Speculating Surrealism – Fashion’s Ultimate Utopia.

Alice Bodkin
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Picasso has been dominating the art world. With an international presence, there have been exhibitions of his work in New York, London and Paris. And with this global stage, surrealist art began to enter the creative minds of the industry today. This was first noticeable at New York Fashion Week in Helmut Lang’s collection in February.  With Jay Z’s release of his new album, Magna Carta and a song being titled ‘Picasso Baby’, it became apparent that Lang was not the only one inspired by the artist.

Yet, as 2013 draws to a close, the ambiguity of a new year begins. One certainty that 2014 offers is that it is the centenary anniversary of the First World War. Perhaps it is no coincidence that surrealist art, which explores the misery of emotional and financial loss that is a result of war, is at the forefront of the cultural calendar this season. Fashion has entered this surrealist sphere and thus the upcoming trend ‘ultra surreal’ is born.

A creative collaboration between photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari and arts magazine Toilet Paper’s genius Maurizio Cattelan has positioned Kenzo as one of the first fashion labels to incorporate surrealism within their Autumn Winter 2013 campaign. Featuring model Sean O’Pry and actress Rinko Kikuchi, the campaign takes us into the ultimate surrealism dream.

And perhaps the word dream is the most appropriate to describe the aviator age that fashion is moving into. With the abundance of development within technology, the science fiction, blade runner dreams of yesterday becoming today’s reality.  It is becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between the real and virtual world.  As such, fashion designers are experimenting with colour and geometric forms to embrace fantastical and surreal qualities.

Seeking the Ultra Surreal, Raf Simons has also created a fashion film for its Autumn/Winter 2013 menswear collection. The short film playfully features the garments in between shots of a fuzzy VHS video. This aesthetic stimulates nostalgia, whilst demonstrating the blurred boundaries that exist between real and virtual existence within fashion.

With surrealism starting to make its way into the fashion conversation, trend reports from Stylus have confirmed that the movement will remain topical for Spring/Summer 2015.

About Alice Bodkin

Alice – A life involving coffee everyday. I am a city girl, a fashion writer and study Fashion Communication and Promotion. Politics, philosophy and the cultural motivation that drives consumer behaviour and trends inspires me most. My loves are travelling, learning and mornings.