Yesterday Yoon Ahn—the jewelry designer behind Ambush and current Director of Jewelry at Dior Homme—posted a sneak peek of the upcoming Ambush collection on her Instagram page. “And I said, 'LET THERE BE LIGHT', and THERE WAS LIGHT ⚡️,” Yoon wrote. And LIGHT there was!
The video shows a bracelet that at first glance looks like a stylish stack of bangles made of gemstones. But then, surprise! The bracelet lights up in an array of fluorescent lights that switch from blue to white to red to teal. The DECOTORA BANGLE, which is part of Ambush’s SS20 collection, is perfect for a rave...or a head-turning trip to the grocery store (because why not!?).
In 2008, Yoon Ahn and her husband, the musician Verbal, established Ambush. The brand went on to be a finalist in the 2017 LVMH awards, collaborating with companies such as Nike, Rimowa, and Converse. Bella and Gigi Hadid, DJ sisters Simi and Haze, Kanye West, the Kardashians, and the Jenners, are all fans of the brand. And we can’t blame them.
The genre-defying brand incorporates Yoon’s childhood on the west coast with Japanse streetwear trends. The brand’s first designs featured giant gold chains and handmade chain-mail hoodies, but in recent years her collections have erred towards conceptual with themes such as "Nomad" or "Holy Mountain." Yoon’s latest Instagram post leads me to wonder, is the next theme “Cyborg” ??
The DECOTORA BANGLE could point to Yoon incorporating the rising trend of cyborg-chic in her designs as her most recent collection already is fit for the cyborg-surfer. For example, a neon-rash guard (cyborg meets west coast cool) looks like it belongs in the futuristic 1982 film Blade Runner.
While Yoon has said the next collection will be inspired by the Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo (where Yoon lives) in 2020, it makes sense for the cyborg to be a muse for the collection. For one, Tokyo has long been the epicenter for technological innovation. In May 2019, Yoon spoke to Kinfolk about her excitement regarding the upcoming games, “It’s exciting—it will bring more people to where I live, and even more energy.” Yoon certainly radiates energy. Her designs are energetic, avant-garde, and risk-taking.
The cyborg aesthetic seems to be having a moment right now. For example, Dior Men’s Fall 2019 runway show in Paris sent models down the runway in true cyborg-fashion: on a conveyor belt. Balenciaga’s 2019 Summer show took place in a tunnel of looping video, Louis Vuitton debuted a purse that doubles as a screen in their Resort 2020 collection, and then there’s the rising popularity of AI models such as Lil Miquela and blawko22. Inspiration for the current trend may very well come from Alexander McQueen, who was known to incorporate robots and holograms into his shows. Needless to say, all of this encompasses what I am currently referring to as “cyborg couture.”
“The use of technology on the runway is a reflection of our ever-increasing digital lives,” I noted in an article about the growing trend for Garage Magazine this past March. Fashion designers have always incorporated an element of performance into their collections—just last month graduate student Fredrik Tjaerandsen sent looks down the runway resembling someone blowing up a piece of bubblegum. But cyborg couture takes the performative element to another level by incorporating hyperbolic odes to technology such as video, AI, and wearable tech that reflects our affinity for and dependence on technology. The future is now, and that future looks like clothing that doubles as computers. As we become more reliant on technology, it makes sense that high-tech fashion, like Yoon’s light-up bracelet design, will make its way onto the runway.
These days it’s becoming much more common to sport AirPods, glasses that can take photos, FitBits and other high-tech wearables on the daily, so why not don the DECOTORA BANGLE while running an errand or on a first date? We’re all basically cyborgs anyway.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue