Audi’s design team must have rulers and protractors as favourite drawing tools given the neutral Bauhaus appearance of their cars. Stretching back to the 70s Audis have bared geometrical lines and shapes most commonly found in math books. Rectangular head lights, logo composed of four rings and horizontal lines in the grill are all traits characteristic of an Audi with the exception of the R8 ,which is a rather unconventional Audi with an imposing face dominated by sinister LED projectiles.
The beauty of geometrical lines is the purity in their expression. Although they fall short in stirring joy and emotions like Ferraris, Audis do not lack in impressing the eyes of the beholder similar to the stunning patterns featured in Dries Van Noten’s SS10 collection. Patterns and prints are fields of landmines that can spell for fashion disaster. The line separating success and distasteful failure is thin as sheet of A4 paper, though the greatest challenge is filtering through thousands of different patterns to end up with an expressive one that say a few words as possible. Patterns and prints tend to carry with them a mood, feeling, message, tone or meaning which is what makes them invigorating. Through dark or bright, straight or curve lines, small or large shapes we can dictate the vibes we want to emit. Striking result can do wonders for alleviating a negative mood but the charm can find itself degrading overtime as daring designs fall victims of getting out of fashion.
Dries Van Noten has with eloquence mastered the challenge of designing male patterns tied with visual beauty that also hold a neutral position in what they express. This has been accomplishing with the careful selection of symmetrical Persian, Mayan and mosaic shapes. Deep colour shades makes the patterns hard to decipher from a distance but upon close look they are brought to life -- the silk trousers in particular which have a grandiose presence.
The words sterile and clinical do not apply here because the patterns are vivid and have a personality, and so does the new Audi S5 Sportback. Gracing the sides, the wavy character line contently adds emotion to a car that heavily resembles its more conventional sister -- the Audi A4 sedan. Differentiated using a sloping roofline that creates an illusion of a coupe, Audi have simplified the concept of a four door coupe. This is the opposite path of Aston Martin, Mercedes and Porsche which all three have gone to great lengths in making elaborately designed four door coupes that were developed with headline grabbing designs. Audi on the other hand, decided to use the Audi A4 as a technological and artistic basis for a four door coupe that some perceive as pedestrian. Giving it a few minutes of thought and stare it the purpose of the design comes clear. Handsome and modern, the S5 might not excite but is objectively an alluring design that is attractive without distracting.