Once, the word automatic meant the height of technology. It then became a symbol of quality, now it evokes vintage appliances, old cars and analog systems.
For the designer, growing up in Nigeria the word automatic was used colloquially to define remarkable human physical achievement - particularly in the sphere of football. In all these cases, the physical human being is integral to the definition, in a way that seems less so in the technology and systems of today. This collection is inspired by the idea that automatic is what we need now. Systems and objects that are created for human beings, reflect humanity and are made to facilitate living.
The physical inspiration
In much of Frank Gehry’s architecture, the human effort is apparent in the object created, despite the overwhelming use of technology in the making of it. Perhaps his work feels ‘automatic’ because of his process. In his hands, building design computer programs serve only as tools to manifest the sculptures he envisions in his mind. His buildings tend to be an accumulation of shapes (usually curvilinear) relating to each other, to form a cohesive whole. This is taken as inspiration for the forms and details of the clothing in this collection.
In booming 50’s America, automatic meant the future. Nowhere was this clearer than in the household appliances of that period. The colours and forms of these appliances (seen through a sepia filter) are used for the accessories and details of this collection.
Cars were the first machines to be marketed widely for being automatic. But by the 70s it seems to have become a basic requirement for any vehicle of quality. The juxtaposition of the hyper natural and the boldly synthetic, found in the interiors of luxury cars during this period, inspired the fabrics and textures of this collection.
The base reference point for the silhouette of this collection is also 70’s. Particularly the fitted tops, loose trousers and permutations of shapes and details accepted in formal wear of the period. These characteristics made clothing ‘automatic’ (by our definition) because they became tools for men’s self-expression.
Underlying all of this is the desire to create wearable clothes that interrogate the boundaries of clothing as protection or antagonism, object or tool, badge or beacon.