White is the colour of summer and all white is the right colour of this summer. Our very own catwalk trend report already showed how designers get innovative in putting together head-to-toe white. Rei Kawakubo’s interpretation is one of the most captivating examples. Paris’s Musée Galleria is temporarily exhibiting the whole Comme des Garçons SS2012 collection on Docks en Seine. Mannequins are placed inside transparent spheres and each sphere represents a stage of life: birth, marriage, death and transcendance.
The use of white has been fundamental, especially in Western society. White is the basic, pure and innocent. By colouring a thing white, we return it into the purest form. Andrew Miller, a branding consultant, has been working on a project of painting 100 branded objects white and removing all the visual branding. Similarly, Spanish photographer Lola Guerrera wraps up the room and furnitures by white paper. The act of the both neutralizes objects, while bringing a calmness that is seldom seen.
In the Salone del Mobile in Milan this year, Studio Toogood showed a mystic performance called La Cura. It was created to be an antidote to the chaotic Salone. Visitors were invited to watch the white-dressed performers tending a garden of white sculptures. They were given a ball of white clay to shape it into something that reflecting their mood. The space was also filled by bespoke perfume to create the sense of white in olfactory state. Studio Toogood recognized the therapeutic power of white.
White provides a clean and quiet isolation from the noisy and chaotic world. It also symbolizes a new start, waiting to be filled with colours. We would use white correction fluid to cover the mistakes we wrote. Can we also use white to cleanse the errors of this era and start again perhaps?