Popular Science: Episode 3_More Human Than Human
Words Lauren Sloan, Media Iris Chu, Lauren Sloan
POPULAR SCIENCE: (@popular_science) Episode 3 introduced the theme, "More Human Than Human". Quoted from science-fiction classic, Blade Runner, this third collection pays homage to the outfits worn by movie characters in Blade Runner and other cyberpunk films. Held at GRND 0 (@grnd_0), an underground space in Seoul's Apgujeong Rodeo, the presentation, upon entrance, stunned with a monitor of the entryway projected on an old television screen, capturing whoever arrived and immediately creating the unsettling feeling of being watched. Installations consisting of neon signs, stacked television sets displaying static images, PVC hanging from the ceiling, and a single tanked koi fish were arranged throughout. Cold yet colorful elements brought science fiction to reality.
Strategic colorization was used throughout the installation. Loud pigments alluded to wealth while neutral/darker tones, such as browns and greys, symbolized a impoverished dystopia. Alluding to the rustic, mechanic lifestyle, POPULAR SCIENCE kept to a more neutral color palette within the garments, adding occasional pops of color in certain pieces to embody the dismal society inside the “HIGH TECH, LOW LIFE” world. (The text that read on the Chinatown inspired neon signs.)
Oversized parkas and trench coats made of metallic PVC, wool, and faux fur were made ready to throw on as barriers against the natural elements. They reside within the cyberpunk theme by their unconventional cuts and reflective materials. Though there are a few key garments in the collection that push the boundaries of the sci-fi sphere, there are also more wearable normcore pieces that bring the collection down to earth.
At the center of an almost altar like installation, was an ambiguous yet direct representation of the collection’s theme. The koi is a fish whose literal purpose is to swim and look pretty while holding the fundamental meaning of courage and strength. The koi on display was made to illustrate the crisis of humankind: the conflict of purpose, identity, and existence—with a semblance of hope.
For the Fall/Winter 2017 season POPULAR SCIENCE not only gives us a collection of genderless contemporary attire fit for the new generation, but also a story with an underlying question that continues to go unanswered; what is our purpose?