Annakiki SS24 at Milan Fashion Week.
The Post-Future Evolution: Coevolution of Humanity and Technology
"Humans cannot create mutations, nor can they prevent mutations from occurring. Humans merely preserve and accumulate mutations that have already taken place."
Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species"
In 1859, Charles Darwin published the significant work "On the Origin of Species," discussing the evolution of life. He mainly addressed two questions: first, that the diverse forms of life on Earth have evolved, and second, that biological evolution is driven by natural selection. He believed that species are not fixed entities but change in response to environmental shifts, and evolution is a gradual, continuous process over long periods.
Human evolution follows a similar pattern. After gaining wisdom, we built civilizations and invented technology, aiming to shape our future destiny. Brian Arthur, an American thinker, presented a human evolution perspective in his book "The Nature of Technology." He suggested that technology, like biology, can evolve through "upgrades," "improvements," and "developments." Just as biological organisms undergo "mutations" that result in fundamental changes, Arthur believed that technology always exists to serve human purposes.
Over the last decade, dramatic shifts in the natural environment, global political dynamics, and the rapid advance of technological revolutions led by artificial intelligence have prompted us to contemplate the rapidly evolving information era and the uncertain future of humanity. Based on this context, designer Anna Yang dares to imagine: what if humans and technology co-evolve? If processes like self-repair, emotional connections, and self-awareness occur simultaneously in the relationship between humans and technology, and if humans possess both mechanical and biological attributes, could this lead to new "mutations"? With technology's involvement, will the human body undergo novel changes, giving rise to extraordinary forms of life?
The ANNAKIKI Spring/Summer 2024 collection, titled "Anomalous Bodies," is the designer's response to these introspective questions. It represents Anna Yang's thoughts and reflections on the dynamic and uncertain environment humans inhabit and the ambiguous future ahead. She envisions that genetic mutations might trigger future human "anomalies." In a post-future world where technology and humans coexist, the human body could undergo new changes, evolving into forms that offer self-protection against external threats, thereby creating an entirely new future outlook.
The most prominent element of this season is the "thorn." Anna Yang drew inspiration from the intricate forms of cellular mutations and translated them into sharp protrusions resembling futuristic silver thorns. Crafted from PET material coated in silver, each thorn is meticulously hand-cut and sewn together by artisans to create a sense of depth. Nylon regenerated from technology is used to create dense thickets of thorns, formed by hand-stuffing and sewing, adorned with stripe and polka dot prints. Black conical metal studs are densely scattered across metallic silver ensembles, symbolizing the unyielding armor of future humanity in ANNAKIKI's visionary world.
Simultaneously, Anna Yang aims to create new order from disorder. She employs denim fabric with frayed edges, preserving its raw and coarse nature, juxtaposed with stretchy knitted fabrics that are torn and punctured to embody the ever-changing states of cellular division. Drawing inspiration from the structure of DNA's double helix, she employs circular elements to sculpt various forms, using 3D spiral cups and 3D circular structures as the foundation to craft a second architectural body. Dissecting the double helix structure, she extends and transforms it artistically, evolving into various mutated elements like dots and stripes, infused with the iconic ANNAKIKI logo, akin to an experiment in genetic intervention. The brand's signature four-pointed star, inspired by fractal art aesthetics, undergoes transformation and seamlessly blends into sharp, minimalist wide-shouldered suits, resembling invincible futuristic armor.
"If the future world undergoes drastic changes, how will it affect humanity and give rise to new evolutions? The rapid advancement of technology, including regeneration, evolution, and intervention, holds infinite potential to alter human existence. When will the singularity occur, reshaping human survival? New technologies bring new ways of thinking and creativity, but they also pose unimaginable new challenges. I believe that in the future, technology will lead to a new evolution of humanity." Anna Yang states.
Photo: Press Annakiki
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