Futuristic Utopian fashion innovations



utopian-bodies abstract installation

Utopian bodies- fashion looks forward



Imaginable futures for the adorned body


Forward utopian projections usually lean towards the futuristic, combining surreal and adventurous design elements, sometimes outlandish and impractical, other times visionary and prophetic. The recent Stockholm utopian fashion exhibition was no exception, with many aspects of modern design integrated into the couture that were inventive and served to elevate it into the future.

Liljevalchs´Museum exhibition “Utopian Bodies: Fashion Looks Forward” focused on imaginable futures for the adorned body and useful developments in fashion in a challenging world. Harnessing a combination of high tech innovation and sensitivity to environmental issues, creativity in fashion was taken beyond a purely aesthetic appeal. Curated by Sofia Hedman, Serge Martynov and Mårten Castenfors, vivid, abstract set designs were used to compliment the boldness and originality of the styles.
Utopian ideals were explored with a merging of creativity and technology over eleven themed galleries including Technology, Sustainability, Craft & form, Change, Craft & colour, Resistance & society, Resistance & beauty, Solidarity, Memory, Gender identity and Love.
For example Smart Textiles created the first completely recyclable cotton fabric, which can minimize the environmental impact on cotton growing. The BBsuit 0.2 created by ByBorre and Eva de Laat, cleans polluted air through a portable filtering system, while Pauline Van Dongen’s solar panel shirt stores natural energy. Valerie Lamontagnes’ clothes change their properties according to the weather, pointing towards a future with less over specified garments, which would consume fewer natural resources.
The technology section featured garments, made with laser cutting, that had sensors embedded into the fabric, to convert pressure, temperature, speed and movement into signals that mimicked some of the performances of the wearer’s skin.


elena-slivnyak-for-iimuahii - black and white fashion-costume futuristic styling

Elena Slivnyak for Iimuahii


Other inventive designs were Billie Whitehouse’s and Ben Moir’s Navigate Jacket that come with vibrating mechanisms embedded in the shoulders, allowing wearer’s to find their way without looking at a map. Cutecircuit’s shirts allowed you to send hugs to other wearers of their garments and Ying Gao made clothes that interact with an onlookers gaze or voice. From a recycling perspective, Miguel Mesa Posadas’s clothes were made from recycled car tires, while Qmilks created clothes out of biologically degradable milk fibres.
Recent fashion contributions from Viktor & Rolf’s, Issy Miyake , Dior, and Mcqueen were highlighted. Also on display were Hussein Chalayan’s ground-breaking table skirt and moulded plastic dress and Walter Van Beirendonck’s Stop Racism headdress from Crossed Crocodiles.
While functionality wasn’t exactly the primary focus, this avant garde fashion, like any art or design form, faithfully reproduced and reflected the needs and obsessions of a society, during the times in which they appear.



utopian-fashion Mini Miki' (centre red outfit) by Bea Szenfeld, Resistance and Beauty gallery

‘Mini Miki’ (centre red outfit) by Bea Szenfeld, Resistance and Beauty gallery





Utopian bodies- fashion looks forward




Utopian bodies- fashion looks forward

Liljevalchs, Stockholm

2015 – Feb 2016




Charlie le Mindu headpiece ‘Kiss Me’

 2011  photo by Vernie Yeung




Utopian Bodies, installation view of Sustainability gallery, with dresses by Issey Miyake, Dai Fujiwara, H&M, Hussein Chalaya and Miguel Mesa Posada

Liljevalchs, Stockholm




H&M "Love" dress, in the exhibition gallery of the same name. Photo by Mattias Lindbäck. Red gown with flashing heart and red lights

H&M “Love” dress, in the exhibition gallery of the same name.

Photo by Mattias Lindbäck



manish-arora designed costumeManish Arora – Utopian Bodies costume





Utopian Bodies, Viktor & Rolf “Hana Bedtime Story”

Photo by Mattias Lindbäck





Viktor & Rolf – ‘Hana Bedtime Stories’

foto -Peter Stigter





Utopian Bodies – Craft Colour Gallery

Photo by Mattias Lindbäck


utopian-couture futuristic fashion

Utopian bodies- fashion looks forward

Liljevalchs, Stockholm




The BBsuit 0.2 created by ByBorre and Eva de Laat, cleans polluted air through a portable filtering system




utopian-fashion-stockholm utopian-bodies-installation----resistance-society-gallery

Utopian Bodies, Resistance & Society gallery




Utopian Bodies, installation shot of Resistance & Beauty gallery

Photo by Mattias Lindbäck.




utopian-fashion looks forward

Utopian bodies- fashion looks forward

Liljevalchs, Stockholm





Walter Van Beirendonck, Headwear, “Weird” Collection (Autumn/Winter 2005)
Courtesy of Mode Museum Antwerp
Foto: Roland Stoops




Utopian Bodies, installation view of Solidarity gallery. A room entirely in white, with custom-made wigs by Perry Patrasczewski, clothes by Minna Palmqvist, Gudrun Sjoden, Ida Sajasedt and Sandra Backlund.



More utopianesque designs



Model – Edie Campbell, Photographer  – Tim Walker





Israeli fashion designer Noa Raviv has integrated 3D-printed elements into ruffled garments influenced by distorted digital drawings. Grid-like patterns are warped and stretched across parts of the garments to create optical illusions across the body. “I’ve translated those lines into textiles that creates this sort of optical illusion.”




