The Autumn Winter 2015 collection by Singapore based avant-garde label Max. Tan goes by the name of XY. It combines floating handkerchief cuts with strict skirts and collapsing silhouettes with masculine textiles. Max. Tan considers XY to not be a distinction of opposites, but a seamless flow between them. It’s not just simply… women in menswear, or men in frocks. It is a collection that reconstructs her boyfriend’s wardrobe, a state of gender neutralising. I’m delighted by the balance and flow of the current Max. Tan collection. The combination of classic tailoring and deconstructed draping does not only lead towards a refreshingly androgynous design, but also adds a vivid energetic vibe to an avant-garde set of clothing. Especially the black pieces express a great sensitivity for the history and cultural background of fashion: always in motion.
Fall 2015 in New York will come with a new warmth for American fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez. In design, especially fashion, appropriation and interpretation of cultures share a fine thin line. However, the India-inspired collection for Fall Winter 2015 of the Rodriguez’s namesake label was carefully tailored (both literally and figuratively) to positively reflect the taken elements. Colors like saffron and peach were so visually effective that I could taste the sun in my mouth, only to have my palette thrown off by the gorgeous iris blue coats. The story was a brief travel to another land, minimally delivered through embroideries and elongated silhouettes. Deep cuts and transparency layer a new depth to the method of color blocking, adding another dimension to the garments. I simply enjoy the classical approach toward construction, especially the creases along the high-waisted trousers that adorn the models. Rodriguez’s method does remind me of Francisco Costa’s early work for Calvin Klein, but not out of coincidence; simply out of the mutual respect for minimalism itself. Photography courtesy of Style.com.
GOBLANK is an independent design label established in 2013 by Meerim Kim. A sombre appearance in its all black répertoire, the 2015 Spring Summer collection is partly influenced by Japanese avant-garde designers. Its lithe, feminine forms of bell sleeve tops and cocoon coats; 60s mod and bat-winged dresses; A-line and accordion skirts are all familiar yet the inherent beauty of GOBLANK’s story lies in the details that sit quietly in the folds, layers and silhouettes of the entirely black collection. When asked about her inspiration behind the brand and the collection, the Seoul-based designer shared in a heavy yet beautiful realization of her own mortality upon turning 30 years of age. It is a manifestation of all the emotions Meerim experienced in isolating herself from her feelings: the fear comes from becoming an adult, every process of life and death, the feeling that wants to disappear and the emptiness. Basically my looks are simple, have not much details but they have dark and heavy atmosphere with only a few lines. It’s about a square and the compositions of a square, in some way they comfort me. The idea that minimalism as an expression can be a providence that relieves and reassures through design is what makes this brand and collection so poignant and beautiful.
Inspirationally and geographically nested deeply in the heart of Danish contemporary design, Copenhagen based fashion designer Anne Vest created an amazingly feminine and functional collection for Spring Summer 2015. It is, in her own words, a definition of a femme, proud and composed: Emotions lead us to interaction… Expression and mixing styles is encouraged, to challenge sartorial mannerisms within our modern wardrobes. I am not only impressed by the amazing imagery directed by Marlo Saalmink and photographed by Hordur Ingason; I am also smitten by the impeccable way Anne Vest’s designs blend very natural and sometimes even classic material with contemporary and avant-garde silhouettes. Rough edges meet graphic shapes, contrasting length silhouettes are built by organic wrap-around dresses and fitted waistcoats. In the end it all comes together in a perfectly coherent collection. Model: Julier Bugge at Scoop Models MUA: Louise Polano
South African born fashion designer Alex Koutny already looked back on an extensive career in consulting and working for international luxury brands before he created his namesake label in New York. However, it wasn’t just good experiences that led to this decision. His goal today is to establish a retreat from overly designed and needlessly decorated garments. In addition, he wants his work to be more hands-on, from beginning to end, from creation to production. This results in a back to basics attitude, precisely rendered in beautiful silk pieces, carefully layered and constructed to look flowing but sharp at the same time. The only embellishment is separate jewelry, made of sterling silver in graphic shapes, which subtly shifts the collection in to a rougher, colder direction. As the designer himself claims: Not too much, not too little. It’s a finely tuned sense. — Interview magazine
Merryn Kelly has leaped out on her own to create fashion child, Third Form. The collection is one of overt sophistication, minimalism and once that embraces fresh cuts and understated tailoring. The nuances in detailing and designed accessories are a nice touch. The palette is one of crisp and bold definition; one that is strictly monochromatic. There is an obvious intentionality with the versatility of the pieces with a focus on fit, form and functionality. Heralding from Sydney, Kelly’s portfolio consists of working alongside some of Australia’s fashion finest. Labels such as Zimmerman and Lee Jeans have been the foundations from which her label grew. Her dedication to her brand is strengthened through her blog, Zine, which draws on her inspiration and musings. There seems to be a perfect balance between street style and femininity, which is beautifully curated. Photography courtesy of Jake Terrey.
