Let's all breathe in, breathe out, close our eyes, put our hands up and admit it; we love to shop. It's therapy for our souls and torture for our credit cards. Fashion and consumerism go hand-in-hand, so it's no wonder the topic was widely explored in the AW14 designer collections on the catwalks of Chanel, Moschino, House of Holland, Markus Lupfer and many more. In fact, it was consumerism galore with enough food for thought to fuel a dissertation. Every season you see it all on the catwalks: the big, the beautiful, the bad and the bizarre but AW14 shows took a step further with a bold and aggressive takeover by kitsch designs saluting the everyday and the ordinary, the life of the common man.
Chanel celebrated consumerism with their big Supermarket Sweep set for AW14 Paris Fashion Week show. Featuring hundreds of everyday products chicly labelled with double 'C' symbols and with trainers taking centre stage in the show, Chanel has never been so democratic, so down to earth, so relatable. It was a revolution, Coco Chanel herself would approve of.
Moschino's AW14 show was a binge into the fast-food industry with crowd pleasing designs from Creative Director Jeremy Scott, who served up portions of bright provocative colours using Ronald McDonald as a style inspiration. The iconic 'M' symbol appeared on the Happy Meal style bags, and McDonald's signature contrasting red and yellow colours made up dresses and jumpers. It was irresistible and the crowd could not help but eat it up.
House of Holland's AW14 collection showed a significant influence from street and underground culture, culminating in a display of social and mass media. Sequined lipsticks, lobsters, and champagne flutes adorned his pieces glorifying the hedonistic way of London life. Trivial objects became jewels on his kitsch pieces and the front page of The Sun, Britain's biggest tabloid newspaper, was merged with Pre-Raphaelites to give edgier update to a graphic tee.
Markus Lupfer gave a nod to the classes in his AW14 collection, celebrating the new season the full English way. For his designs he borrowed nostalgic elements like fish and chips, motifs of crossword puzzles, Scottish tartan - all very familiar and very British everyday objects and worked them into high fashion pieces.
Similar to the Pop Art movement of the 50s, Jeremy Scott, Karl Lagerfeld, Henry Holland and Markus Lupfer challenged the traditions of couture fashion and luxury, borrowing images and materials from everyday consumerist culture and removing them from their original context, crushing fashion as elitist and lavish and employing an ironic approach with the use of kitsch, banal elements of mass-consumption.
Fashion has humour displayed in AW14's self-mockery pieces for the grown-up and intelligent contemporary women's wardrobe. It's funny, witty and has a note of nostalgia. So take a deep breath and shop with confidence.
Markus Lupfer and House of Holland AW14 collections will be available from July 2014