Clothing, the closest article to man’s skin, and the most perennial, has not ceased to evolve through time. Beyond its basic protective function, it has served to communicate social status, to establish hierarchy, to signify tribal adherence and to inspire beauty or attractiveness. From this last impulse stemmed fashion, pushed in our giddy days to the status of cult and to manufacturer of totems.
Fashion revels in soft creativity for the elites or the masses. Prada or Zara concoct their ornaments, cash millions, people applaud and everybody is happy. Is this predigested aesthetics? The collective ATOPOS has turned such ideas and their operating principles on their head to display in a brilliant exhibition how the limits of trendy can be expanded till they dissolve, giving way to uncompromised inspiration. “Arrrgh! Monsters in fashion” at La Gaîté Lyrique navigates to the other side of glamour and helps to construct visual myths for our time.
By exploring the margins of clothing design, the possibility emerges to manifest our instincts, to release our troubled or playful visions. Some of the exhibits have a kinship to Dadaism. Others invite us to conceive new identities. They all try to break the confines and the rules.
After all, ATOPOS is not shedding light onto a new trend. It invites us to enter the postmodern jungle where the digital and the real converge, where the self is deconstructed to be reconstructed again with a little help from our fashion friends. Terrifyingly or humorously.