“It’s about femininity in all its forms,” said Area’s Piotrek Panszczyk of the New York-based label’s phenomenal resort 2022 collection preview with Vogue. “From hard-core sex kitten to something daintier with pink, daisies, and crystals.” That might sound impossibly broad, but reaching out to all the hot girls, quirky chicks, and vampish women is something Area has specialized in since the brand was founded in 2013 by Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg. The collection spans racy lingerie dotted with crystal bows, chic ivory suiting dangling with crystal fringe, and kitschy denim punctuated with massive brass studs. It’s a lot of look and a lot of drama for a ready-to-wear offering – but Panszczyk affirms it sells. Party options are many this season, with Area creating its own lace from crystal patterns, drawing inspiration from medieval armor for giant studded leather bows and bustiers, and ingeniously embellishing a black minidress with bright red press-on nails for a “rhinestoned at the nail salon” bit of camp. A growing denim offering adds to the label’s ready-to-wear expansion, as do its popular platform clogs and square-toed mules, now adorned with sweet little daisy charms. With the collection landing on Area’s e-commerce site right now, it seems like only a matter of time before bombshells from Miami to Macau start trying out the brand’s manic new femininity.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Prada autumn-winter 2021
This holiday season is going to feel extra-special for many after last year – and getting dressed up is all part of the joy. This gift guide is for those who love to sparkle – and are planning to shine bright the entire 2022! A pair of golden Manolos will please any Carrie fan (hello, And Just Like That premieres on the 9th of December!), while the sequinned, faux-tie-dye pants from Ashish will be the best present for a glamorous home-stayer. Paco Rabanne’s metallic chain-mail skirt will elevate any New Year’s Eve to a Studio 54 event. And how about a camp-y Judith Leiber poodle clutch? Checked. Still, the award for the most glistening and over-the-top present goes to Prada’s bucket hat that went full-on Christmas tree. Discover my first festive guide below – and stay tuned for the others that are coming in the next couple of days!
From left to right, top to bottom: Coperni purple glittered mini-dress, “Astrology. The Library of Esoterica” Taschen book, Rosantica gold-tone crystal hair clip, Magda Butrym single crystal star brooch, Prada sequin bucket hat, Prada crystal block-heel slingback pumps, Alan Crocetti gold & pink ring.
AREA crystal-embellished jersey t-shirt, Mary Jane Claverol embellished turban, Judith Leiber Couture French Poodle crystal-embellished clutch, Ashish sequined pants, Manolo Blahnik “Kika” golden stiletto pumps.
Prada autumn-winter 2021
All collages by Edward Kanarecki.
P.S. In this post, I happen to endorse products I genuinely love. If you end up buying something through the links, my site might earn an affiliate commission – which is always nice!
Area’s Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg continue to push the envelope with their made-to-wear glamour. Since launching the brand in 2013, the designers have done so much introspection and recalibration that it’s hard to know if it’s the go-to brand for haute space bitches, haunting Dadaist ghouls, pop star glamazons, or former first ladies. Ask Panszczyk and he’ll answer that the label has always been for everyone but the clothes didn’t always show it, seasonally skewing in favor of one audience while cutting out the rest. Panszczyk and Fogg took 2020 to recenter themselves and their brand, choosing to show in season and to make salability and creativity equal parts of their process. Not either/or but both. As Panszczyk explained over a Zoom call, their shoppers have just as much desire for a couture-grade crystal pantie as they do a pair of crystal-studded jeans. To meet their needs, Area presented its own kind of solution dressing this season, injecting glamour into normcore and normalcy into high-gloss glamorama. Jeans enter the picture in a medium-wash straight-leg style adorned with crystals and paired with a bitchy little bustier. Tweed suiting is cropped and shrunken, with rhinestone fringe falling from hems. A classic LBD comes in vinyl, and the brand’s famous pale pink lamé returns in the form of iridescent minidresses, corsets, and skirts. Knitwear is growing too, with pink and lime pieces dotted with tiny crystal bows. This new Area wardrobe captures the vixenish nature of the label without compromising on wearability; exactly the branding exercise a company needs to push it from emerging to established. But Panszczyk and Fogg are smart to not let their good business sense totally overshadow the weirdness that makes Area special. During the pandemic they connected with Chinese designer Dingyun Zhang, whose enormous puffer jackets have also caught the eye of Kanye West and his Yeezy team. After a couple DMs, the trio decided to collaborate, cropping Zhang’s puffers into cloudlike vests, bralettes, and skirts, and then tamping them down with Area’s crystal harnesses. The results are delightfully kooky, heavenly, and sensual all at once. Area’s year of questioning has yielded some good answers.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.