Trend Union Colours, trends & combo's - A/W 22/23 INSPIRATION

As in the 1960s, our current timeframe has been marked by protest and unrest, challenging society to its core. Back then, student protests modified the rules of education forever, bringing participation to the system; and similar engagement is now echoed by the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements. The yellow vests disrupting France for months on end and the current farmers’ uproar in India are just two other examples of the same cracking up of institutions; a general malaise translating into massive amounts of people bonding and campaigning to make change happen. The debilitating discrepancy between rich and poor, increasingly reaching extreme contrasts between billionaires and trillion dollar businesses and the millions on the streets without shelter, is boiling to a point of no return. Far too many ordinary people lost their livelihoods during the Covid pandemic and food banks are understaffed and under-stocked. Poverty will become a burning issue again.

At the cusp of the 60s and 70s, great energies accumulated amidst a new era in art that wanted to be in flux and in movement; breaking with the traditional past of painting and sculpture, bringing make-do installations and found materials to the scene. The thriving practices of the most famous artists pay witness to the enormous explosion of ardour during those times. The passion that animated art also existed in fashion and design, and made for the most prolific and interesting cultural moments from the last century. Artists like Rauschenberg used discarded cardboard to make artworks, Beuys used felt and grease as well as survival blankets, while Bourgeois represented the first array of feminist artists, reclaiming weaving and embroidering as mature elements of female enactments.

This roaring fervour is absent of our culture today; put to sleep by moral notions, morals, money and monotony, selling the same old same old to the masses, avoiding risk at all costs. The onslaught of smart devices and social media is partly responsible for this demise, where all our senses are numbed by overload. And consumer goods are met with a dumb form of consensus. Therefore, it is essential to revisit the heroes and heroines of our recent past, not so much for the artworks themselves, but for the essence of their creative spirit; learning from the ideas as much from, or even more than, their aesthetic. Somehow they all fit snugly again into our expectations and willingness to change.

It is interesting to note that similar disciplines start to re-inhabit the world of art but more so in fields such as photography, video and avant-garde fashion. Now, the crazy vitality of these consequences will set a new tone for the years to come. Therefore, fashions will be unsettled and wobbly, fabrics will be overhauled, cooked, pummelled and coated, and style will be independent, with the great return of styling as the ultimate visionary tool.

We have much to learn from outsider designers, southern colours, streetwise combinations and fluid practices, mixing together all genders, ages and races, with special reverence for indigenous expression.

Enjoy this gift of inspiration from such gifted geniuses!
Lidewij Edelkoort