Cyberpunk trend: from Fritz Lang to latex

This will probably sound weird, but I’ve always been a sucker for movies and books that focus on bleak, dystopian futures where the boundaries of humanity are blurred, and the earth is on the edge of chaos and destruction. I thought perhaps there was something slightly wrong there, but turns out I’m not the only one after all. Cyberpunk influences have been infiltrating designer collections; even those from who you’d expect nothing less than dainty refinement (we’re looking at you Christopher Bailey).

Cyberpunk icons and influences
Wondergirl shoot; outfit by Jessie Hill; Chloe Boots; Sean Young in Blade Runner.

So what is Cyberpunk?

Without going into detail overload on specific subcultures and their creeds, it’s a science fiction genre that’s dark, grim and technology-focused. Just imagine some cyborg in a dark underground world, a few decades in the future, with a black trench-coat and a machine gun for an arm and you’ve pretty much got the idea.

Over the past few seasons designers have been working in a bit of Cyberpunk to their designs. Here in Australia we noted Jessie Hill’s Broken Windows collection as having the Cyberpunk feel. Meanwhile, PVC – particularly for leggings – has actually become quite popular as a fashion trend (special thanks have to go to Kate Moss and her Glastonbury outfit for that one.)

We weren’t really sure how much further the trend would go, but then we spotted the ‘Wondergirl’ photoshoot for September’s French Numero: Cyberpunk outfits meet perfectly Femme Fatale hair, to striking effect. Seems it’s not over yet.

Who Has Been Wearing It?

The Influences:

Patent leather shoes by Burberry Prorsum

  1. Film Noir
  2. Japanese Anime – Ghost in the Shell, Akira
  3. Riddley Scott’s Blade Runner
  4. Fritz Lang’s Metropolis
  5. Dystopian science fiction novels
  6. Genre-based roleplaying computer games

The Elements:

  1. Latex and PVC leggings
  2. Chloe’s A/W07 chunky goth boots
  3. Burberry’s studded leather accessories and patent heels (pictured)
  4. Patent or metal waist-cinching belts
  5. Dark, heavy eye-makeup
  6. Androgyny

Trend Status

Elements can be mixed into everyday wear, creating a definite edge. As a long term trend, it’s more likely to survive underground than on the surface, but for the meantime fashion magazines are using the opportunity to come out with dark, edgy shoots, and back-alley cigarette-smoking fashionistas are rejoicing in the bold, sexy looks that PVC and patent pumps bring forth.

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Author

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.