For SS19 and AW19 respectively, Simon Mo raised awareness about plastic and pharmaceutical pollution. Always one for a thought-provoking collection on the threat to our planet, his SS20 offering, “Insomniac Parade”, shone focus on light pollution through vibrantly hued designs.
Mo’s leading inspiration was sourced from The End of Night by Paul Bogard. The book centres around the eternally life changing moment when Albert Einstein lit the first ever lightbulb, discussing on a broader scale how a truly dark night sky will eventually cease to exist on our planet solely due to light pollution; a terrifying ecological concept made even more poignant in today’s strive for further global sustainable action.
Mo wanted his audience to specifically focus on the light, or dimming light, of stars. Sadly, the natural brightness of stars is dulled due to heavy usage of artificial lighting. Electricity champions over the unparalleled light of the stars and moon, which in turn heats the earth more and more, ultimately making the night seem as bright as the day. These ideas all add gravitas to Mo’s incredibly conscientious designs.
His trademark gingham with frayed detailing and voluptuous ruffles have been given an edgier, brighter colour palette for SS20. But, by placing nighttime and the gradual disappearance of starlight at the forefront of ones mind helps decipher the significance as to why these design traits were carried through to SS20. The 70s roller disco-esque star printed bomber jackets use a metallic gauze to create a halo of light on the garment, and better yet, they’re made from recycled yarn. The checkered vintage inspired prints mimics a blanket you’d find on a bed; the co-ordinating silhouettes reminiscent of pyjamas. The highly saturated ensembles blocked with opposing colours and dotted with neon highlights the bright vividness we wish our stars still had today.
Artificial lighting was showcased to the extreme through one futuristic accessory. The scientific aesthetic of a goggle is associated with new discoveries and clarity of vision, however the eyewear was rendered dysfunctional due to the addition of dazzling LED light strips. This represented how the vast exposure we have to light and electricity is distorting our vision of reality, making us acknowledge the parallel universe we have through our light-contributing electrical mobile phones and the blindness we have to the crumbling world around us.
Through his clothing and accessories, Simon Mo once again successfully manages to raise awareness to the threat posed to our planet, this time focusing on nocturnal life. Mo wanted his collection to be “an insomniac party for all humans, animals and plants wandering through the night.” Providing solace against the effects of light pollution, Mo’s designs are both a comfort blanket and a wake-up call to us all.
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Text: Natalie Zannikos