Copenhagen – A sense of dread and apocalyptic scenarios dominated the catwalk during Wali Mohammed Barrech’s spring/summer 2015 show at Copenhagen Fashion Week as garments emblazoned with surveillance warnings and a staged bomb attack painted a dystopian vision of the future.
Pakistan-born Wali Mohammed Barrech designed the SoS collection to reflect his concern with the current political crisis in Gaza. ‘If you think about our world nowadays and how we’re living and how we’re acting, and if you think about our history and how it is repeating itself in the most obvious and horrible manner, it is something to really take seriously and talk about,’ Barrech explained after the show.
The collection was full of dystopian messages, from the SoS emblazoned across jackets to patterns drawing on surveillance imagery and references to rescue and survival gear. The designer sent identically blonde and tanned models down the runway as a commentary on the issue of racial supremacy, underpinning many of the current political problems.
‘I was playing with this image of the Aryan and the superior race and how we’re all super-clean and aesthetic, but we’re also super-critical of, and judgemental about, each other.’ The show culminated in a staged attack featuring a car randomly driving into the runway, setting off the overhead sprinklers and filling the space with smoke.
Barrech’s show was designed as an immersive dystopian experience. Read our Chasm Culture microtrend on the rise of apocalyptic narratives in culture, and read our macrotrend The Polarity Paradox to understand how brands can play with images of utopia and dystopia to create dynamic visual narratives.