Contrasting Harmony. Area AW19

Area‘s autumn-winter 2019 was a bold, multi-faceted line-up of looks that can be, simply speaking, called ‘occasion-wear’. But then, why not look so fabulous on the daily? And make your outfit a joyous occasion itself? There was red houndstooth print used in slit dresses and over-sized pants; tie-dye on a leather skirt that was actually an apron; a killer orange jumpsuit; a puffa vest and a mini-dress in black & white, all covered in the brand’s logo; the signature two tone lamé, that looked like some sort of magical liquid dripping down the body. The designers, Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk, clashed Dancehall style, 80s glitz and 60s Courrèges like no one else. The collection was like a huge image, or rather, a number of visions pressed into one runway collection. But the effect wasn’t overcharged – quite the opposite. It was flawless. All the colours, themes, prints, styles, eras. That was the aim: “it’s about these dualities: how can they live not in contrast but in harmony?” Their new season offering is the perfect answer.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Occasion-Wear. Area SS19

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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.

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Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

De Luxe. Area AW18

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For a few seasons, Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg‘s collections were New York fashion week’s escape to a cosmic-glam odyssey. With that niche, in fact, Area became a local trend-setter, that gets quickly copied by not only the up-and-coming labels, but the big players. This season, the designers took a more down-to-earth approach, but that doesn’t mean the collection was less disctinct to the brand’s identity. With more go-to pieces in offer, like adorably ruffled blazers or striped knits, Area smartly aims at the retailers. But the ‘she’s so fetch’ attitude is present, as usual – just note the leopard spots print, patchworked on a coat or used for slim pants. Crystal trimmings on the dresses and skirts are dramatically chic, wherever you are. Faux-fur appeared in all the fun places as well, while the intriguingly shaped hats brought a de luxe cowboy feel (think Madonna in Music video-clip). Some say that New York is short of young talent. Well, look at Area and better reconsider what you’ve said.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.