Clouds, Clouds Everywhere!Decodings
Descending from the heavens, clouds are floating through the creative spheres of fashion, beauty, design and interior decoration. Their arrival is timely, for they inspire comforting reveries!
Clouds have left the stratosphere and come down to Earth, bringing with them an aura of playful whimsy recalling the dreamy cloud-watching of our childhood. This celestial journey is providing food for inspiration to a broad spectrum of creative professions (cf. our moodboard).
First, let’s take a look at the contemporary design scene. Often contributing a cheerful touch of humor, this “elevating” influence is visible in many works, such as the Reisinger Studio’s surrealist interior, Vitra’s undulating vases, Benjamin Graindorge’s wallpaper (a tribute to Pierre Frey) or Jonathan Adler’s furnishings and decorative objects. As if yearning to break with the dichotomy between the decor of children’s bedrooms and those of adults, designers are experimenting with an unconventional, regressive motif that taps into a vein of oneiric nostalgia.
Clouds are forecast in fashion, too! Last year, this was obvious in many designer collections for the 2020-2021 season and in the staging effects as well. In Copenhagen, the Danish house Helmstedt presented its SS 2020 collection featuring quilted dresses and coats sporting blue skies dotted with clouds. In London, Christopher Kane’s Ecosex show included apparel printed with clouds, highlighting the designer’s love affair with Nature in an ambiance that seemed part dream, part delirium!
Cloud patterns also inspired Virgil Abloh, who expressed a breezy “get away from it all” spirit in his casual looks for Off-White’s summer ready-to-wear. As for Louis Vuitton, the staging of its Autumn-Winter Show struck a surreal note with plenty of blue sky and fluffy white cumulus, inspired by the ending scene of the film “The Truman Show”.
A big hit during lockdown, the video game series “Animal Crossing” has also discovered clouds. Instagram accounts like @nookstreetmarket, @nookrepeller and @houseoflsy are all busy creating designer wear in the virtual world to share with their community and fashion aficionados. That’s how whimsical, cloud-bearing pullovers by Lirika Matoshi, Mansur Gavriel and Lazy Oaf have made their way into the benevolent world of the series.
Clouds are also on the rise in pop culture, especially because the Millennials have a thing for this motif (cf. the outfits of Belgian singer-songwriter Angèle). In the social media, influencers have proclaimed that clouds remind us of our childhood innocence. On Instagram, the “matching style” twosome known as Young Emperors (@young_emperors) wore cloud-bearing cashmere sweaters by Leret Leret in late April during their special live “still performance” (they stood still for an hour!) on a rooftop in New York City.
In the beauty sector, make-up artists are having fun doing “cloud art” for the nails and eyes. Hashtags such as #cloudnails, #cloudeyeshadow and #cloudmakeup are gaining traction on social platforms, bearing witness to a surge of creativity and fantasy. The new aesthetic owes a great deal to the bold, experimental make-up looks created for the popular American TV series “Euphoria”. Providing inspiration for many runways, the latter underscore the singularity of a younger generation that values free-spirited, uninhibited self-expression.
Cover image credit: © Christopher Kane Spring-Summer 2020