Fashion’s Fascination with Auto Trim

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on January 16th, 2012

If you’re a regular reader of The Hog Ring, then you’re aware of the fashion industry’s growing fascination with car interiors. Not only are independent designers fashioning leather jackets, purses and other clothing out of new and used automotive fabrics, but fashion powerhouses like Gucci (Fiat 500) and Versace (Lamborghini) are teaming up with automakers to design some really creative cabins.

Now fashion giants Celine and Prada are cashing in on the trend – launching 2012 spring collections inspired by cars.

Seeing as we’re car guys, not fashionistas, we’ll let the Bangkok Post explain:

Different as the two collections are, both [fashion designer] Philo and Prada seem to agree that the most fascinating part of a vehicle – or so one that’s fashionably intriguing – is the seats. The sensual curves of the car seat and the juxtaposition of textures seem most relevant to fashion. The Celine collection in particular is all about this luxurious feel you get sitting on the seat of a luxury car. Automobile upholstery becoming the recurring motif throughout the entire collection, be it in the leather panel that runs down the side of skinny trousers or the sleek lines on the cream jacket worn over the grey fur dress. Some coats and jackets have seat belt-inspired straps while overlapping panels of leather and wools recall again the textural layers of car seats. The collection’s sole print – the wood grain – is unmistakably borrowed from vintage car dashboard.

While Celine dotes on the luxury cars’ interiors for the most part of the show, Prada embraces just as almost every element of the vehicle, and puts it into high contrast against uber-feminine motifs from flowers, embroidery, flirty chiffons, and pastel palette. Named “Donna e Motori”, which can be translated as “Woman and Cars”, the Prada girls swirl in the flame of roaring engines – with pop prints of flame and vintage cartoon car reflecting the playful sensibility of Prada. The curve of the car seat also makes its way on the pleated sable dress and the one-piece swimsuit, contrasted by the sweet pastel shade.

It is, however, for the accessories that Miuccia Prada brings on the elements of car exteriors. The pyramidal shape of the saffiano leather is finished with metal frame that recalls the chrome-plated details of cars, while both the pyramidal model and the flat clutch come in contrasting tricolour palette borrowed from the seats of 1950s Hollywood cars. The sexy sling-back stilettoes are injected with whimsical pop influences in the form of car wings, tail lights, flames and chrome plates that reminisce the American Cadillac cars. [more]

Now I don’t usually get excited over women’s fashion, but even I have to admit that these Prada heels look seriously cool. Most of all, though, I’m excited that auto trim is working its way into mainstream pop culture. This newfound appreciation for our craft is bound to result in an increase in business.

Don’t be surprised if a customer walks into your shop asking to see samples of fabrics made by Gucci, Fendi, Burberry or Louis Vuitton. Trimming cars in designer fabrics is no longer an underground thing. It’s now a full-on trend.


The Haartz Corporation

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