Have you ever heard of Syd Mead? No? You’re probably familiar with the films he drew for: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Tron (1982), Aliens (1986), and more recently Elysium (2013) – does it ring a bell? Syd Mead is now 83 and he has spent his whole working life imagining the future. He’s kind of a reference of sci-fi and of futurist architecture.
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, the two designers of the Opening Ceremony brand, pay tribute to his work in their Autumn-Winter 2016 collection, inspired by drawings he made in the 70s and 80s. The funny thing is that when Syd Mead created these illustrations, he was imagining a future that turned out to be our present! The film Blade Runner, for example, dates from the 80s and shows the Los Angeles of 2019!
Bringing Syd Mead’s drawings back to life through their collection is a way for Carol and Humberto to offer them a renewed relevance. They question the notions of future/present and imagination/reality, while allowing the spectator to compare the worlds Syd Mead created with their own. Is it better? Or worse? Or completely out of touch? In the foreground of the drawing above, a man is holding a kind of smartphone in his hand, and we can see the word “INTRNET’ written in capital letters on one of the dirigible airships. Not that absurd.
Allowing us to travel in time thanks to the illustrations of one of the sci-fi masters is truly a great idea, but I personally find the collection disappointing. There’s nothing spectacular about it. It doesn’t pay tribute to Syd Mead’s work. Considering how monumental and iconic his work is, I would have liked more boldness. The two dresses are interesting, and you can see the attempt to appropriate the illustration through a particular fabric and printing technique. However, the sweaters are very ordinary, as if the paintings had just been copied and pasted.
That’s too bad!