I’ve always loved sci-fi movies, not just because of their fanciful ideas, but also their futuristic designs in architecture and fashion. From the glamorous armor in Metropolis (1927) and the angular future-retro outfits in Blade Runner (1982) to the crop top, orange rubber “mankini” suspenders and glittery leggings in The Fifth Element (1997), sci-fi films have introduced many cutting-edge silhouettes and avant-garde looking fabrics to the fashion scene.
1. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis continues to inspire the fashion world with its gothic-industrial designs featuring sculptural corset cups and flaring hips (Image: Hypergrid.org)
2. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is a cocktail of noir and punk comprising leather and spikes.
(Image: The Guardian)
3. Jean-Paul Gaultier was the costume designer of Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. (Image: Flickr)
Indeed, how can the fashion industry not love the futuristic look? The silver-and white ensemble looks uber chic on glossy magazine spreads, and helps to visually cool down the summer while creating a whimsical look in winter.
4. Topshop Unique SS14 | 5. Proenza Schouler SS14 | 6. Chalayan AW14
7. Gareth Pugh AW14 | 8. Paco Rabanne AW14 (Images: Vogue Paris)
Without exception, the runway scenes for the current and upcoming seasons were illuminated with a touch of glitter. Tom Ford, Topshop Unique, Chalayan and Proenza Schou spontaneously added patterns resembling shattered mirrors in their outfits. Marissa Webb and House of Holland sweetened the cyber look by dyeing their separates in metallic beige or orange. Christopher Kane played with iridescence, while Gareth Pugh simply wrapped one of his designs in foil-like fabric.
9. House of Holland SS14 | 10. Marissa Webb SS14 | 11. Dries Van Noten SS14
12. Christopher Kane SS14 | 13. Tom Ford SS14 (Images: Vogue Paris)
Being pretty on paper is one thing, but making it wearable for a daily dress code is another thing. Below is some personal advice:
I titled the paragraph “semi-formal” instead of “formal” since any futuristic pieces may look out of place in formal occasions. On the other hand, semi-formal occasions allow for more sartorial edginess such as an iridescent envelope clutch or lamé ankle wrap sandals. Look out for metallic beige, taupe or brown for a more feminine style. Try to balance the shine with structured matte or glossy black outfits. The adjustable ring below is worth mentioning: the pearls sit between your fingers as you put it on, adorning your hand with minimalist charm.
Futuristic ideas are aplenty in casual wear, but I’m particularly drawn to the use of geometric shapes and angular cuts. Anything that creates a shattered-glass effect would look trendy, and so would subtly shimmered tops and skinny pants. Meanwhile, biker jackets and patent boots create a retro appeal. For jewelry, you can flaunt a laser-cut necklace or tubogas bracelet.
The sporty look is achieved mostly with a gold-black-white palette. Avoid the traditional athletic costumes to lean towards the sport-luxe vibe – think Lady Gaga coming out of the gym. Consider lamé caps, sweat shorts and sneakers, and top them off with the coolest-looking spectacles. Mirrored glasses with circular or transparent frames, or a wrap-around design grant you that robotic appeal.
Though a monochromatic palette looks polished and urban, it doesn’t hurt to throw in a dab of neon, especially for sportswear. Combinations of transparent, white, silver, neon yellow, light gray or black create a refreshing look. Avoid unnecessary ornaments to let the colors speak for themselves.
After seeing the poster for Under the Skin (2014), I can’t help but relate its bluish starry background to the word “cosmic.” I’m currently in love with metallic teal but other colors within the rainbow palette also generate that cosmic aura when given a metallic sheen and set against a black background. Bring out your astrological fascination through these hallucinating hues!