JC Report: 3-D features in clothes are typically targeting editorials, but now I see it as a design accent that’s being translated to the streets—do you agree?
Darryl Rodrigues: You’re totally right. Until now, 3-D was a concept employed almost exclusively by Japanese designers, such as Yohji [Yamamoto], Comme des Garçons and Junya [Watanabe]. But with technology and the Internet allowing for a greater prism of possibilities, these features are leaping from the imagination right onto the runway. Recently, we’ve seen it not only in the clothing at Balenciaga and Hussein Chalayan, but in the jewelry as well. At Hussein, the gem-laden dresses were mirrored by chunky, rock-encrusted necklaces. The pieces really had a strong effect, the way they stood off the models’ necks.
JCR: Martin Margiela‘s fall women’s collection embraced severe shoulders and padded vests—what’s the Margiela effect on the current movement?
DR: Whatever Margiela does is always very powerful, but I think there was already something in the air. It is interesting, though, to see others continue from where Margiela left off. For example, at Junya Watanabe’s autumn presentation, we saw the big shoulder blend with a cocoon effect, and at Veronique Branquinho, the squared-off shoulder diffused into a rounded shape.
JCR: What about the influence of London designers?
DR: London is a double-edged sword. The creativity is there, and we know that Gareth Pugh, especially, is all about 3-D. But a lot of London designers still have a student identity that hasn’t fully formed.
JCR: Will these 3-D developments that we’re seeing on the runway sell?
DR: I think we’ll probably see it among editors at the shows next season. Certainly a lot of boundaries have been pushed, but I think mainly the trend will inspire people.
JCR: So you don’t see the copyists descending on this trend?
DR: Now, it’s coming from designers who are making a statement, but the trend will be copied. High Street stores won’t go so extreme, but when it filters down, you’ll see cocoon sleeves and chunky knits. At H&M, we’ll see things pared down in chokers and all kinds of jewelry. And, in the spirit of Marc Jacobs‘ experiments, the 3-D effect will turn up in heels this spring.
This interview was conducted by Jason Campbell.