Youth is the obsession number one in our modern era. People like Hedi Slimane create a skinny young rebel without a cause attitude that has left an eternal memory in our minds and for sure, historically one of the most striking and must-see looks of the past decade. One cannot deny that the pursuit of youth using the process of reinvention in fashion is probably one of the major fuels for the whole machinery. No need to discuss it.
Gus Van Sant and Larry Clark, the major independent directors also share Slimane's obsession. Their heroes or their films are the perfect embodiment of this idea. For instance, we immediately think of Clark's Wassup Rockers that is about latino punk skaters who play music for pleasure living in a no man's land L.A. Van Sant made his über aesthetic trilogy in Elephant, Paranoid Park and Last Days around this unique depiction and dissection of being young and restless. But these three artists don't own the monopoly of this kind of characters. Indeed nowadays a new kind of man has made his appearance, a kind of uber mensch we can qualify as "superhero".These superheroes look like the boys Hedi Slimane likes to depict, a rebel without any cause but they have a more street gangsta attitude.
If you can picture a kind of Spartacus that belongs to a gang, it is the kind of boys we are referring to. This Spartacus 2.0 has got the streets in his DNA and wear Astrid Andersen because he is confident above all. Astrid Andersen is a Danish London-based designer graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in 2010. Her work is articulated around this idea of creating a very masculine look, inspired by streets and Hip Hop culture that is balanced by feminine hints in colour and the choice of fabrics. Girly or kawai colours and materials like fushia, fur or lace are to be found in her SS13 collection that was part of the MAN project. Her signature piece is definitely the basketball tank made of yellow fur, one transparent revealing muscles for the greater good, one mixing see-through fabrics and fur and another one with her brand logo ( I Spartacus belong to the Astrid Andersen bad boy team so WTF!). Here the basketball tank acts as the superman cape and makes the hero sexy.
This phantasmagorical Spartacus seems rather basic (but do not take this word basic as a bad word because we do not consider it as a bad word or as a flaw) if we take into consideration the SS13 collection of Katie Eary displaying another kind of Superhero perhaps from another gang. The Digital Team if we had to name it. Katie Eary is also a London-based designer defining herself as half way between "Vogue and Vice" and who sees "Street couture at the core of all [her] pieces". With this collection, we can see her work on the 3D prints (fish scales, octopuss tentacles, shoal of fish, baroque embellishments...), something recurrent, almost her signature. Streetwear is at the core of this collection but with a more sophisticated twist thanks to the use of silk as the main material.