Friday, 4 June 2010

Fashion, Optical Illusions and Cartoons - an interesting mix of ingredients!

I found two articles I wrote for a publication and thought I'd be oh so kind and share them here.

I wrote this article back at the start of the year and it's quite funny to see if fashion has followed - it hasn't taken off massively - I mean who wants to look like they are walking around with a floating torso - the fashion trend instead has stuck with the old granny stocking colour but with lines on to give the illusion of curves - but to me it just looks like it's unfinished.

Fashion and Optical Illusion!

Not normally words you would find in the same sentence. It conjures up an image more Emperors New Clothes than style. Although there have been quite a few ‘Granny stockings made into a dress’ type outfits appearing on the Autumn/Winter catwalks that I really hope will be warn by no one. TV and film have to be careful they do not use fabrics that are prone to an optical illusion look as it doesn’t transmit on screen very well. Optical Illusion fashion does seem to be the new trend.

Not so long ago Victoria Beckham wore a £2,500 McQueen dress that started off white in the middle then cleverly used lines fading out to grey, giving the impression of a very small silhouette, wait up a minute this is Victoria Beckham - hardly known for her full figure - but it gives the illusion of a teeny tiny frame, with curves!


A model recently was sent down the run way looking like her torso was floating above her legs. It was in fact the careful use of black backdrops and opaque tights.


Dresses are now being designed that jump out at you if you wear your little green and red 3D glasses, but honestly, who carries those around with them just in case!?!

Optical Illusions in fashion have been used for years though, padded bras giving the illusion of bigger breasts, slimming shorts giving the impression of sleekness. Vertical stripes can be slimming whereas horizontal stripes should be kept to areas you wish to enhance. Capped sleeves can highlight large arms, turtle necks can shorten a short neck. The latest trend now is for the giant shoulders shape, giving the illusion of a larger frame which instantly slims the waist. D&G have even signed Madonna up to advertise their menswear range, ok, that might not be such an illusion!! Tim Burton is set to release his version of Alice in Wonderland in 2010, those checkerboard clothes are going to hit the stores in abundance (I predict and secretly hope). The Optical Illusions used in the latest fashions are less rule orientated but I have a feeling fashion is about to get painful on our eyes.

And this article was about Cartoons and Fashion at around the same time as the one above.

This year I have noticed more than ever the comeback of the printed t-shirt. Not just band logos or silly phrases but more and more there is the return of Mickey Mouse and his crew (check out Top Shop and New Look) along with some very Japanese inspired designs. The Japanese designs have been something of a phenomenon in the UK with the Le Sport bags (found everywhere in Camden market), skirts, dresses, shoes...........it got me thinking of a band called Chicks on Speed who I feel took the whole cartoon/doll wear one step further.


They used to wear handmade clothes, nothing new there I hear you say, but these girls would make their clothes out of paper. A new look each time and instead of washing your clothes you can just take them off at the end of the night and put them in the bin. Not bad. Or so I thought. I was at a gig of theirs once and my friend was cheering them and waving his arms around. One of the band jumped off stage to walk around the crowd, sadly my friends watch strap caught the dress, it didn’t just tear the paper skirt a little, it pulled a massive peice off. It hung on his wall for a while afterwards. Chicks on Speed’s look for paper dresses didn’t hugely take off anywhere else but their kitsch style and accessories had them heralding a little known duo going by the name of Tatty Devine. Their accessories are almost legendary now, punky, cartoony, kitsch accessories, what’s not to love!


Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 recently starting sporting a cartoon octopus logo that has become so popular that there is now a necklace widely available of this octopus logo. I’ve even seen cartoon covered baby grows by Molo Romper. I am not sure yet if it just looks like a baby has vomited down itself but it just goes to show it’s a growing trend. And with the Disney Pixar cartoons popularity soaring, it really does look like cartoons are here to stay. My inner Peter Pan complex salutes that fact!

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