In 1982, the director Godfrey Reggio, released his experimental lm, a trilogy titled “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance”, with music composed by Philip Glass and cinematography by Ron Fricke.
Later in 1988 Jonas Akerlund, Swedish lm director, found inspiration in Reggio’s lm for Madonna’s much acclaimed ‘Ray of Light’ music video. According to the ancient Hopi dictionary, koyaanisqatsi (koja:nis’katsi) is deemed as ‘life of moral corruption and turmoil’ or ‘ life out of balance’.
The prex koyaanis- means corrupted or chaotic, and the word qatsi means life or existence, literally translating as ‘chaotic life’, ‘a state of life that calls for another way of living’. The American Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. The notion of “The American Dream” is not only a national ethos but has become a global idea of “betterment”, as written by James Truslow Adams in 1931.
This brings us to the point- Life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.
For the L72 Spring/Summer 2017 collection, the designer Lee Wood drew inspiration from the lm and the world in which we live today; therefore Koyaanisqatsi becomes a striking metaphor to describe the so-called ‘American Dream’. In the true spirit of L72, the designer looked towards the 1950’s, observing the advertising imagery, the beginnings of a world of commerciality that today has become so uncontrollably chaotic and evermore bewildering.
To narrate this ‘chaotic life’ artist Roberto Amoroso developed a graphic mash-up of iconic 50’s Italian advertisements with symbology from today’s obsession with social media.
Crisp White, Crude Oil Black, Warning Red, American Tourist Beige and Rose Pink are the colors of the season, creating a clean graphic statement. The fabrics are uncomplicated: cottons, silks and viscose. At times printed to mimic fabric sects, underling the idea of virtual reality, and sometimes laminated, a nod towards Nasa and the American military, which is further described through the application of sew-on patches created by high frequency technology.
While White and Black Denim adds a workwear attitude. The embroideries recreate precious graphic moments by the use of diverse materials and textures, rigorously hand sewn on delicate silk organza to express a tension between power and fragility.