Balance. Area SS21

Area‘s Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg play along their own rules – and it certainly works. The pair presented their second see-now-buy-now ready-to-wear offering, filled with signature glitz, twisted with a pinch of Dada, and photographed by Paul Kooiker. Unlocking the ability to offer the full Area proposition has opened up a new galaxy of creative potential for Panszczyk and Fogg. The more conceptual pieces take the idea of duality, two ideas swirling together, and represent it literally in a spiral of fabric on bosoms and blazers. Models wear full face masks and giant crystal bow headbands, their feet tucked into platform disco-inspired clogs. The surreal look-book only makes the Area proposition feel all the more appealing, highlighting the more challenging garments and elevating the easy-in-approach ones. There’s a freedom in Area’s new path forward of fusing comfort, creativity, and smart e-commerce. That’s their gold recepe for a small brand thriving in harsh times.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Power Move. Area Couture SS21

You really couldn’t wish for a better ending of an incredible (digital) haute couture week. Saying that this was Area‘s debut couture collection is quite a false statement, since each collection coming from New York-based Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg is a couture-level fantasy. The designers ditched the spring-summer 2021 ready-to-wear schedule, making a bold power move not only for themselves, but for American fashion (same can be said of Schiaparelli’s Daniel Roseberry!). Area’s bold 14-look couture collection showcases their range of talent (think showgirl crystals and outlandish silhouettes combined with technically ambitious tailoring), and their lookbook, which stars Precious Lee and Yasmin Wijnaldum, is a sort of statement of intent. This is most certainly not old-world couture, with its strictly sample size casting. “Difference for us is a positive thing,” Fogg told Vogue. Lee opens the lookbook in a black smoking, featuring extravagant metalwork trimming the cuffs. The designers, who are catholic in their references, said they were looking at the coin embroideries of Berber peoples for the jacket’s embellishments, as well as for a pair of delicate and quite dreamy dresses made from thousands of individually hand-finished circles of organza. The rib cage pieces, embroidered with Swarovski crystals in India and assembled in New York, look destined for the Grammys or concert stages, once IRL events ramp back up again. Cake dresses whose tiers are fashioned from duchesse satin fully panniered in tulle do take their cues, Panszczyk said, from the couture of Emanuel Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent and Cristobal Balenciaga, but the Area designers constructed them so they are open on one side. Wijnaldum flashes skin from her shoulders to the crystal-encrusted tops of the black leather platform clogs that Area will be selling with their third ready-to-wear drop later this year. This couture season has shown us that some of the designers are ready to challenge the system and are capable of reflecting the times we are living in. But seeing the new generation taking couture to new dimensions and redefining it is what I’m looking forward to the most!

“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.

You Will Be Noticed. Area SS20

Area for spring-summer 2020 is… a lot. Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk’s brand that’s all about “occasion-wear” continues to deliver the most bold, party-ready clothes in New York. Whether it’s an over-sized white jacket covered in gold chains, trompe l’oeil crotchet tops made out of colourful rhinestones, arty crop-tops made out of tubes (each finished with a crystal, of course) or a red-carpet-perfect, draped gown in peach, one thing’s sure: you will be noticed in Area wherever you go.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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.