic bodysuits that left the breasts and
Mugler often focused in his collections on cyborg-like designs (see also fifth image in this post) conjuring up images of sexually powerful, terrifying and self-confident women, sensual
dominatrixes and sci-fi starship troopers in control of their life and of the entire world.
There were echoes of robotic looks also in Jean Paul Gaultier's Autumn 2003 haute couture collection with its catsuits covered in embellishments, beads and sequins that called back to mind electric wiring and robotic details.
It's obviously impossible not to remember in a post dedicated to robots and fashion, Balenciaga’s infamous android leggings from the fashion house’s S/S 2007 collection, mentioned in a previous post in connection with sci-fi looks.
What I find interesting is that, while future-inspired looks seem to be very popular for the Autumn 2010 season, the robotic look has almost been replaced by Medieval inspirations.
While I quite like armoured looks, I wish that, every now and then, there would be somebody who would provoke us with more extreme and "forbidden" robotic looks à la Mugler. After all, while armoured knights are perfectly fine, aggressive female robots are much much better.Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos Member of the Boxxet Network of Blogs, Videos and Photos Add to Technorati Favorites Lijit Search