|Theo-Mass Lexileictous, Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten
|24.5 × 33 cm
|€45.00 / $60.00 / £40.00
Challenging traditional ideas of reality vs. fantasy, ‘Otherworldly’ offers a glimpse at the fearless creations of some of the fashion industry’s most forward-thinking designers. Published by Gestalten and edited by media artist Theo-Mass Lexileictous, this 305-page book is packed with striking images of avant-garde costumes that defy normality and introduce a new world where nothing is pre-determined and everything is encouraged.
In his foreword, Fashion writer Greg French explains how pioneering fashion designers such as Thierry Mugler have always championed new ways of perception when it comes to clothing the human form —and ‘Otherworldly’ perfectly highlights the ultimate drama that is achieved before these new ways are filtered by society’s standards of beauty. With theatricality as their ultimate goal, these wearable sculptures are the result of incredible craftsmanship and impart a spectacular metamorphosis on the wearer.
Lexileictous is an expert on this transformation: when he created his superhero persona in 2011, he did so in order to instil himself with the powers to achieve his high goals. “I have gone through many phases in my personal life because of this project: I reinvent myself and am reborn every time I present a new body of work,” he told us during our interview. “I use fashion as a medium, just as a painter uses paint. It is true that the power of the costume and the mask works only when they are worn; once these are removed the ‘performance’ is done.”
The book’s featured designers are as varied as the chosen materials they work with. Using traditional techniques as well as modern technologies, both of which are utilised for theatrical effect, most of the images presented in Otherworldly have been created by the employment of multiple technologies. That being said, the intricate costumes are only part of the final image which ultimately blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. “The book works as a documentation of my research regarding my appearances and performances,” Lexileictous shares with us. “Some designers have inspired me because of the innovative materials and processes they use to create a piece and others because of their garments’ ability to transform the human body.”
Although Lexileictous believes that Otherworldly will be an invaluable sourcebook for those who are already part of the fashion industry and an inspirational destination for those who aspire to it, he also believes that the most interesting questions have arisen when he’s been shown previews to people outside of the industry as these “certainly stretches viewers’ imaginations and perceptions of what fashion can also be.” After all, no matter how subversive, the intention of a fashion spectacle is to challenge and ignite imaginations to embrace a fantasy world. Through Otherworldly, this world reaches beyond the transient reality to exist forever on the printed page.