Bearing in mind that we just can't seem to quit graphic fabric prints and particularly symmetrical ones, I was actually a little surprised to realise that the idea hasn't been done by some Black Milk-esque label.
So I set about finding the perfect pinball image, a "classic" pinball machine design. Post web-trawl, however, I'm now not certain that such a thing exists. What's striking is how incredibly varied pinball design seems to be. If there is some essential, classic design, I haven't been able to find it - and I love the idea of a thing with no true face, like a writer who has only ever created parodies.
I suspect that a lot of the vague pinball imagery floating around my brain is based on machines from the 1970s, a time when nostalgia for the 1950s (Grease-style) was rife. Interesting, but as inspiration for a fashion print, also kinda messy.
In terms of a fabric print that would appropriate the pinball machine aesthetic it might be difficult to create a look that was distinct from the comic book stylings of, say, Romance Was Born's Spring/Summer 2013 collection.
Another already familiar motif evident in the visual world of the pinball machine is the 1950s pinup girl:
- which morphs easily into the back arch-ery of Mudflap Girl-style sleaze:
Again, all very interesting, but not very original so far as fashion is concerned.
So is there anything at all worthwhile to be taken from the idea of a pinball print? If there is I think it has to come from a very literal representation of recognisable features of a pinball machine, e.g. bumpers, wire ramps and, most importantly, flippers:
In fact, the suggestive placement of flippers is probably the main thing this idea has going for it.