Fashion & Beauty

Martin Luttecke is the Chilean designer reviving 60s futurism

We were supposed to be wearing spacesuits by now.

Martin Luttecke is a designer based in Santiago, Chile. His latest collection – Pensamientos Violentos (“Violent Thoughts”) – is a meditation on self-discovery via the unrealised futurism of 1960s fashion.

Luttecke’s subject is a space cadet, obsessed with the 1960s but living in 2050 Santiago. As the narrative of the collection develops, she eschews the stringent black silhouettes that society imposes on her in favour of increasingly experimental forms rendered in pastels and decorated with an abstract floral motif reminiscent of her favourite decade. For Luttecke, it’s a metaphor for the present day, where social media, office culture and fear of change confine us to increasingly uniform looks curated by marketeers rather than artists. The 60s promised we’d be wearing spacesuits by now. Instead we ended up in sweatpants and those Fila trainers from Urban Outfitters.

Published exclusively below are the campaign images for Pensiamentos Violentos alongside an interview in which Luttecke describes his recent experiences interning with Wales Bonner and Haider Ackermann and his disappointment that the 60s futurist dream gave way to sportswear.

Hi Martin, what was the genesis of this collection?

This collection is inspired by references I collected during my time in Europe – ones that didn’t fit with the aesthetic of the brand I was working for at the time. I saw all these images and I started drawing in my free time and this collection started to develop very organically from there.

Where were you finding those influences? Movies? Art? Literature?

Really I think it’s a mixture of many things. I love movies. I watch a lot of them. At the time of designing this collection I was really into 60s thriller movies. So that was an influence.

But I also like to see things on the street. I really appreciate watching how people dress, especially people who are not really into fashion. I love the people who are outcast from fashion, how they mix aesthetics and how they dress differently.

The 60s reference is very clear…

I love the idea that in the 60s they were predicting this futuristic aesthetic. They really got it wrong. Fashion actually went in the opposite direction. I love Paco Rabanne, that spaceship aesthetic really resonates with me. But that future that we saw in fashion was never actually realised.

I would love for the future to look like how they imagined it in the 60s, but we’ve got really comfy clothes and hardcore sportswear instead. I would prefer 60s Utopia.

Is the collection gender neutral?

Yes. I wanted it to be gender neutral as a way to see myself in the collection. It was also an opportunity for boys to see it and say “OK this is cool, I can see myself in this, even if its pink and pastels and there are some feminine shapes.” I wanted the boy to look like the girls but to be empowered to look that way, like it was natural to him.

There’s one particular image in the campaign that is really striking – the one with the models facing each other wearing chest pieces. What was the intention behind those designs?

The collection itself is intended to be a journey from a more tailored silhouette evolving to something more out of proportion. I was working with this idea of an Odyssey of self-exploration, of finding oneself. So I started with a very clean silhouette in black and then I started adding all of these elements, like color and more abstract shapes.

My intention was to look at different aesthetics and show the wearer wondering whether their taste was “OK”. Over the course of the collection, the wearer becomes more comfortable with themselves.

So there’s a narrative across the collection?

It starts with what society with what wants you wear – this black, restrained silhouette. But then it becomes about exploring yourself and accepting your demons in a positive way. That’s the element of tension that I wanted to show in the campaign. The large proportion clothes and the chest structures are designed to show that story of self-exploration.

It also reflects my own experience at the time. I was living in Europe. I felt completely outcast. I was the only guy from Latin America doing internships at the time. Everyone was speaking with British accents, I was the only person not getting the jokes. It was very hard to say “OK, I’m different” but eventually I did. So my personal journey is reflected in the collection too.

What did you gain from your experiences in Europe?

Not being in Europe or New York, I’m not based in one of those hubs of fashion, so the first thing I learned was that it was possible to get the things you really want if you keep trying. It was good to know that I could be from a different country, a different background, a different ethnicity and still contribute.

And then also the hard work. Working there you are around people who really love what they do. That energy is really special. It made me want to find a team here in Chile that is really passionate in the same way there’s a fashion community in Europe.

What do you think you are able to bring to your designs that is unique because of your Latin American identity?

I feel I can bring a different take. Here in Chile, I’m part of the last generation who grew up without the internet. I grew up very isolated from the world, and drawing all the time creating my own fantasies. And then when the internet arrived I became obsessed with fashion. So I think what I can bring is a combination of fantasy and my personal story. I want to make really honest work, I don’t want to be cool.

I really like to tell a story, not just create a collection that is simply very attractive. For me, fashion is a way to do something more than make money or have a business, for me it’s about self-exploration. I’m getting to know more of myself from this process.

29 March 2019