We all know that fashion is an industry that heavily relies on novelty. Season after season, marketing people and creatives sit down, brainstorm, and work hard in order to impress and innovate. Who’s going to be the next trendsetter? The truth is… in the realm of fiction, the possibilities are endless and the fashion world seems to be all too aware of that factor. And so becomes the case that new influencers are not always made from flesh and blood. We took 3 unconventional fashionistas that captured headlines (and stole our hearts) over the last few months, and looked at the 3 very simple lessons we learned from them.
1. Derek Zoolander: Even high fashion takes itself not so seriously
Between the release of the 1st and 2nd chapter of Zoolander (2001 & 2016) the fashion industry has changed an incredible amount. And one, make that two, keywords might suffice to explain it all – social media. Or how about a second keyword to explain it even further – selfies. Derek and Hansel managed to make the unflappable Chief-Editor of Vogue US crack a smile; a smile that is definitely worth a thousand words, probably more. Derek and Hansel took virtually everybody by surprise thanks to the collaboration with the maison Valentino, proving once again that high fashion surely needs to be even more accessible and capable of irony.
Costume designer Leesa Evans stated “I had the idea that if I could do something that was 50 percent couture fashion and 50 percent comedy, then I would feel a sense of accomplishment that I was really making the original fans happy and hopefully exciting the fashion world as well.” The character costumes were designed by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Valentino and Tommy Hilfiger and include pieces exclusively from Saint Laurent, Balmain & Kenzo which appear throughout the film. Did you know that for Kristen Wiig’s character Alexanya, Evans worked alongside Zac Posen to specially create each costumes. And there’s more: Marc Jacobs himself reenacted the famous ‘Orange Mocha Frappuccino’ scene via Instagram, as well as Ben Stiller finally featuring as Derek on the february cover of Vogue. The film triggered a small revolution in the way high fashion is communicated, and we can’t help but acknowledging that, of course, whilst we secretly rehearse our own Blue Steel in front of the mirror.
From our side, we imagined what Derek’s emojis could and indeed would look like; the ‘Zoomojis’ feature elements from both Zoolander movies, from Mugatu’s pet poodle to the infamous selfie stick.
2. Barbie: Diversity and empowerment are fundamental
and they pay off
Barbie made her debut in 1959, inspired by Lilli, a doll manufactured in Germany. But Barbie is not just a toy for young girls. Today Barbie has turned into an icon that girls, boys, moms and grown-up fashionistas all follow. Her Instagram account has definitely had an impact towards her iconic status: Photographed in daily, and sometimes in real-life situations; the doll has become and in fact feels just like the rest of us. The connection between Barbie and fashion has been super tight for years: we’ve seen a limited edition Karl Lagerfeld Barbie selling out in a matter of hours back in September 2014, and after dedicating a flashy pink collection to the icon for the Moschino’s Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear, the brand launched yet another limited edition Moschino Barbie just last November, with a collective stock of around 700 dolls, selling out in less than an hour. The designers that dressed Barbie are too many to count… Versace to Armani, Calvin Klein to Oscar De La Renta and so, so much more.
Due to her original unrealistic body shape; Barbie has been accused of having a prominent effect on female body perception and aspirations in a considerably unhealthy way. Over the last few months, Barbie’s image has been given a serious rebranding. And it’s a clear reflection of the current and upcoming general trends when it comes to gender identity, body perception, identity in general and, ultimately, what we wear. After finally featuring a boy playing with the Moschino Barbie in a recent ad, Mattel positively reacted with the hashtag #Youcanbeanything, with the campaign also showcasing young girls as they imagine their future selves as doctors, businesswomen or professors. At the end of January two special guests, Gwen Stefani and Queen Latifah, celebrated the addition of 33 new model types to the Barbie collection (a further addition to the 23 launched last year): with Barbie now available in a much wider variety of skin tones, hair, eye colour and sizes (petite, tall and curvy).
According to Visibrain, the news generated 129,025 tweets in the first 24 hours alone, along with extensive media coverage, including the cover elusive of The Times. After years of negative balances, net sales for Barbie went up to +0.5% in Q4 2015; proving that the new Barbie is finally starting to appeal to the masses.
3. Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII: The variation on fashion & technology we weren’t expecting
There’s no doubt that fashion and technology is THE hot topic within the fashion world for 2016. From the Fashion & Technology summit organized in Florence by Luisaviaroma to the Met Ball Gala that will take place in May, which will focus solely on the difference between hand-made and machine-made fashion. There’s a Louis Vuitton testimonial that would be a great match to sport hyper-technological couture. We’re of course referring to one of the models from the Series 4 Vuitton campaign Spring 2016: for those who missed her – it’s Lightning, a character from the popular video game, ‘Final Fantasy XIII’.
As Nicolas Ghesquière, the maisons’ creative director, put it: “Lightning heralds a new era of expression.” An era in which the line that separates reality and virtual reality is quite blurry. As surreal as it might sound, the heroine was even interviewed by the British tabloid paper, the Telegraph.
If on the one hand Barbie was conventionally meant for females, video gaming is then conventionally targeting a male audience. So all in all, it came as quite refreshing to see another form of stereotype challenged, and watching a video game character sporting a feminine collection, without losing, but even emphasizing her status as a heroine. That’s how you decline and anticipate a hot topic just right.
|By Giuliana Catalano – Senior Content Marketing Manager|
Header source: eonline.com