Ann-Sofie Back, AW 2007
Ann-Sofie Back showed an interesting collection employing scotch tape, plastic, and fastening mechanisms (normally associated with cheap luggage and backpacks) to underscore “a sketchy, spontaneous look,” what Back describes as “two minute garments.” Some of the looks, particularly the see-through plastic garments held together with scotch tape are reminiscent of Margiela’s early 1990s work. While others materials, such as neoprene and velcro, what Back refers to as “faux functional,” seem to pervert the late 90s early 00s functional aesthetic and its penchant for high-tech fabric. A subversion of these themes is further highlighted by the fact that most of the pieces, despite being made of “high-tech” or “faux high-tech” material (which one generally relates with “technical sportswear”) often hang awkwardly on the body, most of which remains exposed thanks to mini-skirts and short dresses. At times, particularly with the looks, in which heavy wool or down are “sketchily” and precariously wrapped around the body, one can’t help but picking up a reference (intentional or not) to the ways these fabrics are down-cycled and used by homeless people to shield themselves from the cold—a sight which is certainly more common in New York than in London.
Ultimately, these references coexist with a number of body-hugging silhouettes, where wide elastic straps wrap around the body rather tightly to create dresses and skirts. What is perhaps most interesting about the collection is that while the London runways abound with 1980s reference—a rather tired look at this point—Back seems to be revisiting and commenting on 1990s fashion—hopefully a sign for things to come!