Mid-Century Madness

A couple weeks back I said that I'd do a post on what seems to be the entire world's obsession with 'mid-century', and I'm going to get to the bottom of what has culminated so far in Proenza Schouler's Googie collection - at least from the fashion person's point of view.

You may think this all started with Mad Men, but the seeds go back a lot further than that. In fact I think we should actually blame the whole thing on Brad and Angelina. I am sure many will remember 2005 and that infamous Steven Klein W shoot with Brad and Angelina in a 'fictional' state of domestic bliss. It would have been enough that they were portrayed in the 50s/60s family fairytale, but the whole shoot was actually a homage to Julius Shulman - the architectural photographer and unofficial ambassador of West-Coast Mid-Century Modernism (also somewhat of a god to anyone who is serious about design*).

And so with Klein and Brangelina the sparks were ignited, and in quick succession came the film and fashion industry fawning over anything Modern with a capital 'M'.

Next, in 2007, there was...

Mad Men

(look familiar?)

The following year there was...

Visual Acoustics

And a year after that in 2009...

A Single Man

Perhaps a little late, fashion designers have jumped wholeheartedly on this bandwagon, most notably at Celine with Pheobe Philo's Autumn'11 collection. And if the clothes aren't physically reflecting design elements of mid-century modernism, then they are imitating what was actually worn during that period, such Louis Vuitton's Autumn'10 collection. Of course Proenza Schouler's Spring'12 collection was a strange mix of the two.

And Vogue, being the proudly American publication that it is (never mind that many of these architects and designers were European) is never short on Mid-Century themed spreads.

Obviously the development wasn't as simple as this and sole responsibility can't land on Klein's shoulders, but this is the most entertaining and visually appealing rundown! Now personally I've always loved Mid-Century Modernism, everything that led to it, and almost everything that has stemmed from it. And here I am writing a massive post on it! But even I am getting sick of all this at the moment, and if one more person smugly mentions 'mid-century' as if they have a PhD in the history of design I might scream. Let's give it a rest fellas.

*Note: Sarcasm

Steven Klein images from W Magazine
Runway images from vogue.com

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