By Giulia Piceni. Cover image: Margherita Mangani, Sopravvivresti in un costante loop dissociativo?, 2022. Creative Direction & Styling: Margherita Mangani. Design & Garments: Matilde Tasselli. Models: Jared Sparacino and Caty Karavidas. Photographs by Greta Peccia.
Margherita Mangani, a young stylist and creative director in her second year studying Fashion Styling & Creative Direction, has given life to a photoshoot projected into a dystopian future along with Fashion Design student Matilde Tasselli. After considering the shots in an oniric way, this article further analyses the two main themes of the photoshoot: post-apocalyptic fashion and dissociative disorders caused by the turbulence of our time.
Fishnets, soft leathers and ropes tied around the body imprison the portrayed figure, relegating it into a corner between broken glass and ceramic tiles that are nothing more than the phantom of a kitchen. The squeaking of broken glass, combined with the flattening of decaying leaves under the model’s boots, clashes with the summer light coming from above. A breeze from the walls’ cracks stirs up the putrid smells of the ghost factory, a returnee of decades of dereliction.
Inside this gloomy venue, everything is precarious, like the mental balance of the figures that trudge through its abandoned rooms, emerging from the darkness and halting for just a few seconds in front of the photographic lens.
They writhe inside a cocoon made of thin plastic film: the last bastion of social contact after a mysterious human tragedy. In it, the models, one leaning upon the other, back and forth in a precarious balance, hint at a desperate abandonment after the apocalypse destroyed everything they cared for.
FROM THE PHOTO SHOOT TO THE AESTHETIC
The project Would you survive in a constant dissociative loop? is the collaborative effort of Fashion Styling student Margherita Mangani and Fashion Design student Matilde Tasselli. They accidentally found themselves dealing with the same theme of a post-apocalyptic world in their artistic research. From this lucky coincidence, they decided to work together on a provocative, dystopian photo shoot.
The post-apocalyptic style belongs to the great category of futuristic style but with a high dose of dystopian elements. This way of dressing has been a relevant fashion niche since the early 2000s when uncertainties accompanied the beginning of the new millennium due to the rising technologies and speculations related to the end of the world. This manner of dressing had a massive comeback in the last couple of years through the uncountable aesthetics that TikTok has made come to light.
Post-apocalyptic fashion has a long history that goes back to the Japanese creatives of the 1980s, such as Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (the so-called post-atomic designers), who shocked the luxurious Paris of that decade with their ripped clothes, innovative volumes, and worn-out textiles.
In recent times, Rick Owens is certainly a master of this style. In counterposition to the pinkish bimbo vibe of the 00s, he materialised his artistic sensibility based mainly on a series of post-human, functional and protective garments that reflect the survivalist mode for which he strived. Almost three decades after the foundation of the homonym brand, Rick Owens remains relevant and coherent with this aesthetic.
Today, supported by the micro-trend craze from social media, post-apocalyptic fashion has known a new season, probably more mainstream than before, but still preserving its signature exclusivity. Designers like Windowsen, Angostura, Austin James Smith and Hamcus are shaping this new way of dressing in a contemporary way, adding some elements of tribal punk along with high-tech and trekking-technical features.
Margherita Mangani is a Fashion Styling & Creative Direction Undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Greta Peccia is an Undergraduate student in Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Giulia Piceni is an Arts Curating Undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Matilde Tasselli is a Fashion Design Undergraduate student at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.