How about Mickey Mouse, Barbie dolls, Mowgli, Tinkerbell and even Peter Pan on your T-shirt? Sure they can bring a smile to one’s face, especially if the toons are nostalgic icons you grew up idolising. But before you can ask.. toons on Tees are not just for kids. At least Paris Hilton doesn’t think so. Neither does Christina Aguilera or Kelly Osbourne, who flaunt cartoon couture all the time.
Cartoon couture is more than just going to your nearest photo studio and getting a print of your favourite cartoon on a tee. Designer Lina Tipnis has a range of silhouettes with digital prints and cartoons staring out of them.
It’s the best way to express yourself, she says. “One can’t express freely with embroidered designs. Social nuances are best represented through digital art,” Tipnis asserts, refusing to categorise her creations as satire or irony.
One of Tipnis’ creations is a frog with a giant injection in its hand. “It represents the age of silicone implants,” she laughs adding, “I chose a frog to refrain from pointing towards any gender.” Another creation is a frog with a five carat ring on its finger. “The frog is boasting that its rock is bigger than the others. Isn’t that how most people are today?” she wonders aloud.
Falguni Peacock of the designer duo Shane and Falguni Peacock vouches for digital prints and cartoon couture.
“The sky is the limit in this medium. You can give a cartoon its own personality by adding a smile or a frown to its face. It’s like a blank canvas,” she says.
Of skulls and cupids
Falguni has used skulls and cupids and played with paintings and graphics on T-shirts, shirts and dresses. The cartoon creation should not make the wearer look funny but funky, she warns. “Cartoon couture is catching on with the young ones, though grown ups want subtle versions too,” Falguni observes.
Digital prints, says Tipnis is the future of modern fashion. “Every garment has to have a story to tell. Digital printing enables this. “The disadvantage of this medium is that a few designers just download interesting pictures and pass them off as their own. That’s not how it’s done.”