After skipping a season Ann-Sofie Back returns to show on schedule at London Fashion Week with a collection inspired by online game phenomenon ‘Second Life’, in which people take on electronic alter egos, avatars that mostly become not who you are but who you want to be, and interact with one another and shop.
In this virtual world Ann-Sofie has created a second version of herself, resembling her real appearance but improved by buying the walk of Angelina Jolie, an airbrushed complexion, and a flying Boston terrier to accompany her. To make money her character has become a stripper but despite all the improvements bought she is often thrown out of strip joints for being too ugly, especially after being given some free ‘Gothic Lolita’ skin. Ann-Sofie studied the behaviour and style of her fellow players in Second Life. In a world of endless possibilities to create imaginative, unique avatars, most people prefer to adopt and conform, having their avatars look like Page 3 models and uninspired versions of reality TV contestants. These aesthetics make up the inspiration of her AW10 collection.
Skin-shaped drapey georgette skirts, blouses and dresses mimic the pre-fab complexions on offer, as do lavender suede skirts, dresses and jackets. In keeping with the overly exaggerated body shape of bimbo characters encountered in Second Life, muscles and six-packs are recurring motifs. There are six-pack devoreprinted jerseys, angora knits and denim with muscle detailing, as well as six-pack frill silk tulle blouses, dresses, skirts and trousers. Boucle wool has been painstakingly cut out leaving fringed patches on jackets, tops, skirts and dresses.
Indigo and black denim has been hand embroidered with multi-colour worn out patches to resemble the distressed denim fashions on Second Life. Velvet jacquard knits, emblazoned with motifs such as ‘Next Top Model’ and ‘Boobs’, have been stretched like the skins you can buy for your avatar. Finally, accessories including stretched mirror sunglasses, shoes and jewellery are cut into ‘POW’ shapes, a reminder of the virtual world inhabited by the avatar creations. This season Ann-Sofie has collaborated with Topshop on the shoes. In April 2009, after more than 10 years living in London Ann-Sofie Back returned to Stockholm where she relocated her studio and later that year opened a “Hostage Store”, her first own-brand store. The move coincided with Ann-Sofie Back’s appointment as head designer of Cheap Monday together with founder Örjan Andersson.
ANN-SOFIE BACK AW10 CREDITS
STYLING & CASTING: Robert Rydberg @ Link
ASSISTANT: Oscar Lange
HAIR: Raphael Salley and team @ Streeters
MAKE-UP: Linda Ohrstrom and team @ Naked Artists using Shu Uemura
MUSIC: Erik Haal
SHOES: Ann-Sofie Back for Topshop
JEWELLERY & SUNGLASSES: Sheefun
BELT & EARPIECES: Helene Carlson
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Rachael Proud, Andrew Leahy, Fredrik Josefsson, Sara Fors- berg, Bea Andersson, Linda Ramstedt, Kari Landen, Alfhild Kulper, Johanna Pihl, Patrik Jonson, Sara Ilkhani Bozorg, Sedir Ajeenah, Ellinor Malmgren, Hayley Barsden, Isabel Elfast, Amy Pierce, Mathilda Nilsson.