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.

Singular. Gareth Pugh SS18

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Gareth Pugh‘s spring-summer 2018 look-book (the designer has ditched the runway to focus on fashion, not the frame around it) is one of those incredible, but underrated collections, which you’ve got to digest after seeing first. It was a literal explosion of forms and silhouettes, whether we’re speaking of the red column gowns or cage-like armours that resembled a surreal, outer-skeleton. It’s a season of colour, but none of the designers used red in such a furious way. Those red-splattered garments (they hardly can be called regular ‘clothes’) were as equally dynamic as the fire print that covered the dresses. My favourite part of this collection is definitely the crinkled, metallic story. The effect? As if Gareth dripped the body in liquid gold and let it dry. Or simply packed it in shiny wrapping paper. But of course it was much more complex than that! The collection itself isn’t everything that Pugh has in offer this season. Together with the visionary photographer, Nick Knight, the designer directed a thrilling visual that could easily be called a very hi-tech horror with emphasis put on jaw-dripping clothing. Note, it’s very NSFW.

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Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Interstellar. Aalto AW17

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Paris-based designers always had a thing for the outer space – for instance, take Paco Rabanne’s and Andre Courrèges’ cosmic fashion from the 60s and 70s. Those designers dreamt of fashion shows being on held on the moon; they wanted their women to walk down the streets in chain-mail dresses or white, patent-leather mini-skirts.  A new wave of designers is moving through the French capital, so do different motifs and reference become refreshed. Tuomas Merikoski of Aalto took his models to a space odyssey, dressing them in distorted duvet jackets and nebula-printed dresses. Some of the looks were truly innovative, like the intriguingly draped dress-shirt hybrids, while others well reflect contemporary style of many designers (suits with random patches and variety of turtleneck combinations might be seen on nearly every single runway this season). Although Aalto’s vision of the ‘future’ wardrobe isn’t as far-fetched as Paco’s, it definitely fits today’s fashion norms.

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Future Sex. Paco Rabanne SS17

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Syntethic-white neck-pieces suggest an astronaut gear rather than a sexy French look. But Julien Dossena isn’t frightened to put FUTURE SEX on one of his spring-summer 2017 t-shirts for Paco Rabanne. Obsessed with sci-fi since his childhood, the designer consistently links out-of-this-world modernity with strange sex-appeal. In fact, two things Rabanne fused the best in the past. Today’s creative director smoothly draws inspirations from the brand’s archives, re-working iconic chainmail from the 60s into a relevant, light-weighted material for dresses, skirts and pants. But Dossena doesn’t rely on Paco’s signature only, as he’s comfortable with introducing his own, alien-lover tastes to the house codes. Hints of fuchsia peeked out from underneath the white lace dresses in form of chic tights; a black, leather mini-dress reminded us of Julien’s respect for timeless classics. Oh, and the studded flares: would Françoise Hardy take a pair of those in 2016? I know, a fantasy fashion collaboration. Still, highly anticipated.

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I Love Fashion. JW Anderson AW16

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The autumn-winter 2016 collection delivered by J.W. Anderson is a playful continuation of the designer’s spring collection and pre-fall look-book – and it proves that Jonathan Anderson wants to have fun with fashion, too. “I love fashion! It should be fashion” is what he declared backstage of his London fashion show, perfectly stating the nature of the new season – there was something about the 60’s, looking at the mini-skirts with curvy, leather cut-outs and multi-colour ruffles. There was a sense of softness in these fluffy “clouds”, while the fur hoodies were like a Anderson-revisited nod to hip-hop music. Yet, the chain mail-like studs had you wondering about the much more harsh, punk side of the designer, which we’ve experienced in his last menswear outing. The collection didn’t have a one, straight line of references or inspirations, however it had a humorous, Pierre Cardin-ish outer space character. To conclude, these voluminous, edgy clothes made it clear – Jonathan is taking us to his playground.

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