Shop The Trend: Cartoon Couture

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It might only be SS14, but if you go down to the high street in autumn/winter, you’ll be sure of a dark surprise. The fashion realm is turning to the murkier side of the animation world for the upcoming season.

Menswear designer Bobby Abley’s autumn winter offering in January was inspired by Disney’s 1929 cartoon Haunted House.

Abley’s obsession with Disney infiltrated his collections, with the synonymous Disney font scoring the words ‘Brains’, ‘Dream On’ and ‘The End’ on mohair basketball tops and jumpers.

His latest collection had hats inspired by the up and coming movie Maleficent, creating a demonic silhouette to his already macabre ensemble.

Bobby Abley

Bobby Abley AW14

This fascination with popular culture and cartoons is not new. Its turning point dates back to the early 1960s.

Artist Roy Lichtenstein and his comic book inspired creations took the art world by storm and it continues to with the Tate Modern staging a retrospective to him in 2013.

By the 1970’s Lichtenstein had gained a new ally – Andy Warhol, with his supermarket paraphernalia. Lichtenstein and Warhol’s cartoon inspired works have been made into walking pieces of art by Comme des Garcon and Pepe Jeans.

More recently the creative world has a new macabre host, Goth king Marilyn Manson.

His watercolours depict a chilling point of view; with Mickey Mouse having had a craniotomy and The Mad Hatter looking like a heroine addict.

This disturbing depiction of well-loved Disney characters is echoed by Sheffield-based brand, Drop Dead. Their take on Disney is similar to Manson, with Mickey Mouse in his famous pose on a jumper with a craniotomy.

But Drop Dead are not the first company to take ideas from the dark side. The court jester of fashion, Jeremy Scott, for his last season has taken inspiration from the stuff of nightmares. Scott’s 2013 offering comprised of slime greens, monochrome skulled leather jackets, and graphic printed zombie bomber jackets all finished in a graphic novel style, something The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman would be proud of.

The graphic and animation trend has been embraced Comme des Garcon’s fall 2013 collection, in the form of hats channeling Mickey Mouse in a similar vain to Bobby Abley’s Maleficent millinery.

It appears that the much-loved Mickey Mouse is a key influencer in designers’ inspirations.

Demotix 08/01/2014

Katie Eary AW14

The machiavellian Katie Eary incorporated Mickey into her autumn 2014/15 post-punk movement apparel. Eary created a rich palette of blood reds, obscene oranges and yucky yellows into her fetishized fashions. The whole collection was tied by one key element – Mickey Mouse, who played such a key part that models wore head-encompassing masks of the animation icon.

This street wear trend is already being embraced by high street brand Topman and Nylon magazine online.



Bag this Cheats and Thieves Win Some T-shirt from Topman (£20).

Also online have numerous pages of Disney inspired imagery ready to be printed on to t-shirts.

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These two design come in at the bargain price of £16.00.


For the American lover amongst us, Hot Topic are a sure fire way of getting your hands on some animation apparel.

So it would appear the designers and the high street are involving these classic icons into their designers, which is appealing to our inner child.

So watch out next time you go shopping, as you don’t know what ghouls, ghosts and all things that go bump in the night will be lurking around the corner.

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