Exo-skeletal Elegance

Exo-skeletal Elegance

The exo-skeletal idea isn’t a new one.  McQueen, Chalayan, Marios Schwab have all dabbled with it a bit.  However, I do believe I haven’t seen an exo-skeletal inspired collection that hasn’t played up on the sinister side of the body’s anatomy or the clothes have looked laboured and overly-conceptual.  So Ronald Abdala, who has just launched his first ready to wear AW08-9 collection entitled ‘X-Ray’, seems to have taken inspirations from the human skeleton and applied them in way where you don’t immediately notice the exo-skeletal detailing.  Here, over x-ray backgrounds, we can pick out spinal cords, ribs and muscle lines but take them away and you have elegant dresses with interesting detailing. 

It is all rather grown up, a little bit swishy and quite restrained but something makes you want to look again and though the dresses are probably not for my demographic, I’ll be looking out for what he does in the future…



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  1. Michelle

    2008-06-16 at 9:32 PM

    Makes me feel fat 😛

  2. Danny Daily

    2008-06-16 at 9:50 PM

    oh man–wow. this is incredible. it’s a bit morbid but at the same time, it does make you stop and look for a bit. i appreciate the contrast of such harsh and startling details with easy-on-the-eyes fabric and not say leather or something so dark.
    wow..perfect things to wear for an anne rice book club meeting!

  3. Shen-Shen

    2008-06-16 at 10:30 PM

    These freak me out a little, but they’re pretty sweet!

  4. Carl Starling

    2008-06-16 at 10:56 PM

    What a brilliant idea for fashion illustrations – right up my morbid little street 😉
    I swear I’ve seen the red ‘ribcage’ dress somewhere before, or at least something highly resembling it. I do quite like his work, but feel it’s almost a little too ‘try hard’. I don’t want to sound pretentious, but as a collection it seems to draw on many different eras in costume, from Grecian to Victorian, with the skeletal detailing being the only thing holding it together.
    Beautiful paneling work though! Cx

  5. selina

    2008-06-16 at 11:30 PM

    those details are so striking

  6. WendyB

    2008-06-17 at 12:06 AM

    I love the red dress. I always wanted one of those bony McQueen Samsonite suitcases.

  7. Hailey

    2008-06-17 at 12:47 AM

    I made this my post of the day and linked you on my site, I hope you don’t mind. Such an interesting way to showcase fashion!

  8. enc

    2008-06-17 at 1:06 AM

    Wow, these looks are so cool. I love the detailing, and the color contrast. Kind of wacky, but I find it very refreshing.

  9. Lady Smaggle

    2008-06-17 at 1:34 AM

    Oh wow I love this collection. I know what you mean about over conceptualising the human anatomy. I love this!

  10. Giselle

    2008-06-17 at 1:37 AM

    very pretty, but def not my taste either.

  11. aziza x

    2008-06-17 at 2:12 AM

    I love the black and white pencil dress/

  12. Cupcakes and Cashmere

    2008-06-17 at 2:49 AM

    besides those amazingly unique dresses, i’m relatively obsessed with the model’s hairstyle!

  13. Fabulously Broke

    2008-06-17 at 3:02 AM

    That is just creepy. *shiver*

  14. Jill

    2008-06-17 at 3:02 AM

    I definetly love that it is a very subtle reference on some of the dresses. My favourite is the long red dress with the spinal cor detailing.

  15. Cammila

    2008-06-17 at 3:28 AM

    Wow, the structures all seem to explore that skeletal idea through traditional dress structures, but the backs of those last two are so literal. I must look at this collection and mull it over…

  16. Austere

    2008-06-17 at 4:18 AM

    wow the x-ray thing is amazing. I really like the first dress.

  17. arline jernigana

    2008-06-17 at 4:55 AM

    I am on the fence with these. I do like the idea, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE anatomy. I really get into it.
    I think his ideas could be pushed a little further though.
    I like the long dress with the spinal detailing the best too.

  18. jo

    2008-06-17 at 6:40 AM

    these are at first hilarious it just looks halloween glam! but i guess it kinda grows on you, no bad pun intended. i think i like the red gown the most!

