Halloween in October, Christmas in December, Easter in Spring: every year seems scheduled by the same routine, one thing ends and then you are already projected to the other. New York, London, Milan, Paris: fashion weeks act the same for people in the fashion world, nothing really ends, because it’s always time to start something else. Someone that doesn’t know much about this industry is lead to think that this presentation of collections could be pretty boring: models walk on the runways of the biggest cities few times a year, dressed in clothes that recall past styles and trends; and this is it. There’s nothing worst about it to have in mind.
From Kanye West’s odd presentation of Yeezy Season 2 collection at New York fashion week in September, to Rick Owens circus exhibition at Paris fashion week, we can see how fashion is little by little overcoming its boundaries and seep into the world of art, taking the shape of performances that make dresses not only mere pieces of clothing but important elements to state beliefs and take positions in a world that has to face social and political issues more and more.
One of this interesting examples is IKEA’s kind of fashion show/performance that took place during Milan fashion week. IKEA, the Swedish giant in cheap home forniture industry, decided to expose itself not only through the modern design of tables and chairs, but also to express its inner soul through clothes – these collaborations are GILTIG by Katie Eary and SVÄRTAN by Martin Bergström -, availing themselves of a rather original presentation. The fashion show opens with a captivating performance staged by male dancers, that whirl on the catwalk dressed in soft and aerial tunics: the atmosphere is rather futuristic, the dance is fluid, liquid, attractive; moves keep the rhythm with the pulses of music, a sense of relaxation pervades the limbs. And then the future is presented: strage individuals, dressed in white lab coats with the writing “Ikea Fashion Crew” on the back appear on the catwalk; a bizarre and giant eyeball as a helmet. In a very calm way, helped by the electronic but soft rhythm of music, they take objects on stage, like no one’s watching their curious work; you can’t tell if they’re organizing a set, or just choosing the best forniture for their living room Back-To-The-Future-inspired.
And then, yes, you fashionistas, you can breath a sigh of relief: gorgeous, and unusually smiling, models make their appearance on the catwalk. Music becomes funnier and long-legged girls in low pony tails walk self-confident in this improvised house that could perfectly fit in Hannah Barbera’s The Jetsons world. Mood is really simple, fresh and light: dresses and skirts flutter in the air, cheered by prints of colorful spots, while neon-lighted trousers and knee-high socks, both made of latex, jokingly inform you who the real mistress of the house is. The final walk sees models one after the other with the eyeball helmet underarm; the living room is then changed by technicians in a less measured way: pillows on the carpet, a little table, big bottles made of glass. It looks like it’s time to chill, but of course in a really fashionable place. Then everyone lefts: the prepared set is there, metaphorically blinking at you to join it too.
Is this a new and original way to present a collection, that is made by someone who wasn’t really into this world before, or just another expedient to make people talk about something that is losing its appeal? The only thing to hope is that clothes will be easier to wear rather than those damned IKEA’s night table pieces to put together.
Article by Marina Lepori
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