Youjia Jin is a Chinese born London based fashion designer and fashion buyer specialising in womenswear. Inspired by anatomy, the designer’s impeccably tailored and purely coloured collections focus on menswear tailoring and the surreal body arts developed from anatomy. Due to my interest in human body structure, I’ve been exercising unisex pattern cutting on my womenswear collections in recent years. Youjia Jin has presented collections in London Fashion Week and Beijing Fashion Week, and been nominated One To Watch by Fashion Scout and more since graduating from the London College of Fashion, Centrail Saint Martins and the Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology.
The immaculate design and high end fabric choice of womenswear label 1205’s SS 2015 collection won designer Paula Gerbase the catwalk sponsorship of British talent identification scheme, NEWGEN. The show not only presented the very considerate silhouettes of her latest collection, but also its textures: by placing blankets made of applied high-end fabrics on the press seats, Paula gave her audience the chance to actually feel the amazing touch of qualities such as High Twist Wool Grid, Technical Featherweight Silk, Pleated Polyester and more. It is stunning how the current 1205 collection combines very classic craft with cutting edge fabric construction while never becoming too earnest. The lightness of her designs is due to an amazing balance achieved by very precise tailoring of cuts that convey a rather relaxed approach towards life. Colors are primarily muted, with a focus on grey, blue and white. And even without laying hands on the fabrics, the textures, purposefully combined in every outfit, make me feel the amazing touch just by looking at it.
By now, The Row, founded in 2006 by Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, has established itself in the fashion industry, breaking the common stigma about celebrities designing garments. Pre-Fall 2015 shows the designers in a more mature light, with a minimal approach to loosely fitted looks. The transformation of the summer months to autumn were seen in the colors of olive green, deep navy, blood orange, as well as off-white shades. A breathe of ease and comfort are present in the folds of drapes created by large pieces of fabrics. There seems to be no seams as the construction lines are obscured by that largeness and its shadows. The effect carries on and is complimented by a lack of excessive accessories, except for the sandals that accompany each and every look. That simple gesture points the direction of this collection to Western United States, where autumn is a slight breeze of wind with a gust of sand somewhere in the distant (see the set underneath the model’s feet). I love the poetic sense of this collection. Its minimalism is one that questions the human body to answer with a graceful response. Cohesively, Pre-Fall 2015 for The Row reminds one of...
Established in 2011 by Amy Venter and based in Durban, South Africa, Jane Sews is an artisan clothing and accessories line with a beautiful, fresh, simple aesthetic, prioritising uplifted feminine staples and timeless pieces. Every design element is carefully considered and close attention is paid to fine construction and finish. I love the airy simplicity of the pieces and the elegance of the accessories. The brand launches seasonal small run collections crafted from high quality natural fabrics, seeking to be both functional and easy to wear.
VOWEL‘s new Octa collection is one that interweaves found materials, whereby a new value becomes redefined. VOWEL is a collaborative effort of duo Beau Bertens and Eline Ceelen where their design philosophy is based on creating an archive of projects that balance on the border between art and design. Based in the Netherlands, their work is founded on archaeological, scientific and philosophical discoveries, together with reimagining their next lives. Octa is primarily a jewelry collection, which an overt emphasis on neck adornment. The series sees the repurposing of existing used materials, and thus infuse a new meaning to their function, through form expression. The palette is minimal and the resulting forms are streamlined and beautiful. This is a limited collection, and is available through their site. Photography courtesy of Benjamin van Witsen.
With her LA based eponymous fashion label, designer Shaina Mote sets a new standard in integrating a regenerative quality and versatility to a strong and distinct style. The new and exciting way she creates minimalist silhouettes with multi purpose details might be a result of her very personal approach towards fashion: I work quite intuitively and I think that for me personally the lack of formal training has allowed me to feel free to experiment to reach a conclusion with each piece. — Need Supply introduction I love the way Shaina Mote adds a hint of playfulness to her staple design. Over time, it lets you discover new ways to wear your favorite garments. It makes every piece even more combinable, while at the same time lifting it above other generic wardrobe basics.