Po-Mo Fairy Tale: Undercover Spring 2015

Undercover’s Jun Takahashi led us down the rabbit hole again, in a show that was every bit the post-modern fairy tale. The runway was strewn with huge red shiny apples with faces like skulls, hinting at their dangerous pleasure. As a spectacle, it was truly wonderful, though the subtext was, as is often the case with Undercover, much darker and more personal, telling a coming-of-age story, a fall from grace, and a sexual reawakening.

He opened with princess dresses, ballet flats, and beautifully crafted real-feather black wings. The play with these huge oversized apples against the models made them physically smaller, recalling Alice in Wonderland. The next section was full of digital screens sewn into the clothes, tapping into an adolescent divide. The story then played out with a beautiful section of full-color, all-over print Hieronymus Bosch outfits, all bearing scenes from his Garden of Earthly Delights, because of course the red shiny apple holds dark promises. His girls reinforced this, holding bags shaped like apples, with knuckledusters for handles — sure to be a huge hit in stores – the perfect balance between cute and tough.

For the finale, Takahashi sent out a whole section of black outfits to Tori Amos’ Black Swan, an ode to his young woman. Her transformation was complete, from innocent youth to disaffected teen to biker ballerina.

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