Each season Anrealage can be relied upon for taking an idea to its absolute logical conclusion and through it producing art and beautiful fashion in equal measures. This time their illegibly low-res invitation to the show (with pixelated seal) alluded to an onslaught of 8 bit nostalgia that was mixed with the usual patchwork precision and showmanship that Anrealage has built their reputation on. This season both structure and patterns were put through a low-res digital lens that explored how digital imagery is created and found a beauty that is increasingly becoming a distant memory in this modern age.
Continue reading to see how Anrealage deployed this theme over the collection – from patchwork to patterned fabrics, and blocked high-heels to perfectly carved buttons, it felt fun fresh and perhaps most importantly of all: surprisingly wearable.
The looks – design classics with a pixelated twist:
OK, so maybe that last one is not so wearable, but I think that the lions share of the rest could slip into a wardrobe fairly easily – more easily than a good portion of Anrealage’s previous collections at any rate. I think being avant-garde with the patterns and details, rather than the overall structure has made for a far more accesible collection without losing any of the surreal impact that Anrealage stands for.
Personal highlights are the use of cutouts to create blocky lace, the jagged lapels and hems, plus those gorgeous heels. As someone who grew up in the formative years of computing it actually evokes something really quite fundamental in me (and not just because I am playing Final Fantasy IV on the PSP right now…). It seems that constructing reality with pixels makes us incredibly aware of how unique the shapes are associated with that process and it is something we should not give up even if we have the technology to avoid it.
Just take in how beautiful and unique these details are:
I suppose you could try and criticise this as 8 bit boom gimmickry, but as I said in my introduction – that is the way Anrealage works season on season. What I find so interesting is that the clothes are the ones conceptualized rather than the form of the actual body. In this way Anrealage explores the conventions of clothes, is quietly subversive, but never crosses the line into clothes as art entirely.
It also needs to be recognized how much craftsmanship has gone into these clothes – Anrealage’s patchwork is second to none and even the (relatively) simple jeans have had perfectly pixelated bleach marks put into them. It is all so absolutely perfect that it is vaguely humbling. I just selfishly wish there was a men’s line for me to indulge in…
Images courtesy of the wonderful Fashion Snap.