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Jaclyn Craig Headshot

Cartoon Turns Couture

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I've always been a member of the escapism club - fantasy, cartoon, superheroes, anything that isn't real life tends to be appealing whether it be in the form of a book, film, or TV series.

But up until recently whenever I applied this same fantasy element into my fashion choices I was usually met by most with either laughter or confusion over my mental state. Or both.

What do you mean this Mickey Mouse jumper isn't professional enough for work? But I thought these gold leather boots were uber chic when worn with leggings and a leotard?

But now it seems that my mental state is no longer in question as in the past couple of seasons everyone has got in on the act. Apparently when I insisted on dressing like Rogue from 'X-Men' at every opportunity at the age of seven I was in fact just ahead of the fashion game... Around twenty years ahead.

We have seen Batman appear on sweaters, dresses and leggings courtesy of Lazy Oaf, we watched designers such as Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff channel cartoon influences on the catwalks and even make up label Lancome recently used Betty Boop as the face of their new mascara. One things for sure - fantasy fashion is now big business.

I guess fashion, as in real haute couture fashion has always been about fantasy, imagination and escapism. To understand it you have to learn not to view it in an everyday sense but allow yourself to be taken to the same mad world that the designer was in while creating it. But usually by the time the trends filter down into ready to wear and then onto the high street they lose most of their crazy in favour of appealling to the mass market.

So what has changed? Are retailers being more adventurous in what they produce? are consumers becoming more adventurous in what they buy? If the economic climate is encouraging us to shop less are we just making sure our one purchase is a worthy one, a fun one? Are we all just so sick of reality that we are paying up in bulk for a subscription to the escapism club?

Whatever the reason we have already seen the super, the comic and the cartoon make it's way into fashion and as we now get a peek into what next season has in store it seems we can expect a lot more of our childhood icons to be interpreted within our clothing.

This week the latest in a long line of designer exclusives to be unvieled at London Fashion Week was announced, and the one off range of garments and accessories which brings together some of the world's best design talent is inspired by none other than Disney's Minnie Mouse!

Designers such as Richard Nicholl, Michael Van Der Ham and Giles Deacon have turned their hand to the land of bows, polkadots and mouse ears to design a garment or accessory which epitomises everything that is special about one of Disney's most beloved and enduring cultural icons. All of the designs will be debuted at LFW meaning that we can expect to see a whole lot of red and black polkadot tributes at Somerset house this September. If last season's hot ticket fashion week outfit was a Mary Katrantzou for Topshop dress then you can bet that this season everyone will be anxious to debut a bit of Minnie.

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Michael Van Der Ham

Marc Low, Vice president of Fashion and Home for the Walt Disney Company commented on why Disney felt it was the right time for Minnie Mouse to make her fashion debut;

"Minnie Mouse and her unique style continue to inspire fans across the world. We're thrilled to collaborate with such visionaries to create these one-off designs. Surpassing trends,
Minnie Mouse's iconic silhouette, signature bows and polka dots always remain in style
which is why she is as relevant today as the day she first appeared on the fashion scene"

After the collection has been showcased it will then be sold as part of an exclusive auction on the eBay for Charity Programme. Proceeds from the auction will be donated by Disney to support the BFC/Bazaar Fashion Arts Foundation, a British Fashion Council initiative to nurture relationships between the creative industries and maintain a reputation for fashion innovation.

Personally the illustrations of mousy silhouettes and iconic prints have already got me hyper ventilating and I can't wait to don a pair of mouse ears safe in the knowledge that its all in the name of fashion.

However if you are more of a realist when it comes to style then hold on to your perfectly polished nude courts as this fantasy fashion adventure looks like it is only just beginning...