A model presents a creation by designer Olivier Rousteing as part of his Spring/Summer 2020 collection show for fashion house Balmain during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. (REUTERS)

With NASA planning to open the International Space Center to tourists in 2020 — one could easily sense galactic inspo orbiting in fashion. The mod ‘60s ushered in an era of space travel chic with the likes of André Courrèges, Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne extrapolating off-kilter materials like plastic and metals. One saw a deluge of chin-strap space bonnets, flat ankle boots, and tech fabrics. Rewind to the current times and Dior Mens’ robotic saddle bag recontextualised by Kim Jones come to mind instantly.

Not long ago, the late Karl Lagerfeld docked a rocket ship as the backdrop of his Chanel show and this season, Virgil Abloh at his menswear Louis Vuitton show showcased a holographic poncho. In India, designer Amit Aggarwal has single-handedly paved the way for this hybridised structural innovation by changing the way we perceive shine. Stylist Allia Al Rufai observes, “The swinging 60s was such a revolutionary era in fashion. A time ahead of its time so modern so we can definitely attribute to it.”

Dior Homme Tokyo Pre – Fall 2019 Menswear. ( Yannis Vlamos )

And in the last few seasons, international brands and Indian designers have strongly nodded in favour of retro-futurism. Picture a new-age bride, who perhaps want to observe Karwa Chauth on Mars. “I see futurism from a prism of sustainability, cost effectiveness and up-cycling. Think a sustainable label like Pero, a metallic sari by Rimzim Dadu or an LED dress by Neeta Lulla. Having said that, no one could predict what will work 20 years down the line as culturally things change. All in all, I see functionality as the future,” says stylist Divyak D’Souza.

The visuals of melting gold and fluid fabrics treated at a high temperature conjure a dystopian world. Designer Nimish Shah sees it as a playful and fun trend. “It’s a super hit fiction coming into play and it’s great to enjoy its theatrics. I see it as the revival of the retro trend, pioneered by the likes of Pierre Cardin back in the day,” says Shah. With designers and brands toying with new-age materials, processes and treatments, one sees an explosion of engineered fabrics and hybrid silhouettes. Stylist Akshay Tyagi says, “Space age is relevant now because we are trying to look towards the future and make it aspirational. The metallics have been reinvented and one sees a new approach to plastic usage.”

Dior Homme Tokyo Pre – Fall 2019 Menswear. ( Yannis Vlamos )

Decoding Space age chic:

In March 2017, Karl Lagerfeld docks a rocket ship under the Grand Palais in Paris for his Chanel show.

Heron Preston teams up with NASA to create a collection of streetwear.

Virgil Abloh at his first Louis Vuitton men’s wear outing showcases a silver space poncho.

[email protected]

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 14:32 IST


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here