It’s hard to imagine the Amish of the future without being tempted to throw in a device centered around a motherboard. Wanna try? Close your eyes, give it a shot, reopen eyes when exhausted.
Enter Manuel Bolano, young Barcelona born/Galicia raised fashion visionary with the vocabulary to ideate an Amish future beyond iPads and broadband (how about some zippers, blue lipstick and golden russet hats?)
For his Autumn/Winter 2013-14 collection, Bolano sent his models down the 080 runway dressed in Yayoi Kusama spots, their endearingly-tattooed faces maintaining the fixated glare of a people caught between the necessity of eventual progress and a battle with the ills it introduces. Forget homogeneity – many of his models were unmistakably Asian, Scandinavian… as if to imagine a future of Amish cross-breeding.
Textile-wise, simplistic cotton and knits remained prevalent but Bolano also imagined the occasional fashion-embracing Amish, unafraid to welcome a bit of vanity with sequined black tops from Philly, a bit of sheer, lots of shine.
Barely five years fresh from launching his own line after his studies at Felicidad Duce fashion school, he has become in artistic vision, elaborateness of execution and historical story-retelling, something of a John Galliano. From their Mayan-like facial tattoos to their herringbone braids, the narrative was woven not just into the clothes in the collection, but also into the styling and carriage of the models, making them actors of sorts.
Speaking of actors, how long is it before AMC or HBO draws on the Amish community for inspiration for their next prime-time TV offering? I can see it already, thanks to Manuel’s styling and a bit of Photoshop adeptness on my part:
Fashion needs more Maunel Bolano – part of a new guard unafraid to draw inspiration then run with it into uncharted, unexpected and unforgettable waters.
And hey, what do you think about the idea for that show?
*Lob Lied is an Amish song usually sung in church congregations.