An exciting balance between Scandinavian minimalism and slightly melancholic drama: that is what Copenhagen based womenswear designer Vibe Johansson light-handedly fuses in her current summer collection. Maybe it’s due to her growing up in the Hamlet city of Elsinor, or maybe she just perfectly manages to integrate the impressions of her extensive travels into her northern soul. Whatever the cause, Vibe Johansson’s designs radiate a subversive elegance which makes its wearer stand out without being invasive. Questioning beauty and looking for it in dark places, physical as well as mental, is where it all began for me. — The Kinsky Interview I simply love the way this collection combines expressive textures with pure geometric shapes and a soft flow of fabrics. Vibe describes the behavior of her garments as defiant, yet controlled. And I feel like this is an attitude which might nicely mark off onto its wearer. Photography by Emil Monty. Art Direction by Marlo Saalmink. Styling by Vibe Johansson.
It is only the second collection of Warsaw based fashion brand THISISNON, but an international audience for their designs is already well established. The new summer collection, RAW SILK consolidates THISISNON’s concept of presenting only a few essential pieces — in this case six pieces made of 100% silk — to encourage respect for the world’s resources and professional craftsmanship. The collection’s use of raw, undyed fabric reveals the natural structure of silk, while the chosen shade of white evokes the rawness of sandstone and clay. The immaculate way THISISNON translates the above aspiration into a self-contained style, imagery and communication is simply captivating. Their pieces are the perfect example of high-end garments not conflicting with everyday life, but reminding their wearer of why certain materials — like merino wool or silk — became so loved in the first place. Wearing anything less suddenly seems quite pointless.
Hamburg-based label Nebel has created a label that is principled on a versatile and minimalist style for both men and women. Founded by Daniel Bartels and his girlfriend Hanna Lundvall, the idea of the brand is to possess the appeal to both sexes, a style that is unisex, neutral and timeless, one that can be shared in a relationship. Buy less, Share well as their motto goes, the result is a palette that identifies as an urban, avant-garde aesthetic as the pieces take on a different characteristic when worn by the different sexes. Large pullovers can transform more femininely as tunics; layers are draped and folded in various ways because of the differing physical proportions of the sexes, yet they are neutral enough to allow the wearer to express their individuality within the blurred lines of this unisex style. Like its name which means fog in German, Nebel has undefined the need specificity and achieved versatility as a style.
Inspired by East Londoners’ pastel-hued hairstyles and boasting a 30-year heritage of traditional British manufacturing, accessories brand Ally Capellino‘s SS15 collection features a rose-tinted collection of rucksacks, satchels and bike-bags in ice cream shades and pastel hues, with every design constructed using waxed cotton and Italian veg-tanned leather. Photographed by Agnes Lloyd Platt with styling by Aurelia Donaldson, make-up by Sky Cripps-Jackson and hair colouring by Olivia Crighton of Glasshouse Salon, the lookbook materializes a beautifully simple idea brought to life by colour-blocking, elegant set design and flawless execution.
London based design duo BARBARA ALAN highly values research and experimentation in their approach towards design. Their aim is to reduce every piece to its very essentials, while still paying close attention to detail. For Spring / Summer 2015 it is all about juxtaposing lengths, new structures and floating silhouettes. While shapes are cut in geometric patterns, the free flowing, sometimes transparent fabrics add a soft touch to the summery layering. It is a pleasure to dive into the modernist world of BARBARA ALAN designs, where sculptural cutlines and a laid-back attitude are no contradiction. My favorite detail is the clean and pure stitch-free hemline finish, made possible by a high-tech bonding technique. All in all, a perfect collection to build a long-lasting, pure and modern wardrobe upon.
Swedish independent label MLTV has launched its Spring Summer 2015 menswear collection exhibiting sensual pieces with revealing cutouts, architectural lines and contrasting fabrics. MLTV’s founder Anna Sjunnesson expresses a curious androgyny in this collection which is what she describes as a progressive minimalism. The collection called Episode Six consists of lightweight items, inspired by architecture and geometry while combining soft, light flowing fabrics. With the use of fabrics of different thickness and weave density, Anna has created architectural cutouts which highlight and interact with the body in different ways. In some shots of the campaign, gender lines appear deliberately blurred in the look and feel. With these contradicting themes that drive the design for this season, the result is a relaxed and casual collection beyond traditional menswear. Photography courtesy of Anna Sjunnesson.
New York based fashion designer Melitta Baumeister just made her second big impact after graduating from Parsons MFA Fashion course with her critically acclaimed White Collection. Despite the pressure of delivering a collection as good — or even better — than its precursor, Baumeister stayed true to herself and to the recognizable collaboration with her creative partner, photographer Paul Jung. The Spring Summer 2015 collection is a full-on, positively surprising exploration of new forms, materials and silhouettes. In fashion it is rare that one can honestly say: This work is unique. For Melitta Baumeister and Paul Jung, it is simply true. The color palette is broadened from monochrome white to include black and a very light nude. But as to be expected with Baumeisters signature style, the collection is much more about the extraordinary surfaces, shapes and production methods than it is about colors. I am stunned by Melitta Baumeisters abilty to create a collection that is so avant-garde while never loosing track of the right proportions and the perfect wrapping of the female body. While cuffs, volumes or drapings are sensibly exaggerated, the balance is always maintained by an hourglass outline, huge transparent areas or downright feminine silhouettes. It seems...
Not everyone is familiar with the name Gabriele Colangelo. However, that might change soon with the current rise of this Milan-based designer. Colangelo started his career designing for Versace and Cavalli. With that background, we would expect his namesake label to be just as maximal as his previous mentors. However, it’s rather the complete opposite; lying under each and every design of his is a sense of minimalism that directly ties with maturity and luxury. His most recent collection for Fall Winter 2015 proves that just right. If there was anything maximal about Colangelo, it would be the cuts of his garments. The forms were so complex with twists, drapes, and slits, that we started to question the deconstruction of each look. While the colors stay true with a minimalist essence (such as navy, white, and ivory), fuchsia acted as a device to glue the whole collection together as one cohesive story. There is a kind of elegance in the way circular metal ornaments hold the clothes’ structures together. The neck pieces are also a delightful addition that I adore so much. Overall, it was a show that challenged minimalist fashion, especially in the setting of Milan Fashion Week, much...
Strong architectural shapes and sculptural silhouettes take the lead in LA-based designer Jasmin Shokrian‘s Spring Ready-to-Wear 2015 collection. Since she started her eponymous fashion label in 2003, Shokrian’s collections have been articulated with a strong emphasis on craft and detail. With a background in film, painting and sculpture from the School of Art Institute in Chicago and influenced by her mother who is a professional tailor, Shokrian’s designs exhibits her own talent for tailoring and draping material into beautiful architectural curves and forms. Silk faille dresses and tops are suspended by thin straps which add dimension that exudes femininity in the resulting flow and drape of the piece. Sharp Vs are explored across multiple depths in necklines, back lines and even in an overlapping tunic. Large, soft block-coloured totes made of mesh and canvas punctuate the clothes with a contrast of colour and form, adding yet another detail of interest to this minimalist collection which could appear deceptively simple at first glance. I also love the fact that hems of shorts and shirt dresses are also included in the strong geometry played subtly, culminating the attention to sculptural detail that Shokrian is most experienced in. Photography courtesy of Style.com.
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.