Lately, Area becomes more and more experimental, transforming its “occasion-wear” into something conceptual, even metaphysical (through a slightly ironical, tongue-in-cheek lens). The noise of flies buzzed through speakers as the guests waited for the spring-summer 2023 show to start. The invitation came in the shape of two, fake squishy bananas. “This season is all about fruits,” Piotrek Panszczyk said before the show at his studio in Chinatown. “The beauty of them, but also the symbolic meaning of them. In a way you can think of fruit as something fresh, a new start, but when it starts decaying, it becomes about mortality.” And so the show opened with sculptural banana looks: a cropped top and a skirt made of oversized banana sculptures, followed by a jacket with banana sculptures surrounding the bodice, followed by a strapless denim mini dress, all in tie-dye shades of pink, purple, and white which were meant to mimic the colors of bruised, rotten fruit. The next dress was made of small, individually draped and formed banana shapes that were joined together in the style of a bandage-dress, hugging the body and leaving nothing to the imagination. While there were many sculptural pieces on the runway, it was indeed in the softness that Panszczyk found the most success.“This season there’s way more fluidity, we’re all about construction. We really started lightening it up, using laces, and fluid fabrics. Example: the red strapless empire waist flocked tulle gown with black lurex whose pattern brought to mind squashed grapes when wine is being made. Another highlight of the show was its diverse cast, which featured a few older models as well as a few “curvier” models, the latter wearing tailored gowns which hugged their bodies in the right places. “Aging also comes with beauty,” Panszczyk explained. “And I think for us it’s always important to showcase these different stages of life.” He added, “for us, it’s really about balancing these ideas, like how can it be about really, truly fantasy? And how can you evoke this kind of energy in real life?”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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