We all know that fashion works in circles, so it's only natural that what was fashionable 40 or 50 years ago, may somehow resurface in contemporary collections and be considered once again edgy and trendy.
During the last few seasons I've enjoyed spotting references between designs from the past and contemporary collections and creating collages of old and new images on my notebooks.
Yesterday afternoon I resumed my little game of spotting connections when a friend who knows about my personal researches on space age-related fashion designs sent me some images from Jackie JS Lee’s new collection.
The Korean designer spent five years working as a pattern cutter in her home country and then in London where she also completed her MA from Central Saint Martins.
Her experiences as pattern cutter can be detected in the smooth and clean lines of her tailored and at times architectural silhouettes, yet there is also another influence in the designer's Spring/Summer 2011 collection, the 60s.
It was indeed almost impossible not to spot a space-age derivation in those designs that incorporate a sort of rocket-shaped hood.
In the Summer of 1967 the Fontana Sisters created a collection that featured colourful capes - mentioned in a post on cosmic fashion and in another previous post on this blog - conceived as crossovers between a beach hut and a space rocket.
In the post on cosmic fashion, there was also a small image taken from a July 1969 paper showing a woman wearing a creation that included a rocket-shaped hood that called to mind the astronauts’ space suits.
You could argue that Jackie JS Lee's designs focus on practicality, function, style and comfort and they are definitely more minimalist and structured than the Fontana Sisters', though they feature plastic details and inserts that call to mind Pierre Cardin's obsession with technology, lasers, the cosmos, space travel, spacesuits and astronauts' helmets and remind in their trapezoidal shapes those 60s creations designed to evoke rockets or arrows pointing towards the sky.
I'm embedding here four videos to allow you to make more comparisons or fashion discoveries. The first one is from 1965 and shows the "astro cap" (and that sort of ties in also with my previous post about the return of the space helmet); the second video, from 1967, focuses on "Astro Fashion" and is directly connected with the third one, again from 1967, that features the Fontana Sisters rocket-shaped cape. The last video features instead a high collar cape that also references in its shape space rockets, though it's definitely less extreme than other designs from those years.
For a satire of the "rocket style", check out instead the fifth image on this post dedicated to William Klein’s Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? (1966).
NB Please note: the Metacafe videos embedded do not work anymore; please watch the clips at the following Babelgum links: Hats (first video); London Summer 1967 (third video); London 1967 (fourth video).