Bricolage Fashion Essay

1214 Words Nov 13th, 2012 5 Pages
This essay is going to look at the term Bricolage and how it links to postmodernism and the term Retro. ‘Non-moderns use bricolage to fashion new tools from available objects...Consumers fashion new identities from the resources available to them’ (Ratneshwar, 2000:132). Fashion designers find their inspiration from the past and combine styles to create new designs that are seen as different and inventive. However, many people argue that so many designers use materials, looks and styles from the past that they are re using fashion in a continuous cycle and are no longer being original and creative. I will be looking at fashion designer Gareth Pugh to explain more about the term bricolage and the use of the past in contemporary fashion …show more content…
Pugh also has a lot of fetish wear, S&M and punk influence in his designs which go back to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in the 1980s creating punk fashion and popularising the sex pistols. Checkered shoes and clothing was also a trend of the 80's era popularised by actor Sean Penn's character in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1981. Pugh’s ‘creations’ have many different elements from the past, not to mention the obvious connection with Darth Vader! ‘In the spirit of post-modern art, mid- and later 1990’s fashion concerned itself with “bricolage”…retro styling is the ultimate bricolage tool and top designers all re- invented and re- combined a variety of earlier eras’ (Tolkien, 2000:142) Gareth Pugh’s inspiration from both Leigh Bowery, 1980’s and S&M is what we call bricolage.
Whilst sourcing more pictures, Gareth Pugh has also had many other obvious influences from the past. One collection had apparent Elizabethan inspired clothing with the use of ruffles, neckwear and padded hips. What’s more, a monochrome gothic feel to all of Pugh’s designs with the front of the dress white, the back in black, which is also a play on the ‘crying and laughing’ faces usually associated in theatres and stage plays. This tells us Pugh has fun with his designs, they are theatrical and have an element of fantasy ‘Alice and wonderland’ feel to them.

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