From left, by Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images, from Warner Bros./Everett Collection, by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images, by David James/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd./Everett Collection.
Science-fiction films are full of bold predictions about the technology and adventures of the future, but they’ve also always had a remarkable impact on their presents, and particularly the fashion. From the Art Deco angles of Metropolis to the neutrals of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, designers and trendsetters have taken inspiration from sci-fi for decades. With Blade Runner 2049 out this week, with its own vision of an elegant future, it’s time to look back at the sci-fi visions that have influenced what we wear. The future, it turns out, is already here.
Blade Runner (1982)
To dress the characters in this rainy, noir-inspired drama, costume designers Michael Kaplan and Charles Knode drew inspiration from both 1940s silhouettes (perfect for Sean Young’s femme fatale, Rachael) and emerging trends of retro-futurism and cyberpunk. The retro 40s shoulder pads would soon come back big time among working women of the 80s (just see 1988’s Working Girl), but both Blade Runner and Vivienne Westwood got there early; she cites the film as inspiration for her 1983 Punkature designs. Even today, Yohji Yamamoto carries the film’s inspiration forward, with references to both Priss and Rachael in his fall 2017 ready-to-wear collection With the new film due in October, designer Raf Simons is already citing Blade Runner in his spring 2018 line, proving the fashion world’s love affair with replicants is far from over.
The Alien Series (1979-1997)
H.R. Giger had a long career as an artist before Ridley Scott came knocking, but his biomechanical designs for Alien and the subsequent sequels made his work part of sci-fi canon, and have inspired some of fashion’s most ambitious designs. From Thierry Mugler’s 1990 Giger jacket, featured prominently in an Elle magazine spread, to Alexander McQueen’s Alien shoe in 2010 (which some models claimed they were afraid to walk in), Giger’s influence has rippled through the fashion world for decades. Designer Malgorzata Dudek featured a Giger-inspired collection in 2012, while designer Georgia Hardinge produced a Giger-inspired collection in 2013.
The Matrix (1999)
In the battle between humans and machines, science fiction’s human heroes have always, for some reason, preferred leather. But they’ve rarely looked as cool as they did in The Matrix, which personified the Y2K trend of trench coats, leather pants, and metallics everywhere. Dior’s fall 1999 show, debuting in Paris just four months after The Matrix opened, was all shiny, figure-hugging leathers; the team was “deeply inspired by The Matrix,” as Vogue reported at the time. Janet Jackson arrived at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards in her best machine-fighting ensemble. Leather trenchcoats and blacked out sunglasses have found their way on to recent Balenciaga runway. In 2003, The New York Times looked back at the impact of “that Matrix look”: “What keeps The Matrix relevant is its unconventional subtext, perpetuated in every frame, that style saves—that literally and metaphorically, a great leather trench coat may well be the best defense.”
The Fifth Element (1997)
Luc Besson’s breakthrough sci-fi adventure overlapped with fashion from the start, with model Milla Jovovich starring as heroine Leeloo and designer Jean Paul Gaultier making costumes based on his existing designs, including bandage dresses and backless shirts for men. Crop tops, already popular in streetwear, evolved in Gaultier’s hands to become more utilitarian punk, and bright oranges and reds remained popular for years after; even Leeloo’s flaming orange hair inspired the heroines of Run Lola Run and Alias. Other designers paid attention too, from a 1998 DKNY campaign to Alexander McQueen’s 1998 spring ready-to-wear line, which featured strapless, cropped, and sheer shirts for men, as well as strappy bandage dresses and one pieces reminiscent of Leeloo’s white dress.
The Star Wars prequels (1999-2005)
In 1997, Alexander McQueen debuted his “Eclect Dissect” show, featuring elaborate headdresses and geometric hairstyles that couldn’t help but evoke a certain princess in a galaxy far, far away. But it wasn’t just Princess Leia serving as inspiration; McQueen’s collection seemed to somehow predict Queen Amidala’s style in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which would open two years later. Costume designer Trisha Biggar incorporated Chinese, Korean, and Mongolian influences into the designs for Natalie Portman’s character, and the fashion world paid attention; Yves Saint Laurent featured an Amidala-inspired makeup campaign around the time of The Phantom Menace’s release, and Vogue ran a “Star Wars Couture” feature in April 1999, highlighting Queen Amidala’s gorgeous costumes. Asian themes and dip-dyed fabrics were big on the runway and in street style in the early 2000s, and headdresses continued to appear on runways even as Amidala’s costumes became more toned-down in the sequels. Amidala–esque styles walked down the 1999 fall couture show for Dior, as well as the 1999 spring Comme des Garcons ready-to-wear show.
The Hunger Games trilogy (2012-2015)
Though plenty of fashion veterans sniffed that it was “no Blade Runner moment,” The Hunger Games made an impact via its most outlandish character: Effie Trinket, layered by Elizabeth Banks. Effie’s pastel hair and clothes were, as the film’s hairstylist noted at the time, a more refined and couture style compared to colorful punk dyes seen on the runway then. Chanel, Cara Delevingne, and Helen Mirren were only some of the trendsetters who adopted pastel tresses afterward. Bumble and Bumble even obliged the trend by spinning out some pastel hair chalk.
A controversial staple of sci-fi, Barbarella featured designs from Paco Rabanne that focused on bold bodysuits, bikinis, and thigh-high boots, evoking the space-age fashion being pioneered at the time by Rudi Gernreich, who was labeled “the most way-out, far-ahead designer in the U.S.” by Time magazine in 1967. More space-age miniskirts followed, particularly those from Andre Courrèges, a trailblazer of the go-go boot and miniskirt. Fashioning the look with a futuristic theme, Courrèges produced helmet-like hats, dresses donning metallic patterns or geometric shapes and cutouts, and bikini styles created from sheer or metallic materials. Jean Paul Gaultier was reportedly influenced by Rabanne’s work on Barbarella in the costumes he designed for The Fifth Element, and Rabanne’s fashion house may be returning the favor, with recent runway looks that look perfect for Leeloo. They’re not the only ones keeping the mod look alive; look at Jeremy Scott’s spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection, complete with teased-up blonde wigs.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
It’s hard not to envision the models trudging along the catwalk of Kanye West’s Yeezy 2015 show bumping into Rey and BB-8 on their way to scavenge. The Yeezy line evoked general utility sci-fi wear with a splash of Jakku. As The New York Times predicted, sand tones rolled back into style, and many designers brought blatant Star Wars themes on the runway, in addition to explicit tie-in events like Force 4 Fashion. And while Princess Leia’s buns may remain more famous, Rey sparked some hair trends herself.
Now 50 years old and going strong, Star Trek’s influence is everywhere, from the Sephora uniforms introduced in 2012 by Prabal Gurung to the sporty wrap sunglasses of the early 90s that evoked Geordi La Forge’s eyewear from The Next Generation, and made their own recent comeback thanks to Rihanna.The latest Star Trek film series, kicked off in 2009, was referenced in Alexander Wang’s spring 2015 ready-to-wear show, as well as H&M’s Balmain line, which used color-blocked silhouettes and shoulder lines, mesh and spandex, mandarin collars, and bold primary colors, particularly blue, green, and red with black—all familiar colors from the Federation uniforms.
Source: fashion – Google News