Kitsch, comics and couture...

by - Friday, May 25, 2018

I think I’m always trying to get back to my childhood; to get back to the wonder I felt as a seven year old and to take people with me… ~ Helen Downie of Unskilled Worker

How fun is it to allow yourself freedom of childhood playfulness? Life is so serious when we graduate to adulthood, expected to fit a mold of societal standards, age appropriateness and grown-up garb. The daily grind fills most lines in our datebooks, the hectic pace tenders black a uniform, cakewalk couture. But what if stylish choices appealed to that child within, the one who loves fun, funky, whimsy and color? Guess what? Some of the top fashion houses heard a call and honed into delightfully different design for us all!

Gucci has taken the detailed art of Unskilled Worker to their runway in capsule collections featuring Helen Downie's colorful haunting portraiture. They are a bit Keane-eyed, vaguely retro, based on memories of her youth in London. The sizable images were commissioned by creative director Alessandro Michele for the Spring-Summer 2018 collection. Though the bags are always a tremendous hit, sweatshirts to pencil skirts are fearlessly fashionable, worn print-on-print or solo with a favorite basic.

Nine female cartoonists and manga artists pop up at Prada. From Stellar Leuna's Girls Invented Punk Rock to Tarpe Mills' Miss Fury, the black and white comic strips, as well as color, rock and read rebel on the runway. Printed surfaces chosen by Miuccia Prada are unexpected, updating classics like the striped shirt and leather trench coat. Bags are bold statement pieces, easy for fashionistas to don who might shy away from kitsch, yet prevail remaining on trend.

You still have time to score something for Spring, but if you want to wait, you can always plan to grab Rei Kawakubo's Multi-Dimensional Graffiti in the Fall 2018 collection. On the runway for Comme des Garcons, over-sized prints by Macoto Takahashi colorfully transform anime into art to wear in the Spring collection. The flowers surround and pop in signature Japanese shape, enveloping the wearer in a profusion of blooms. In step sharing the Autumn catwalk is all-American favorite Betty Boop. She explodes on the scene amid butterflies and blocks of powerful Fall-hued color. They are all a beautiful sight to see.

With all the possibilities, you can choose how far down the rabbit-hole of trendy style to go. Whether a casual sweatshirt, statement skirt, sweater or designer purse, adding one or all of the above to your wardrobe can hearten the humdrum. Curate your closet with a bit of lighthearted kitsch and comic relief  in the couture mix... xoxo-Sonya 

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