“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” fashion meets science fiction. Star Wars’ iconic intro text in its movies has never seemed more appropriate than watching this year’s Spring/Summer 2018 runway show in fashion capitals like Paris and Milan. From Star Trek to Stranger Things, it was evident that couture designers were keeping in step with pop culture references and boldly added a new dimension to their designs inspired by the futuristic concepts of science fiction.
Although fashion and science fiction may seem like odd bedfellows at first, it actually makes sense for both to intermingle. After all, both fashion and science fiction require unrestricted use of the imagination. If one can imagine it, one can create it.
This must have been Louis Vuitton Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquiere’s thought process when he put together a collection that is, literally, from another world. The highly creative Ghesquiere—who admittedly is a sci-fi fan—is no stranger to infusing science fiction references to his collection. Back in spring 2007 when he was still the creative genius behind Balenciaga, he created designs with references to cyber-inspired movie, Tron—adding a little robotic detail here and there to his fashion collection.
Fast-forward to today, Ghesquiere does it again—this time drawing inspirations from the Netflix hit show, Stranger Things and the iconic movie Star Wars. One look at Louis Vuitton’s droid-inspired Speedy bag—thanks to its metal gray color and contrasting orange detail—and the adorable R2-D2 from Star Wars comes to mind.
But Ghesquiere didn’t stop there. On the runway, he also debuted a new handbag silhouette for Louis Vuitton—-the structured cube bag with leather and metal chain straps. The bag, without a doubt, screams “cool couture,” which means it paired well with other edgy fashion pieces, including a shirt that pays homage to Stranger Things.
Louis Vuitton was clearly not alone when it comes to its love affair with science fiction. For Spring/Summer 2018, Gucci also pushed the boundaries of fashion and science fiction with collections that boldly explored intergalactic references. Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci stepped back in time with vintage sci-fi inspirations, tapping into old-school Star Trek with campaigns that feature alien life and handbags with printed insects, metal studs and, of course, Gucci’s signature bamboo detail.
Given today’s advancements in space exploration and the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk pushing planetary voyage, space travel may be closer to reality than mere science fiction. And Gucci reminds us of this possibility during the recent Fashion Week, showing us what space travel may look like when infused with designer fashion. From Gucci’s tiger jacquard sweater to its embellished belt bag, wool coat and GG suitcase, space travel looks very high-end couture in Michele’s creative mind.
Interestingly enough, many designers—including Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen—saw the future and envisioned space travel on the runway a few fashion seasons ago.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s silver metallic suits, for instance, are very reminiscent of another favorite sci-fi movie, The Fifth Element. Meanwhile, Alexander McQueen’s Gold Star embroidered chiffon cape, which is part of the fashion brand’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, somehow evokes scenes of The Guardians of the Galaxy—so chic, yet so surreal.
But it’s difficult to talk about fashion and science fiction without touching on the rise of the machines. Sci-fi cult favorites, Terminator and The Matrix, mentioned this possibility. Many designers have referenced this idea in some of their creations, including Louis Vuitton who came out with a fashion-forward look that reminds us of Trinity in The Matrix. Alexander Wang, on the other hand, may have subtly pointed to Ex Machina when he came up with his embroidered chainmail dress, worn by Jessica Biel in the photo below, for his Fall 2017 collection.
Whatever the inspiration may be, whether extra-terrestrial or vintage space-age, there’s no question the recent intermingling of fashion and science fiction has brought to light some of the most oddly creative fashion pieces on the runway. Are you ready to see what the next frontier may bring in the world of fashion?