With the gift of hindsight, we know that nothing out of the ordinary came to pass in the first minutes of the new millennium. Planes did not fall from the sky. Still, though, those moments watching the minute-hand inch towards midnight – anticipating what might happen when it hit – were wrought with feelings of disquiet: trepidation; excitement; dread. Though perhaps irrational, this collective hysteria spoke to a general uncertainty that plagued that time. Then in the throes of a technological revolution, we’d come so far – and created so much – and yet, the future had never felt less secure. Fast forward 20 years – life today feels much like it did then. Current newsreels – a numbing blur of catastrophes pertaining to the economy, the climate and humanity – are cinematic in their scope, fuelling the anticipation of imminent social shifts.
For 23.1 1999, Creative Director Lyna Ty channels the existential precarity of such transitional periods. Perceiving them as in-between spaces characterised by both instability and possibility – offering a wardrobe that harnesses and translates this spirit of limbo, and ponders what could lie beyond today’s haze.
Plural potential narratives commingle. Fears of technological supremacy – a world populated by clones and whirring drones – sit next to ruminations on an existence guided by natural instincts. Speculative fantasies of extraterrestrial invasions blur with bucolic dreams of a life lived in communion with the earth.