Fabio-Bartelt photo of Luana Teifke

Luana Teifke, photo Fabio Bartelt

Vogue Brazil




‘Eos’ is a creation of stitched and plaited sterling silver wire, copper wire, beads and silk by Claire Prebble





‘Amor’– Molly Bair in Alexander Mcqueen – Fashion Week 2015 by Nick Knight for V Magazine

Inspired by Anselm Kiefer’s blackened sunflower heads, the project explores the parallels between creativity and love.




china-fashion-week-2012 MGPIN Make-up Styling spring / summer 2012 Photo Lintao Zhang Getty image

MGPIN Make-up Styling spring / summer 2012 Photo Lintao Zhang Getty image





Nick Knight photography for Vogue




Dutch designer Iris van Herpen merges 3-D printer technology with high-end fashion skeletal form





Brutalist cage couture –  Gareth Pugh Black Leather Cage Jacket

Photo by Hyuna Shin





Kitty Kouture by Ophelia-Overdose






Korean designer Lie Sang Bong



medusa-wilfred-dy photographer

‘Medusa’ – photo by Wilfred Dy





Hauteur Space –  Nick Knight

Nick Knight looked to the timeless language of elegance expounded in the works of Erté, Aubrey Beardsley, Lillian Bassman and Irina Ionesco, amongst others, to explore the future-fantastic visions of Spring/Summer 2012 for W magazine.




into-bloom-by-hyuna-shin----asian girl in black against a watercolour floral backdrop

‘Into Bloom’ by Hyuna Shin



nicolas-jebran-couture 2012-2013 model wearing a deep purple gown

Nicolas Jebran couture 2012-2013




Pierre Cardin black and white spiral couture

Triple vortex  – Pierre Cardin





Art Deco geometric design by shotopop  (created in photoshop)





Polish designer Bea Szenfeld  ‘Haute Papier’ collection of handmade organic and futuristic paper garments.

photographer Joel Rhodin




Kate Forbes Warrior collection

photographer – Troyt Coburn



rain alexandra-kokinova

‘Rain’ costume – Alexandra Kokinova





Manual Diaz futuristic Egyptian Art Deco clear plastic design




rinaldy-a-yunardi-s-s-2016 pagoda inspired fashion

Pagoda samauri inspired costume – Rinaldy A. Yunardi

Jakarta Fashion Week 2016




Shao Yen Chen designed sculptural fluffy white dress with dramatic silhouette




Alla Nazimova in Salomé 1923 directed by Charles Bryant

Alla Nazimova in Salomé 1923 directed by Charles Bryant



naked-burlap-cockatoo-knights rinaldy-a-yunardi

Inspired by naked burlap cockatoo knights – Rinaldy A. Yunardi




Christine Kreiselmaier photography for SteinRohner

Christine Kreiselmaier photography for Steinrohner design




suprematism-ii-by-olga-zavershinskaya - model wearing a black geometrical dress and hat

‘Suprematism II’ by Olga Zavershinskaya





University of Westminster graduate Valeska Jasso Collado was inspired by the color, finish and form of Memphis furniture to create this avant-garde collection of wearable structure





‘The missing moon of Sedna’  photo by Pinch Martin Tremblay

via Behance


skin-marjolein-dallinga-canada red spikey fabric outfit

Designer Marjolein Dallinga

WOW – world of wearable art. NZ





‘The Nativity of Pearl’ – photography Wilfred Dy




valentin-yudashkin - black and white geometric gown

Russian fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin





Venetian crow costume




costumes-carnaval-venise-2016 turquoise ocean theme

Venetian turquoise ocean theme kitsch, 2016




lavender with lights outfit venice-carnival-italy

Venice illuminated light costume, Venice 2016





Gondola inspired masquerade costume, Venice




venice-world-of-costumes - merry-go-round-gown

“The Zoo Of Venice” by Tanja Schulz-Hess, Venice carnival 2012

World Of Costumes





Viktor & Rolf red cube gown inspired by Noguchi





Splash Calendar 2011 by Tejal Patni




Water splash crystallization dress – Iris Van Herpen





Tejal Patni and Kirstan Hermans photography and digital art




xinyuan-xu cactus inspired fashion

Cactus inspired dress – Designer Xinyuan Xu




Givenchy green dress



david-ferreira-2015 twin cocoon ensemble

Designer David Ferreira – 2015




Pine‘Tree Girl’ by Toon Van Stralen (design by Pim van den Akker)




Gareth Pugh, Paris





Christian Dior Haute Couture

photo Patrick Demarchelier



Hussein Chalayan avant garde fashion

Hussein Chalayan avant garde fashion



Lai Kit Ling, Hong Kong Design Institute.




Line & form – Korean Seoul’s Christian Dior Couture Store




central-saint-martins-vingi-wong designer

 Designer Vingi Wong  –  Central Saint Martins





katerina-intro-magazine photo-by-sofia-zasheva-on-behance

Katerina – Intro magazine

photo by Sofia Zasheva





NEXT POST — Contemporary sculptural busts



  1. Posted December 4, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for showing one of my costumes – “The Zoo of Venice” from 2010 (not as stated from 2016) in your trhead about abstract garments. I feel honoured to be listed there amongst other great dresses. But I have a lot more, and better costumes from 18 years of Carnevale. Check my website http://www.worldofcostumes.com

    Ci vediamo a Venzia 20.2.-1.3.2017!!!

    My costumes for next season are even more stunning and abstract than the last years.

    Saluti da Amburgo, Tanja

  2. Posted December 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I love the abstract work.

  3. Posted December 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely amazing.

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