Monday, 28 May 2012

Trend; Under The Sea

It is easy to pinpoint the exact moment that the underwater trend began to pick up momentum. Way back in 2010, when the late Alexander McQueen showcased his phenomenal Atlantis collection, the desire of every fashionista to rub gills with mermaids came one step closer to becoming a reality. The prints took technology to a new level, and the infamous "Armadillo" shoes encased the model's dainty feet in shoes that walked the line between beautiful and grotesque. By looking closer at the prints, we encounter a revelation - they are based on monsters of all kinds,with reptiles and alligator prints being one of the themes that recurred most often. McQueen created the dresses as a kind of premonition - a wordy press statement revealed that he designed the collection as a prediction of an apolocalyptic future, that the melting of the ice caps meant that we would soon be living in an underwater world.

The infamous "Armadillo" shoes - Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010
After the death of McQueen in 2010, brand new creative director of the brand Sarah Burton used the Spring/Summer 2012 collection as an opportunity to pay homage to one of the designer's most extraordinary collections. Serving as a natural evolution to the "Atlantis" collection and a nod to Mcqueen's history, the "Under The Sea" collection made an enormous splash when it debuted at Paris Fashion Week, reducing many an editor to tears. Burton's vision was much lighter than that of McQueen's, her collection celebrating femininity and fantasy with little hint of darkness. Highlights of the show included floor-length dresses made of tiny shells, delicate ruffles fashioned to resemble coral reef and clusters of shells designed to mask the faces of models. Burton succeeded in creating both a masterpiece in design and a suitable tribute to her predecessor, and while she was not the only designer whose collection was based on the ocean, her vision was arguably the strongest and her garments the most intricate.

Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2012

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Lace mask - Alexander Mcqueen Spring/Summer 2012
 Burton was not the only designer looking to the ocean for inspiration - Mary Katrantzou, Ricardo Tisci, Donatella Versace and even Karl Lagerfeld all featured aquatic prints with their Spring/Summer 2012, cementing their status as the hottest trend of the season. Greek-born designer Katrantzou superimposed glorious tropical prints onto puffball dresses to create a collection that was bursting with colour and innovativity. Multicoloured fish darted across the hemlines whilst shoulders were decorated with seaweed and coral reef - the images used were complex in their colour schemes and precise in their vision, collaborating to create a collection which summed up the beauty of the ocean.


Mary Katrantzou Spring/Summer 2012
Versace offered a more subdued take on the trend. As opposed to Katrantzou's use of jewel colours, the pieces at Versace were based around a more subtle, pastel colour palette with dresses decorated with beautifully-detailed oysters and crustaceans. The pieces ranged from jewelled floor-length with starfish cut-out detailling to cropped scuba jackets, starfish rings and handbags emblazoned with mermaids.


Versace Spring/Summer 2012

Versace Spring/Summer 2012 Details

Chanel's Spring/Summer 2012 collection also paid homage to the trend with a rather grandiose show that opened with Florence & The Machine performing a set, dressed entirely in the collection, in the centre of a giant oyster. In contrast to the extravagant set (the room was decorated to resemble a giant sea-bed with life-size sea shells and seahorses), the clothing followed Chanel's trademark formula that less is more. The minimalist gowns nodded subtly towards the trend - the classic white jacket was updated with a gold trim adorned with tiny seahorses, billowing hemlines were reminiscent of the foam of the ocean and pearls were featured heavily on delicate belts and even sprinkled in models' hair. It is common knowledge that anything touched by Lagerfeld turns to gold - the fact that the influential designer based his entire collection around the beauty of the ocean is a positive indication that this trend is here to stay.


Chanel Spring/Summer 2012


Florence Welch for Chanel Spring/Summer 2012

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