It is possible to write entire books about the symbolism behind the triangle within a circle. The equilateral upright triangle inscribed within a circle and touching the latter with each vertex or placed inside the circle but not touching it, has indeed been adopted by occult practices and esoteric movements going through different transformations and interpretations as the decades passed.
Yet what interests me is not the instrinsic meaning of this symbol or if the triangle stands for Satan or for the Holy Trinity; if it's a symbol of domination or authority; if it represents Alcoholics Anonymous' three part answer to a three part disease or if it hints at serenity, perfection and stability. What interests me is indeed to try and understand why the same symbol bizarrely reappeared on two recent menswear collections, and if that's just a casual coincidence or a case of, well, occult correspondences and therefore plagiarism (in which case we should ask which designer came first and therefore which designer copied the other).
The triangle within a circle appeared embedded into two tone sweaters and embroidered onto high-collar streamlined jackets in Kris Van Assche's collection for Dior Homme and as prints in the collection of Berlin-based Danish designer Mads Dinesen.
Kris Van Assche's collection with its polished garments characterised by rigorous and streamlined silhouettes evoked - via technical fabrics and innovative techniques - sci-fi futuristic moods borrowed from Andrew Niccol's 1997 film Gattaca, while maybe also hinting through their clean and clinical lines at the financial austerity we're going through and while some pieces looked like space uniforms, they also looked modern, saleable and wearable.
Mads Dinesen - a young designer, who studied at the University Of The Arts, Berlin, graduating in 2010 - moved for his A/W 2013 colletion from music, poet and inventor Moondog who lived on the streets in New York in the 1950s and was known as the “The Viking of 6th Avenue”.
In Dinesen's collection Moondog's face appeared almost like a God-like figure (a reference to the Masonic traditions that placed a single eye inside a triangle?) inside a circumscribed triangle printed on bomber jackets and T-shirts. Dinesen also mixed in his designs elements borrowed from Alejandro Jodorowsky's movies and in particular from The Holy Mountain and from occult inspirations.
So the doubt remains, who came first? Last year Mads Dinesen was among the finalists of the 4th Mango Awards with a womenswear collection inspired by Moondog, but that collection didn't feature any occult symbols.
Maybe the occult symbol is just a coincidence, after all, it has been a recurrent symbol in different collections (remember for example the Masonic symbols in Marios Schwab's S/S 2011 collection? Besides, in Dior Homme's collection the clean graphic quality of the symbol makes it look like something pertaining to geometry rather than occultism). We hope so, since it would be quite depressing to know that Dior Homme would have to steal ideas from a young designer to come up with a desirable collection.
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