The Exploration of the Technology Narrative at Blood Brother and QASIMI SS/18

The Exploration of the Technology Narrative at Blood Brother and QASIMI SS/18

Technological advances within both fashion and the wider environment currently have two contrasting narratives. On one hand, new innovations such as virtual reality fashion shows and smart materials are seen as vital progression of the fashion industry. However, some designers are consciously objecting to this leap into space-age fashions, by bringing us back to the origins of crafted design.

For this season’s fifth anniversary of London Fashion Week Men’s, Blood Brother was transformed into ‘BB CORP’, a digitally retro organisation that took the appearance of an eighties HR office with mundane grey office chairs and conventional filing cabinets, all branded with the ‘BB CORP’ logo. We simply cannot ignore the relevance of the ‘BB’ in current times, with Blood Brother exploring the effects of online surveillance through the eyes of ‘Big Brother’. Fortunately, these were definitely not your average office workers. Blood Brother used this corporate front to encourage us to ‘LOGIN’ and “abscond from our current reality”. Their especially timely message offered within their SS/18 presentation is a warning. With so many world leaders not acknowledging the sheer importance of climate change and how it could affect us, Blood Brother are here to inform us that, “it may not be long before we have to disappear online to seek what we desire”. 

Key looks centred around garments as a catalyst for escapism, with digital prints of fast women and fast cars transporting us to a fantasised world of luxury and expense. But as soon as feel like you’re being whisked away into Blood Brother’s imaginary world, bold advertising type is used to emblazon shirts with ‘SAVE ME’: a stark reminder that we are far from achieving an online or offline utopia.

Whilst Blood Brother was encouraging us to “disappear” into an online realm, QASIMI SS18 puts us firmly in the present and remains calm in the rejection of the excessive amount of information and media we now receive. With the focus squarely on the exquisite craftsmanship of the garments, QASIMI uses a more organic backdrop of beige linen and a floor scattered with sand, choosing to transport us back to simpler times of utility and focus. With the name of the collection being ‘FREE FALL’, QASIMI want us to trust their archetypal design and artistry, and to understand that it doesn’t need a huge production to ‘prop up’ designs. Movement within the presentation is a key feature, with uniformed and purposeful actions of the models being linked to “the movements of the nomadic Bedouin tribes of the Middle East”.

Garments were lightweight and tangible, but oversized so that they could be used as a protective layer, opening up a new narrative about the feelings of the youth of today. Linens and cottons allowed for a functional, yet earthy feel; with khaki and granite colours moving the garments back towards their military roots.

As Blood Brother looks towards the imminent future, and how we need to protect our offline world before we are pushed into an online world, QASIMI rejects the overpowering use of modern technologies for a simpler and more eclectic design recipe.  Although advancements in technology were not the most obvious attributes within both of these presentations, it was particularly interesting to see how fashion houses are choosing to accept or reject the undeniable presence of technology within our modern lives.

Written by Nina Burrell,

Fashion Assistant

Photography by Imogen Cleverley For XXY Magazine