Markus Lupfer was in a Memphis mood for Spring/Summer 2019. Not Memphis, Tennessee, but the influential 1980s design group founded by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass that drove the Post Modern aesthetic and has enjoyed a recent reassurance thanks to designers such as Lupfer who appreciate its playfulness. Lupfer’s designs are celebrated for immediately grabbing the eye and heart with their eye candy boldness and pop cheekiness, all of which reminds us how pleasurable fashion can be. He is also a storyteller, and for his Spring/Summer 2019 show Lupfer took the audience into a playful paradise of beachside retro heaven.
He presented hypnotic dresses, so light and airy they felt part of the dream and featured abstract animal prints, lighting bolts and surf wear graphics. It felt as though one had stepped onto a film set or a photo-shoot, but all the while one knew Lupfer doesn’t design for fiction but brutal reality. When WJ London asked his team the theme they answered “1980s by the beach” but it was so much more than a retro seaside romp. Lupfer subdued his bold graphic designs into sublime sequined dresses that could easily slink their way into our demanding lives.
During the 1980’s the Memphis group challenged the idea that products had to follow conventional shapes, colours and textures. Lupfer also likes to challenge his own imagination and the idea of what his fan base want. Lupfer says his “girl mixes feather light fabrics made for dancing: an easy, airy take on party dressing.”
He produced dresses that are immediately beautiful but also easily transportable. Yes, Lupfer wants us to dream, but he knows clothes must provide the fantasy to fit into our brutal reality. His soft tulle concoctions, effortless and fluid, are a happy escape for stifling city life.
Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography