Fashion Icon: The Four Horsemen


It’s all going down this week: alien-disaster flick District 9 comes out and Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic The Road is on its way. Meanwhile, 2012 (both the date and the year, not coincidentally) rapidly approaches,. The end, in the minds of Hollywood and nutjobs alike, is nigh. Hollywood and nutjobs also often agree on fashion, and for Fall 2009 gave them their best vision of the end, melding futuristic shapes from materials past and present, and turning fur into spats or coats to armor. Angled shaped and excessive, multi-fabric layers look like salvaged materials, tied haphazardly around legs or cinched at the waist to hold everything in place. In the apocalypse’s most literal iteration, Christopher Kane’s atom bombs explode on dresses, while the Sisters Muleavy parade models that resemble refugees scavenging for bits of wool. This isn’t a Gaultier-reminiscent Tina Turner in Mad Max, but more a Denzel Washington’s Book of Eli, where the grizzled actor dresses more like a full-figured Rick Owens mannequin more than a gutter punk from the future.

Forward-thinking Lagerfeld leads the charge with Fendi’s raw edges and destroyed dusters, and British duo Meadham Kirchoff imagines button-downs after being left in a moth-infested closet. A struggle for survival isn’t polished, and Topshop Unique’s ragamuffin shagged coats and disheveled braids feel realistic for a lunge to escape a windswept automobile, or scavenging for food. Christian Lacroix, whose couture house is itself hanging on to an uncertain future, imagines a Fall that’s a steady stream of survivors, which, while never without glamour, have gotten there by rising out of some kind of rubble.