The insidious influence of Avatar seems to be omnipotent in fashion - witness a flurry of 3-D stream rumours and the sci-fi bent of many a collection these past few months. Ann-Sofie Back took this one step further, making an implicit mood explicit in her Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Her inspiration was online gaming phenomenon 'Second Life', and the fictional 'avatar' she has created for herself in this alternative world. Thus, her collection reexamined and reworked the human body, dismantling its components and reconfiguring them for a virtual reality - muscle-prints adorned jersey tops and collarless denim shirts, or were rendered in frills on trailing tulle gowns, while the palette drew on skin-shades from goth-white to tawny beige. Back said these were inspired by the 'stud' and 'bimbo' bodies most often chosen by 'Second Life' gamers - a choice of the masses to conform to society's norms even in an alternative universe, rather than forge new ideals. Likewise they were reminiscent of Back's own conventions - she's made these anthropological journeys within and without the body before, and come back with similarly anthropomorphic attire. Naturally these will appeal afresh to Back's very many fans, as will the touches of bad-taste she always imbues her clothing with. For this collection, that was more subtle than most - pixellated velvet devore prints of 'Next Top Model' and 'Boobs' were distorted as if contorted around the frame of an online doppelganger, and tacky computerised 'distressing' details were rendered as two-dimensional embroidery on denim separates. But it's hardly likely to widen that fanbase.
Her collection reexamined and reworked the human body, dismantling its components and reconfiguring them for a virtual reality.