Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk dabbed their fashion at Area as ‘occasion-wear’. Evening-wear tends to be too dark and too formal. Day-to-say might fall into the ‘boring’ shelf. Meanwhile ‘occasion’ sounds like lots of joy, no? Spring-summer 2019 line-up was shiny, colourful, full of bliss and charm. Those clothes are for celebration moments, but not only. Why not make every day a reason to dress like you’re off to a dance party on a sci-fi spaceship? The designers behind Area might be asking the same question. “We started thinking: What is important for us in fashion? I think as designers, in design in general, our core value is play. Playing is something so intellectual but also so pure,” Piotrek told Vogue. Indeed, it’s a intellectual, especially when Libuše Niklová is on your mood board. Niklová was a Czech artist and inventor who created the first inflatable toys for children in the ’60s – think cats with long stretched-out bodies, funny crocodiles. How did the designers refer to that quite intriguing persona and her body of work? Inflated metal earrings; big hats; candy-coloured trunk bags made in collaboration with Italian leather heritage house Bertoni 1949. I tell you, not many would tackle an inspiration like this with such fluency and smoothness. But wait, the clothes were equally playful! Festive crystal dress; sheer prairie gown in burgundy; a sleeveless bow top in eye-popping green; metallic bodice dress in pinkish, faux leather. Area clearly says a ‘no no’ to the musty, dusty ‘cocktail dress’, since they’ve got so many brilliant alternatives to, ugh, a bondage dress or this sort of sleazy stuff. Once again, we dress for occasions, big and small – not necessarily just for the cocktails.
Collages by Edward Kanarecki.