The term retrofuturism – a movement in art and design that imagines what the future might look like during the present moment – was first coined in the early 1980s, in an issue of The New York Times. Here, the copywriter for a Bloomingdale’s advertisement described pieces of jewellery as “silverised steel and sleek grey, linked for a retro-futuristic look”.
But, despite lacking a name, retrofuturism had been around for far longer than that, originating in the work of sci-fi novelist H.G. Wells in the 1800s and German expressionist filmmaker Fritz Lang in the 1920s. Three decades on from Lang’s Metropolis, space race optimism permeated pop culture, perhaps leaving its greatest mark on fashion history: think, Andre Courrèges’ mirror-shine PVC and Paco Rabanne’s iconic metalwork couture. Then, there was Thierry Mugler, who invited an all-out cyborgian fantasy to the runways of the 80s and 90s, and Nicolas Ghesquière, who drew upon the sculptural codes of Cristóbal Balenciaga, bringing them to his own vision for the house.
Today, retrofuturism is very much alive and well, with Ghesquière still leading the way with his work at Louis Vuitton: “People used to define me as a futurist designer, but, for me, the future is now,” he told AnOther, with the French designer’s show for the Spring/Summer 2019 season wholeheartedly embracing this sentiment. And he wasn’t the only one, with a similar ethos permeating collections at Maison Margiela, Givenchy, Balmain, Marine Serre, Burberry, Coach and Camper. Here, 12 accessories from those designers – including hats, sunglasses, jewellery and bags – were reimagined by Chris Rhodes and Chloe Grace Press, in AnOther Magazine’s S/S19 issue.
London team one hair: Naoki Komiya at Julian Watson Agency. London team one make-up: Celia Burton at Jaq Management. London team two make-up: Liz Daxauer at Caren. Model: Sylvie Makower at Casting Real. Casting: Simone Schofer. London set design: Thomas Bird at Bryant Artists. New York set sesign: Jeffrey Miller at The Magnet Agency. London team one manicure: Trish Lomax at Jaq Management. New York photographic assistant: Johnny Knapp. London lighting: Terry Broadbent, Federico Radaelli and Andrew Goss. London styling assistants: Priyanka Makwana and Isobel Attrill. London team one hair assistant: Makoto Hayashi. London set-design assistants: Camilla Byles and Sadie Haque. London production managers: Anastasia Orlando and Lawrence Marsh. New York production: Webber. Post-production: Dtouch London. Special thanks to JJ Locations
This story originally featured in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of AnOther Magazine which is on sale internationally now.