What with the tastes of China and Russia's newly minted fashion lovers dictating a lot of what international designers create for their runway collections, fashion is having a funny time of it at the moment. It certainly seems the majority of catwalk fashion is not talking to European women as much as it used to. In the U.K, quite possibly because of this disconnect, half the young female population has lost touch with any form of style currency whatsoever, opting in favour of their own take on "fashion", namely fake tan, fake tits, fake nails and bandage dresses. They are clearly watching way too much TOWIE/Geordie Shores and/or porn.
Real fashionistas, and I count myself one despite the fact I fit precisely six TopShop and ASOS maternity items in my wardrobe at present, are always looking for where fashion is going, judged from where it has been. And we hunt it down at the junction where luxury meets innovation, namely on the the runway where the cleverest fashion designers do their most experimental and boundary breaking work. Nine times out of ten this sweet spot is where the popular fashion trends 18 months hence will germinate, even if they are harder to find amongst all the new money bling on the runway.
I was reminded of this sweet spot yesterday when Alexander McQueen sent me an email heralding the release of their latest short fashion film created by fashion photographer David Sims in tandem with the brands' gorgeous advertising campaign for Autumn/Fall Winter 2012. Once I had gotten over the psychedelia, I thought "yeah, whatever" for a couple of minutes, until I flicked back to the press release and realised the film was not just some poncy bit of stuff, but in fact created to promote the sci-fi visors worn by all the models at Sarah Burton's utterly divine Autumn/Winter catwalk show. The visors cost £270 and are the very first - and currently only - item available in the section of the McQueen website entitled "Shop The Show".
Alexander McQueen Autumn/Fall Winter 2012 by Sarah Burton (photos: catwalking.com)
I have to say, I was pretty surprised. Looking at the romantic puffballs of exquisite demi-couture fluff and frou that made up the McQueen catwalk clothing for AW12 - both at the time of the show and while perusing the photos and samples afterwards - it would never have occurred to me the most commercialise-able product being shown was the sci-fi visors. I thought sci-fi visors = catwalk prop that works great in pictures. And yes, they were a great catwalk prop, reducing the fantastically sugary overload with a kick of opaque-eyed fierceness, but hey ho if McQueen are boldly giving us the opportunity to go all Star Trek with our Autumn/Fall look.
Dr Spock always starting a trend... (images: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Visor)
Smart of them really, because the super-modern oddness of the futuristic/sci-fi look is about the most exciting new trend out there right now. Two of my personal favourite for-me-to-wear Autumn/Fall collections were Alexander Wang and Balenciaga, both resolutely futuristic looking in their approach. To me this is what modern fashion should looks like. And god knows, the future really is here. We speak into "walkie-talkies" and use computers for everything, so why not wear the clothes to go with? Maybe in seasons to come McQueen visors will have inside-the-lens screens so we can beam TV shows, films or music videos onto them... Sarah, get your team on it!
Alexander Wang Autumn/Fall 2012 (photo: catwalking.com)
Balenciaga Autumn/Fall 2012 (photo: catwalking.com)
Now for the David Sims film... BBC news would probably give this a health warning, but at FEAL this is almost as good as a double voddy