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…

I would definitely check out the Anrealage home page for past collections if you haven’t already and you can see the full collection video here.

Images courtesy of the wonderful Fashion Snap.

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13 Responses to Anrealage A/W 2011-12 – Low

  1. brad-t says:

    The pixel buttons are just brilliant. There’s a lot more impact seeing the pieces up close, too. Such a cool collection.

  2. Tokyo Telephone says:

    Tell me about it, you really have to admire the commitment to the theme. It will be interesting to see what makes it to retail, but for now I am just appreciating it for the art that it is.

  3. brad-t says:

    Honestly minus the 3D piece at the end, it’s all pretty wearable. I predict the shoes and camo shorts will be a huge hit.

  4. Tokyo Telephone says:

    I was thinking more about the cost actually for some of the patchwork pieces. I mean by the time you have cut the patterns and sewn them the amount you would have to charge is getting pretty prohibitive. On the other hand the ones that use a dedicated textile for the pixelated effect are probably pretty reasonable.

    We will see, either way I am definitely going to check it up close when I can. I just wish I had been around for the exhibition…

  5. […] about her recent trip to Tokyo. Amazing. More huge thanks to Anrealage for including a link to our a/w 2011 collection review on their homepage – get the lowdown on the amazing 8-bit fashion and those pixel heels. Oh, […]

  6. […] might like to draw a parallel to Anrealage’s latest collection that high-fashion can be very close to street fashion with only a slight degree of compromise. […]

  7. […] this Fashion Week must surely fall on Anrealage who have gone from strength to strength after their last collection proved such a big hit with critics and fans alike.  Will Anrealage be able to come up a theme to […]

  8. George G says:

    I love this. I’ve had it bookmarked for a while. Mind if I reblog with appropriate credits?

  9. Samuel says:

    @ George G

    Absolutely, feel free! We only object to – hot-linking images and copying more than a paragraph of text. Basically anything that negates the need to see the original article is out, but other than that the whole purpose of this site is to make sure that as many people as possible see these great exciting designers – so share away!

  10. George G says:

    Thanks Samuel, and no worries: I always have to have my own take so I’ve written up an entire post with my own view of the collection (which is why it took me so long to post it as I’ve had it bookmarked forever).

    You can view the article here:

  11. Samuel says:

    @ George G

    Great stuff, really enjoyed that. And yes, much better to wait and come up with an actual opinion than rush it out!


  12. George G says:

    Whoops, I posted the wrong link. It pays to proof before you post too! 🙂
    This is the link to the Anrealage post. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  13. […] Bilder bei Designboom, TokioTelephone und TokyoFashionDiaries.com. Gerade die Fashion-Seite zeigt interessante Bilder der Kollektion. […]

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