Monday, 11 February 2013

Under The Sea

When you read the words ‘mermaid’ or ‘under the sea’ it’s hard to not be bombarded by thoughts of a certain redhead in a shell bra and her singing lobster companion but for spring/summer 2013 Ariel from The Little Mermaid becomes our unlikely style icon.

Influence from the deep blue was apparent at spring/summer 2013 catwalk shows from Alberta Ferretti to Just Cavalli. Dark Lighting and projected bubbles onto the backdrop made the models appear like exotic fish swimming down the runway in shimmering, scale-like sequins at Alberta Ferretti. Netting was draped over intricate, nude lace ensuring the models looked like they really were the catch of the day. Embellishment on bags and shoulders were reminiscent of coral reef crustations. At Just Cavalli, there was a more bohemian take on the sea-inspired trend. Bright whites and deep pinks and purples replaced the soft hues of blues and greens of Alberta Ferretti and metallic, muted sequins adorned tops and dresses with a flash of blues and greens, exactly how you would imagine the scales on mermaids tail to look like. The models looked like they had stepped right out of the ocean with long, wet-look hair.

Maia Bergman, a Central Saint Martins graduate, produced her final collection by looking at sea life and bacteria growth. Using sheer fabrics adorned with tiny shimmering beads in pastel greens, blues and yellows, dresses and tops reflected all the colours of the ocean. ‘The whole mermaid vibe is sexy,’ Maia expresses. ‘I knew exactly what I didn’t want my collection to be: no black, no tomboy, no linings, no screen printing so I did the exact opposite.’

An artist who also believes mermaids are sexy is girl of the moment, Azealia Banks. After performing at Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris home, she is making waves in the music and fashion world. Putting on a show for the iconic designer, she certainly resembled her favourite mythical creature. ‘I looked like a fish,’ she told SPIN magazine. ‘It was real pretty, greens and blues and purples and shit.’ This is where she really got recognition for her mermaid hair. Before the release of her anticipated album Broke With Expensive Taste, she dropped a 19-track mix tape, Fantasea, the imagery of the mix tape being a cartoon, mermaid version of herself. Azealia continues to incorporate this undersea enchantment into her stage shows, often dressed fully as a mermaid, very apt when performing her songs, ‘Atlantis’ and ‘Aquababe’.

Not only reserved for catwalks and rap stars, the mermaid, aquatic-theme has inspired extreme sub-cultures such as the inexplicable micro genre ‘seapunk’, (which is an infusion of 90’s house and techno music with pop and rap). Coloured hair and sea life paraphernalia is the uniform of this genre, think Charlotte Free on the cover of Wonderland, mixing pastels and rainbow colours but with 60% of our readers stating they would experiment with coloured hair in a recent online poll, it makes it clear that this isn’t a trend reserved only for the eccentric. Fan of all things in pastel hues and mermaid related, Dawn Smith, creative mind behind Dawntroversial, sells custom made hair extension dubbed ‘Hairmaids’. ‘I love that artists like Azealia are making it OK to revert back to our childhood and re-live the fantasy of being a mermaid. I wanted to make that look easy for anyone to achieve so created my own hair extensions in all the colours of the rainbow and in dip dye styles.’ Her most popular extensions are the 24 inch, pink dip dye extensions fading into pastel purple and baby blue. ‘The coloured hair trend was popular last summer, especially around the festival scene but now people are wanting the length too in order to live out their own ocean fairy-tale.’ 


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