Inflatable summer: how lilos went from the pool to our wardrobes

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    From pizza lilos to unicorn rubber rings, novelty inflatables are a festival fixture. But now we’re entering the age of balloon coutureIt seems to me that 2019’s inflatable culture is a classic millennial story: twenty- and thirtysomethings harking back to their youths, a time when Miss Selfridge was filled with inflatable backpacks and every student house had a blow-up armchair in baby blue or pink. Back in the olden days, the only things available to inflate were lilos, or the odd airbed. Now, shops are full of inflatable things – unicorns and sharks and llamas – all waiting to bob around a pool somewhere. On Instagram, young celebrities always seem to be lounging in blue water in blow-up flamingos or avocados or pizza slices. We are living in an age of literal hot air.Inevitably, inflatables have made it to the catwalk. Like any great fashion trend, it has subtler iterations (indeed, this is how you know it’s a trend, rather than a subversive statement or a nervous breakdown). At the University of Westminster’s MA Menswear show this week, one student, San Kim, put a gentleman model in a see-through inflatable paired with white underpants. Footage of recent St Martin’s graduate Fredrik Tjærandsen’s balloon dress went viral after his graduate fashion show at the end of last month. It is a hyper-engineered piece that turns into a regular dress, sinking over the wearer, when deflated. A vivid and no doubt necessary seam makes it look like arse cheeks from some angles, but I wouldn’t say that was the most impractical thing about it. Continue reading…