If you’re a parent and have a drawing by your child posted on the refrigerator door, congratulations. You have one very fashionable art in your kitchen. Call it whatever you want, but that chicken scratch, childlike scrawl that may be borderline illegible is exactly the type of calligraphy that are sought after by fashion houses at the moment. Yes, suddenly the epitome of cool seem like it came out straight of a kindergarten art class.
Exhibit A: Gucci. For its Fall/Winter ’17 collection, its creative director Alessandro Michele (also known as the industry’s reigning art patron) turns to 24-year-old Spanish artist Coco Capitan for a collaboration that are, quite literally, statement making. To the uninitiated, the 24-year-old is the next big thing in indie art at the moment. Her signature calligraphy style which resembles the handwriting of a child (sometimes with the letters intentionally inverted) has been featured in magazines such as Dazed and Garage, and landed tie-ups with other brands like Maison Margiela and Miu Miu.
For her Gucci project, the London-based Royal College of the Art alum went marker-crazy, dispensing her own ‘Capitan-isms’ on everything from the show invite, singlets, parasols, and jackets with messages like “Common sense is not that common” and “I want to go back to believing a story”.
At a time when wearing a message that champions a cause (be it feminism or anti-Trump) seems to be the cool thing to do, the Gucci-slash-Capitan aphorisms take a more artistic stance on issues. (They look like the eccentric handwriting of a pensive poet. Besides the runway pieces that Capitan worked, Gucci is also launching a unisex capsule collection featuring items like T-shirts and sweatshirts, and accessories like tote and bumbags. They will be stocked here from next month (prices start $750 for a T-shirt and from $1,660 for a bag).
Other brands, meanwhile, have a more lighthearted and innocent take on the trend. American designer Tory Burch features an unstructured leather briefcase for Fall/Winter ’17 inscribed with a stanza from “Ithaka” by Egyptian-Greek poet C.P Cavafy. It is the designer’s way of paying homage to her family history.
Also spraying its bags with handwritten messages this season is Dolce & Gabbana. The blitheful inscriptions like “Amore Mio” and “I Love This Dolce & Gabbana Bag” bear a resemblance to messages one could find on customised bags. It brings to mind to what South Korean pop star and trendsetter G-Dragon did to his Chanel’s Gabrielle crossbody bag during his appearance at the Mademoiselle Prive exhibition in Seoul last month. The leather bag was scribbled with the word “Chanel” that looked like it was hastily done with correction fluid. Though it’s not for sale, we are sure that bag will fly off the shelves if it lands in store today.