Whoever said you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day never met today’s crop of fearless young fashion designers.
A recent contest invited emerging designers from around the world to show what they could create using an all-white palette — and the results are mind-boggling.
From bags to shoes to jewelry, corsets, dresses, BDSM accessories and even mittens, the entrants in the White Swan competition showed astonishing creativity. As you might expect, there’s a fair bit of bridal-oriented pieces, but that’s just the start. The diversity of concepts and use of unusual fabrics (like a tutu made from bridal gown scraps, or a gown made from a parachute) is breathtaking and should give you a fair glimpse into the future of fashion around the world.
The White Swan competition drew more than 250 submissions, and 25 winners were chosen by online voting (which, sadly, produced weak numbers). There was also a set of jury prizes, and those chosen will get a public showing next weekend at the annual Les Coulisses du Mariage bridal show in Paris.
White Swan — which was a sort of rebuttal to last year’s Black Swan-themed fashions — was conceived by Carnet de Monde, which showcases young couture designers, in parternship with Le Figaro.
Below we offer a few of our favorites from the contest, but there’s plenty more to look at on the competition’s website:
by Cliff Lee
Hand-pleated dress long in front, short in back.
Breathing Coral Polyp
by Malgorzata Dudek
Layers of silk chiffon structured with spiral metal boning.
Inspired by the Great Barrier Reef.
by Michael van der Meide
Unique dress made from 1951 American parachute cloth.
by Princesse Prune
From the AW 2011-12 jewelry couture collection, Auto-Portrait
skirt by Tristan + Trista
Distressed chiffon layers arranged to mimic the petals of a tulip.
Two Halves of One
by Marie Dean
Macrame weavings in cotton, silk, linen and straw.
Love and Peace
by Lily Griffiths
Lace headbands with rose and crystal adornment.
Gone With The Wind
by Larisa Katz
From the art couture label’s summer 2012 collection.
Necklace by Naomi McIntosh
Slinky-like flexible necklace in polished acrylic.
Viscose/elastane dress with puzzle-piece cutouts.
by Claire Garvey
Hand-beaded gown with feathered headpiece.
by Anna Osterlund
3-piece white denim suit held together with shoelaces.
by Dora Kelemen
Giant knitted cover-up from the Hungarian conceptual artist/designer.
Tutu by Ek Bacharack
, South Africa
Handmade from discarded bridal tulle scraps, attached to a corset base.
Inspired by nightmares following viewing of Black Swan
Lace mask by Ek Bacharack, South Africa
See above, from the SS 2012 collection Hypnagogic.
handcuffs by Fraulein Kink
White fur cuffs with gunmetal chain and closures and ribbon bow.
by Edyta Jermacz
Dress made from raw silk pieces stitched to transparent body..
by Joanna Hawrot
White muslin dress inspired by Japanese fashion.
Shirt in Pieces by Iris Loeffler, Germany
Deconstructed shirt dress inspired by menswear.
Draped dress by Heureka
Draped jersey with three-dimensional structure.
corset by Khatuna Tskhakaia
From the Parisian stylist’s collection Georgie
Man’s shirt dress by Lena Ivanova
Designed like a man’s shirt worn backwards, with print frills like a swan’s tail.
by Dorit Loffler
Silk and merino wool mittens and hat inspired by early farm workers.