In a previous post we looked at the connection between Star Wars: The Force Awakens and fashion. The link between the film and the industry is currently getting stronger thanks to further projects.
New York's Bloomingdale's (in Third Avenue) will indeed feature costumes and props from the soon to be released film. From 3rd December the windows will feature instead looks inspired by specific characters and created by 10 fashion designers as a fund-raising initiative. Diane von Furstenberg chose Rey; Cynthia Rowley opted for BB-8 and the list continues with Giles Deacon and Parker going for Captain Phasma, Halston and Rag & Bone being inspired by Kylo Ren; Opening Ceremony and Ovadia & Sons picking the classic Stormtroopers; Timo Weiland selecting Finn and Todd Snyder favouring Chewbacca.
The designers made two samples of their creations, one for the windows and one for an auction to be promoted in December through Charity Buzz (the proceeds will benefit the Child Mind Institute, on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative).
In the meantime, the movie's costume designer Michael Kaplan has also designed three limited-edition reusable brown totes based on The Force Awakens that will be available from Thanksgiving at Bloomingdale's (again portion of the proceeds from the sale of the totes will go toward the Child Mind Institute).
There are times, though, when you feel like all this Star Wars frenzy is just a trendy and temporary mania rather than a great excuse to create clever designs that may tackle our society's hopes and anxieties for the future.
There are indeed less known brands and designers who are coming up with more original collections that do have that futuristic twist about them united with a more relevant message for the wearer. Take for example Korean design duo Gyo Yuni Kimchoe.
In their S/S 15 collection the design duo came up with a story about nature and gardening soldiers. The designers hoped they could help spreading anti-hate messages and make a strong anti-war statement with garments inspired by military attire but ingeniously reinvented in a cheeky pacifist key that betrayed a passion for interesting tailoring experiments.
Gyo Kim and Yuni Choe developed instead for the A/W 15 season a collection entitled "The Thanatos Expedition". In Greek "Thanatos" means "death" and the word usually appears in juxtapositions with "Eros" (love), to symbolise the greatest dychotomies in life.
The designs included in the collection were inspired by the concept of space travel and by the Mongolian Shamans travelling to the spirit world, in a futuristic tale of hope in which astronauts and shamans find the truth about the afterlife.
The inspiration was translated in the collection via high-tech materials (air-mesh, neoprene and outdoor ropes for example) combined with more traditional fabrics such as tweed, faux fur and wool, symbolising natural elements.
The designs were mainly characterised by wide cocooning shapes and a blend of masculine and feminine moods with fringes of faux fur adorning hems and collars.
The duo, winner last season of the Merit Award from Fashion Scout in London, have therefore got a passion for tackling in their collections environmental issues and social problems coming up with thought-provoking pieces. Gyo Kim and Yuni Choe also state that they offer their customers the possibility of becoming "world changers" by choosing designs made supporting sustainable approaches, spreading strong messages and characterised by highly creative solutions. Looks like fashion can have a deeper political message for our future after all...
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