Futurism burst onto the avant-garde art scene in February 1909 when its manifesto was published on the front page of the Parisian newspaper, Le Figaro. Emphasizing speed, dynamism, and youth, the Futurists embraced the new technologies of the early twentieth century with the intentions of creating a new art form born from new realities. Practicing in seemingly every medium, from sculpture and architecture to graphic design and film, the Futurists’ legacy is still evident today with their ideals being realized in a variety of media.
In 1914, Giacomo Balla, a major pillar of the movement, wrote the Manifesto on Menswear calling for “dynamic, aggressive, amazing, violent, phosphorescent” ready-to-wear. Balla applied the same principles of the Futurist art manifesto to his clothing manifesto, again wanting to create new and vibrant designs. Some of today’s designs, 95 years later, echo these principles (think fluorescent colors, sculptural shoulders, bold stripes, glitzy sequins).
And if you are in London this summer, be sure to head to the Tate Modern for the Furturism exhibition. I saw the show at the Pompidou last fall and thought it to be a fantastic, comprehensive overview of the movement. It will be on view until September 20th, so check it out!
1. Umberto Boccioni – Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913
2. Dolce and Gabbana Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear
3. Malene Birger – Knitted Summer Boucle dress, $350
4. Luigi Russolo – Revolt, 1911
5. Giacomo Balla – Futurist suit, c. 1920
6. Calvin Klein Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear
7. Barron Duqette – Anya Sequined Skirt, now $294
8. Umberto Boccioni – The City Rises, 1910