This week has seen the release of the hotly anticipated second album from the world’s most talked about musician – Lady Gaga, with Born This Way. Yet, for anyone who’s seen Gaga lately sporting razor sharp, pronounced cheekbones and angular shoulders, it would appear she was born anything but this way. The skin-coloured prosthetics which form part of her latest transformation, along with the nightmarish Nick Knight directed video which accompanies the album’s title track, are part of a wider movement for redefining beauty. SS12 will see designers push notions of ‘extreme beauty’ to breaking point, flirting dangerously with the artificial.
Gaga’s recurring themes of rebirth and immortality have been mirrored by the art, fashion and beauty worlds and with technological advancements, our definitions of normal are moving. We’ve seen gender lines blur with transexual model Lea T. getting steamy with Kate Moss on the cover of LOVE magazine. While traditional notions of age have been challenged by silver-haired, nymph-bodied Kristen McMenamy who prowled the catwalk at Chanel’s Resort show this month in swimwear. Aged 46, the veteran model’s other-worldly beauty was also picked up on by i-D and Dazed & Confused, where she graced covers at both. Our acceptance of an ageless beauty is reinforced with the announcement this week that Rodarte have chosen 12 year old Elle Fanning as their latest muse, hopping on the youthful bandwagon, nay skateboard, of Miu Miu who’ve picked the 14 year old Hailee Steinfield as the face of the brand.
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Controversial artist Vanessa Beecroft, who has been reworking the female form in her sculpture and installations for years, has this month launched a call for models for her next installation, VB Marmi, via Vogue Italia. She removes age, fashions and beauty from her subjects in attempt to establish some form of truth. In contrast to Beecroft’s stripping back is the pre-Gaga prosthetics of i-D’s July’10 story War Hero, shot by Richard Burrbridge and the mind-boggling hair art of Nagi Noda.
Our Rejuvenation trend forecast for SS12 brings together these influences, inflating, distorting, stretching and invigorating beauty to be at the very cutting edge of design. If you can’t wait til then, check out Gaga’s video for some inspiration…