Straight out of a cabinet of curiosity or a surrealist dream, little offbeat details give life to fabrics and accessories, infusing fashion with hints of strangeness and poetry, like the start of a fairy tale with an unknown ending.
A furtive beetle, a fleeting butterfly, a tiny fish, a flash of colourful light: Autumn Winter 18/19 is bizarre, fanciful, with off-beat details to lend fabrics, patterns and accessories an exquisitely surreal sensibility.
France’s HTL Bucol captures to perfection this fascination for the bizarre in a range of fabrics with animal motifs playing on contrasting visuals and handles. Lurex scarabs with a hologram effect spring up from stencilled black fabrics with scarcely hinted volumes, while iridescent tropical fish float enigmatically on polyamides with a luxurious feel.
An animal, curiosity-cabinet aesthetic is also among the trends at Italy’s Conti Wej Bottoni, which drew on its impressive archives (dating back to 1933) for the inspiration for the company’s new aged-metal buttons in the shape of scarabs or dragonflies.
Of course, abstract motifs are also part of the hunt for exceptionality and poetry, as seen at Goutarel, a French maker of tulle and lace. The company presents a new range of silk brocades updated by glints of colourful pink, yellow and green Lurex – worked n tone-on-tone or in contrast – as well as by the use of a heat-shrinking yarn which gives fabrics a subtle and unpredictable play on volume.
At Italy’s Ricamificio Gimar, a macramé technique is worked on ethereal tulles and printed motifs, for transparency and contrast effects combining brushed wool yarns and brightly coloured Lurex yarns, geometric fringes and aquatic or floral motifs.
Colour also takes the lion’s share in the design studio Nikki Martinkovic . For next season, this American designer has developed a range of motifs derived by assembling several landscape or still-life photographs. The use of anti-naturalistic colours guarantees a thoroughly modern offbeat look. Utterly bizarre!