Danish designer+ illustrator Annie Sofie Madsen‘s AW/13 collection is one to definitely intrude your thoughts and leave a lasting impression. Having worked with two of fashion’s heavyweights – John Galliano + the House of Alexander McQueen – Annie was able to see pure art in the making where rules didn’t exist but existed to be broken. Departing from traditional Danish Design, Madsen’s avant-garde esthetic and her unique sartorial skills, manage to always produce great design with this collection as proof.
With inspiration found in Danish artist Jesper Just‘s art film, ‘Sirens of Chrome’ (2010), centering around four women driving through an empty Detroit city + end up at the Michigan Theater ruins which is currently used as a parking lot, a conceptual narrative is set in place. The collection becomes all about a woman, that regenerates from human to half monster + half machine. She is a siren – a female monster and the outcome of a post apocalyptic city where mechanics have begun to mend with the human. The digital print motifs were cleverly picked from the car reflections of the theater ruins inspired by the decayed marble + rusted surfaces.
It’s crazy how you can see the transformation happen before your eyes, through the different looks in the collection. The human woman is depicted through simple looks including pants with a tee, a white dropped waist dress + another dropped waist dress, but in black, accentuated by a belt + structured sleeves (row3-looks1-3). The regeneration then begins to unfold as you see models wearing a print of an animal or monster, on dresses (row1, look1 +2) and again on sweaters (row1, look4 – row3, look4).
The monster then surfaces in fur looks which are ingeniously created by a technique that includes fur being shaped by using hair remover (clever right?) + cut in graphic layers. This then makes the fur look fake while still looking animalistic. The machine finally surfaces in looks that have cutouts and loops, (loosely resembling works by Una Burke + Gareth Pugh) created from car interior fabric printed, laser cut and braided. When it came to accessories, they were all hand crafted moulded leather inspired by monster elements.
By using materials that are both hard + tough as metal + leather, yet smooth as silk + fur, the simple notion of ‘opposites attract’, managed to emphasize the transformation, while still maintaining balance.