What does fashion’s maximalist trend say about the contemporary consciousness?

Culture Trip examines the maximalist trend, and what it says about our contemporary consciousness.

‘I think of what Rei does as ideas given shape,’ said Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director of The New York Times, in conversation with the curator of the Comme des Garcons exhibition at The Met, Andrew Bolton, and Rei Kawakubo’s husband, Adrian Joffe. Only one of two designers to have been celebrated thus while alive, Rei Kawakubo is certainly revered for her imaginative, avant-garde designs in which human form is exaggerated; the body is exploded into something urgently new, and big. Indeed, the timing of this exhibition coincides with a maximalist trend in fashion more widely. Throughout the Spring/Summer 2017 and Autumn/Winter shows, oversized coats, hoods, trousers and sleeves were ubiquitous on both sides of the Atlantic. Granted, almost all physical objects could be said to be an idea given shape in some form or another. However, this new trend pushes an artistic, non-functional style into the mainstream. A new cultural phenomenon is certainly afoot, but what does pursuit of the supersize mean as a reflection of our contemporary consciousness?

First published on Culture Trip June 2017. Read the full feature here.

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