  19. Shelley

    2008-06-17 at 7:23 AM

    Gives new meaning to skeletal thin…

  20. Mari

    2008-06-17 at 7:48 AM

    Oh Ronald Abdala, you sure do know how to tickle my fancy for braiding in clothing.

  21. kim

    2008-06-17 at 8:32 AM

    I absolutely adore every single piece. Elegant can get boring after a while, but these have the right amount of spice/spine. Red gown is my favourite too, but that’s probably because I just love that colour.

  22. alicepleasance

    2008-06-17 at 10:38 AM

    I love the combo between the objectivy of human skeleton and the feminine detailed dresses. My kind of thing!

  23. sophie maddocks

    2008-06-17 at 11:11 AM

    I think these dresses are really lovely sucjh an eye for detail and really sweet when you look past the skeletal background.

  24. Make Do & Mend

    2008-06-17 at 1:19 PM

    Interestingly the cut is sublime by following the skeletal strucuture and therefore the proportions. The use of fabric and contrast is also well executed but I don’t like the added bones stuff!
    Would translate well commercially with a few tweaks and make lots of women grateful!

  25. Make Do & Mend

    2008-06-17 at 1:19 PM

    Interestingly the cut is sublime by following the skeletal strucuture and therefore the proportions. The use of fabric and contrast is also well executed but I don’t like the added bones stuff!
    Would translate well commercially with a few tweaks and make lots of women grateful!

  26. Cate

    2008-06-17 at 1:19 PM

    ohhh *shudders* the black/grey x-ray t-shirts kinda creep me out.

  27. kim

    2008-06-17 at 1:48 PM

    Those are great! The red dress has sort of a morbid Jackie-O look to it.

  28. Vintage Vinyl

    2008-06-17 at 3:18 PM

    Wow, that collection is so weird, but very cool.
    Your blog is wicked. Did you want to trade links?

  29. Pamcasso

    2008-06-17 at 3:43 PM

    love the red one. I always wanted those anatomical mcqueen pumas.

  30. MHBass

    2008-06-17 at 6:02 PM

    these are beautiful and fascinating dresses! i wonder how i’d view them out of the x-ray context though, as the presentation does sort of do a lot of the thinking for us if you know what i mean.

  31. The Clothes Horse

    2008-06-17 at 6:35 PM

    Ah, these are really lovely. Who knew someone could create such pretty forms from such harsh elements? I really, really like them! I wonder if I could DIY some paneling like this…

  32. Susan

    2008-06-17 at 8:49 PM

    With the risk of sounding a little bit stupid… that’s really clever, how he’s created different structures and so many variations.

  33. Stella

    2008-06-17 at 11:36 PM

    This is wonderful. I’m maniacally searching now where I can purchase the first dress!

  34. Couture Carrie

    2008-06-18 at 8:35 PM

    I love to see something new and different – pretty, but with shock value. I am researching trompe l’oiel dressing and I will definitely reference both you and Abdala when I do my post!

  35. Cindy

    2008-06-19 at 12:13 AM

    VA VA VOOOM! I’m so in love with these!!

  36. Hilary

    2008-06-19 at 3:16 PM

    this collection doesn’t seem to be held together very well, in terms of colour and influences. what is with the 50s prom shape in garments 1 and 2 and then there are peasant-style sleeves and detailing in other garments?
    It seems the designer has really just gone mental at some point in this collection, and I don’t mean in a good way.
    The greys and blues with the hint of red buttons in garments 2 works but the red dress with the white rib cage is really not to my taste. There is something about the rib cage shape which is very underdeveloped and clumsy. The rib cage does not lend any further definition to the shape of the torso. Also, choice of fabric does nothing. The rib cage should look like it is separate piece to the red fabric, it’s intentions to appear exo-skeletal.
    And i disagree, the colour palate does lend a sinister air to the collection, looking juvenile and immature with the spinal applique.
    Actually, this whole collection reminds me of a cross between Halloween costumes and costumes used for a school play.
    Nothing on par with Mc Queen.

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