CASSETTE PLAYA: CARRI MUNDEN’S DIGITALLY-INSPIRED FASHION (STARK MAGAZINE JUNE 2013)
Enter the digital-loving mind of Carri Munden.
Techno. Primal. Futuristic. Avant-garde… There are a million and one words that surface in connection with Cassette Playa’s signature aesthetic, but the most relevant one would probably be ‘cult’, in relation both to the subversive vibe of the clothes and the legions of loyal followers they’ve engendered around the world (URL and IRL). Appealing to lovers of digital culture and statement style alike, the CP brand continues to surprise season after season.
Founded by platinum blonde, chunky specs-wearing designer Carri Munden, upon her graduation from London’s Westminster University, the label’s inaugural collection debuted at Fashion East MAN in 2007. The brand’s now-trademark aesthetic was quickly established in signatures like CGI prints, streetwear shapes, and eye searingly-bright colours, inspired by everything from anime and ‘90s rave, to technology and sci-fi. Pieces like oversized hoodies and sporty joggers incorporate every kind of graphic doughnut, volcano and neon monster you can think of (and probably more).
Initially spawning a new generation of vibrantly-clad cool kids amongst the east London set, the brand has since gone on to clothe the likes of Rihanna, M.I.A., Lil’ Wayne and any number of slebs besides, as well as achieving critical and commercial success in countries all around the world. Big collaborations have ranged from a collab with Mattel (think 3D gold Ken dolls), Toy Story 3-inspired tees for Disney, and a capsule collection for Nike Sportswear – and the rest: SegaStussyNintendoAmbushSwatch…
Real-world influence aside, Cassette Playa has established a significant presence online. The brand’s big, bold designs infiltrate blogs, social media pages and street style sites from here to the end of the Internet (just try a search on Tumblr if you don’t believe us), and the CP site has long since championed the kind of saturated, visual-heavy interface that’s so popular with, well, everyone’s URL right now.
CP also presented the world’s first ever augmented reality fashion show for A/W10-11, inspired the idea of clothes transforming the wearer into a new character, à la video game avatars. Viewed via a web stream, new looks were created on each model using the QR codes incorporated in the apparel. On top of that, no fewer than eight of the 12 CP collections have been shown digitally, with elements like animation and digital installations continually pushing fellow designers to up their own tech game.
Now, having taken two seasons off from fashion’s biannual catwalk chaos, Carri is currently working on developing the aesthetic of the newer womenswear line, as well as some selected smaller collaborations. No sweat, though, there’s still plenty of CP around to keep you occupied. Remember jelly shoes? Thanks the recent joint efforts of Carri and JuJu, they’re back again, this time with a contemporary CP print decal twist. “CP x JuJu is a perfect collaboration – playful, graphic, and made in the UK,” said Carri.
She’s not wrong – the collab designs have proven so popular that they even set off a Twitter war between fans of Azealia Banks and Rita Ora, respectively, arguing over which star wore them first. 2013 has also seen the opening of a Cassette Playa pop-up in London’s East End, as well as a much-hyped immersive audio visual experience installation at the Tate Modern. So, what can we expect for the next Cassette Playa collection? We’ll leave stuff like prints, colors and the rest up to speculation, but one thing we can be certain of is that it’ll go viral in seconds.
Words: Charlotte McManus
Posted on 01/07/2013, in Fashion and tagged augmented reality, azealia banks, carri munden, cassette playa, cassette playa mia, cassette playa nike, cassette playa x juju, charlotte mcmanus, digital fashion, east london, juju, ken t shirt, london fashion, stark magazine, tate modern. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.