Futuristic. Rave. I FINK U FREEKY. Post-modern. Lucite. Nebula. Cosmic. Bizarre. Pastel. Magic. Nature. Planetary. Oddity. Structured. Forces. Unnerving beauty. After a weekend of pinning, our course for Spring 2013 has changed direction and is now headed to a strange fantasy land of futuristic glamor that goes underground and out of this world. Are you ready?
Laura Villasenin, the original Miista, has recently begun preparing to design our Spring//Summer 2013 collection. At first she was torn. Our AW12 collection is titled ELECTRIC WITCHES and it explored ’90s rave culture, Victorian detailing, Boy George-esque styling and neon lifestyles. The theme resulted in our best collection yet. And with such open ended inspiration it felt as if there were so much more to discuss. So the design process started with the plan of ELECTRIC WITCHES Part TWO. A Spring version of our Autumn collection would have turned new corners and peaked under new rocks. But as we began to gather inspiration images it was clear that Spring had something else in store.
We now have a Pinterest board overflowing with inspiration called Electromancer. One of the first ideas that got our creative juices flowing was the 1962 Gordon R. Dickson science fiction novel Necromancer — which is also the source of the collection’s title. The story tells of a man on a quest for self-discovery, who becomes entangled in the mission of a secret, mystical guild led by a powerful necromancer. Necromancy is the idea of magically communicating with the dead in order to predict the future. The guild uses this power as part of their effort to clear out society as they create an evolutionary advanced new form of humanity. Futuristic and focused on dark themes of destruction and isolation, this sci-fi story explores the power of the past and man’s fruitless efforts toward manipulating the future. The dead know the secrets and must be roused from their final rest and the future holds a bizarre unknown. We are looking to include this “bizarre unknown” within the collection, a certain element of darkness, and represent it through inspiration images.
We are striving to balance this strange, futuristic unknown with elements of nature. Space and geography play a major role in terms of shape and color. These natural oddities are eons old and continue to make up our environment today. Astronomical objects like nebulas, Northern Lights, galaxies, cosmic dust and the good ol’ planets inspired us with their colorful existence and strange natures. And then back down on earth we dug deep — exploring both what lies on top as well as what goes on below. Sedimentary rocks, geodes, natural springs, desert terrain, igenous materials (fancy lingo for volcanic), moon minerals, mold spores, elemental metals, the list goes on.
So we have the landscape — a time of hyperspeed change that consults the past in order to manipulate the future. We have the physical focus — earth and vast outer space. And then we have the beings. The inhabitants of this futuristic land — both the old school humans and the new, genetically engineered advanced race. A mix of super strange beings among regular old humans. Blue skin, neon veins, cyber punk platforms, severely structured Perspex dresses, exo-skeletons, hair of every color, telekinetic powers, bizarre food like human hearts and giant insects, devil horns and double faces, Kabuki style makeup and painfully glamorous alien women abound. Black and white images for the most part show the people of the past — old style witches and their covens, the beauty of the human eye and the expanding//contracting pupil, tribal garb from different countries, elaborate headdresses, traditional African body modification, identical little girls in fancy dresses and a striking photo of an asian woman with floor length hair in a simple white dress. Here the juxtaposition of old and new, past and freakish future, creates a striking picture of humanity: what it is and what it could be.
Communication plays a major role in this collection of inspirational imagery. The communication between the dead and living via necromancy. The natural indications of pupil size. The supernatural ability to control things with your mind via telekinesis. The social communities that humans create — from the communication of a coven to the hyperspeed connectivity through the internet of today and tomorrow. And of course, the point of this all, the communication of us to you through this collection. It’s a bizarre little Miista world and we’re all just living in it.
So what does all of this have to do with shoes? The yellow orange of the Omega Nebula, the sweaty energy of an industrial rave, the oily mixture of colors on a Dr Marten oxford, the various uses of Lucite and Perspex, the shape of Phyllodesmium poindimiei’s tentacles, the unexpected joy elicited from a hot pink kitten, the mystic quality of Derek (Kiwi) Clarke’s glass ball — these are all helping to guide our design. The use of pastels in the Timex 80 wristwatch, the irresistible texture of Zeitguised Zeitgeist’s Irregular Twin, the wicked fun of AJ Fosik’s statue, the seductive quality of Shary Boyle’s work, the colors and dream like quality of ‘Ruined Polaroids’ by William Miller, the ancient natural structure of geodes, the intricate neon insides of jellyfish, the futuristic fantasy feel of Necromancer, the feminine impish strength of Yo-landi Visser, the “I can’t stop staring” element of Darick Maasen’s Old Mickey, the bizarre beauty and perfect use of black and white in Dick Smith’s painting, the magic of a nebula — these are all things, feelings, ideas that we want to inject in the design. Creating an elaborate back story is half the fun of designing a collection, and it’s safe to say we are certainly getting there!