What came first, the chicken or the egg? Occasionally the references and inspirations seen in different designers collections can be traced to recent cultural events - popular films, artists' retrospectives, current affairs etc. The effect of this is a repetition or echoing of themes, colours and silhouettes on runways all over the world. Take for example the recent glut of orange camouflage print - seen from Givenchy, DSquared2 and Valentino.
At LCM two particular designers showed bizarrely similar collections whose inspirations were all too obvious. Both Katie Eary and Bobby Abley looked to Disney to draw inspiration for AW14. Where Abley reappropriated the iconic Disney font, Eary went the whole hog and had Mickey Mouse heads on her models. Both designers were trying to pull off quite a simple trick - one of juxtaposition. For Abley the Disney font was used for slogans that Walt would never have approved of, "Brains" "R.I.P." and "Dream On". If that wasn't enough the point was sledgehammered home with Mickey Mouse ears (the kind you can buy in the Disney Store). For extra shock value the models mouths were propped open with what looked like medical equipment (Hussein Chalayan did something similar way back in 1996 you know). It's all very shocking isnt it?? (no).
I could list literally hundreds of examples of designers ranging from high-end to high-street who have used Disney characters and logos in a desperate bid to seem naughty/shocking/inappropriate but you'll probably already be familiar with that, and that's the problem. It's pretty hard to shock people nowadays, perhaps instead of trying to shock, designers should try creating something less referential, less derivative and more modern.
Main image: Mickey Mouse by Andy Warhol