Who is the label that has everyone talking about its toy-inspired clothing? Which designer is making pearls a fashion statement for spring? We have the answers this season.
The buzzy brand Area NYC is a big hit this season
Fashion editors will often get wet while watching a show. This is a sign of good status. It was on the Lower East Side’s Seward Park High School’s roof last September that Area, a New York-based brand, got wet. Area has been a staple in style magazines’ radars since its founding in 2016. The collection continued its journey through pop culture with this new collection. The collection was set to the sensual music of Estonian soul singer Velly Joonas. Remixed by Late Night Tales collective, Piotrek Panszczyk & Beckett Fogg captured the attention of the public with a collection that felt modern yet grounded, strong yet playful. It was inspired by Libuse Niklova (a Czech pioneer in inflatable toys for children) and was sculptural, sexy, and textured. Panszczyk explains that “inflated folklore dolls were reimagined with sheer organza and regal embellishments that recall early 60s couture thanks to her bold graphics and colourful blown up shapes. Inspired by the Polish folk costumes as well as the Chinese mass-market trinket trade, the beaded lattice overlays on the boots and boots with swinging beads created what designers call “a modern clash in embellishment”. It’s worth the wait in the rain.
Mary Quant: There’s still something about Mary
Mary Quant could have been referring to the 2010s when, she stated, “Fashion as we knew is over. People now wear what they like to wear.” This makes it clear that London’s V&A has paid tribute to a designer who still feels relevant today as she did in 1966. The museum will present the first international retrospective of 89-year-old Quant’s work starting 6 April. It will explore her career, from her experimental beginnings to her iconic designs. Quant, with her signature bob and miniskirt made her the face of London’s youthquake. She targeted young women in clothes that their mothers would be embarrassed by. This is just the entry-level. Jenny Lister, co-curator, says that the exhibition has been long overdue. Everyone thinks only of miniskirts and the 60s. But there is so much more. Nearly every designer is influenced largely by her brand’s strength and how she promoted herself.
It is admirable that she can connect with the public. 35 garments were donated to her by a group of Quant fans who responded to a call from V&A. The exhibition will increase the fan base and likely increase your desire for a miniskirt.
Charlotte Knowles: This is how feminist fashion looks
After graduating from Central Saint Martins, Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault launched The Charlotte Knowles’s brand in 2017.
They drew inspiration from Knowles’ family vacations to Salcombe for SS22 and built on that feminine, yet deconstructed aesthetic. Corsets are paired with bikini tops, dresses, and trousers with extreme cutouts. The result is both athletic and sensual. There were drawstrings, semi-sheer fabric and tortoise graphic patterns. Knowles says that there are English heritage references as well as classic prints and checks. Knowles’ nods to England’s seaside are “a bit tongue in cheek”. Although the brand is still in its infancy, Charli XCX (Princess Nokia) are among its many fans. Their third appearance on Fashion East’s catwalk for AW22 will feature more wearable and provocative looks. LH
Wald Berlin: The label that makes pearls happen
The 2022 moodboard for jewellery designers is Johannes Vermeer’s 1665 Girl with a Pearl Earring. The popularity of pearls is increasing at the moment, and this is due in large part to Wald Berlin. Its sweet-water-pearl-in-a-shell necklace became an Insta hit last year, when it was worn by the most influential of influencers. It was the precursor to the season’s love for beachcombing. Dana Roski, a designer who co-founded the brand with Joyce Binneboese in 2018, says that she loves the way the sea makes her feel. It is a very strong childhood memory for us both – running around collecting shells and playing – and we both feel a strong connection with nature and the resources it provides us.
The Bonita, their SS22 collection – handcrafted by grandmothers and mothers, just like their other collections – features dramatic drop shell earrings as well as bracelets made with childlike beads that evoke a souvenir from the seaside. It is expected to sell out at Net-a-Porter and Harvey Nichols, as well as Modist. Roski says, “We wanted some elements from our first collection but give it a more modern feel.”
Artica Arbox: The unisex brand that wants all of us to be heroes
Artica Arbox may sound like Marvel’s next movie release. This is because the brand was created by Irene Roth (an ex-marketing guru for movies). It’s named after the names of her sons when they played superhero games. Cristiano Minchio, ex-Yeezy CEO, supports the unisex brand. Its urban-meets-athleisure aesthetic is, Roth hopes, “effortless and sexy, gritty and sensual, edgy and classic”. Style mavens? It’s time to put it all together.
Paria Farzaneh, the designer who makes worlds collide
Paria Farzaneh was born in Iran to Iranian parents. They moved to the UK over 30 years ago. The designer, now 24, says that her heritage is a big influence on her brand. However, she insists that the story should not be treated the same every time. Her current, second collection is somewhere in between her heritage and her present. The result is elegantly tailored khaki streetwear, with liberally covered in a Ghalamkar (a traditional hand-printed fabric that can be found in every Iranian home, from a bedspread to a tablecloth). Each pattern is hand-carved from a woodblock and comes from Isfahan in Iran.
Farzaneh, a woman who works exclusively in menswear design, believes that designing for gender is irrelevant and that it is unnecessary to talk about gender in 2019. Hypebeast, Dazed and Confused, have Farzaneh on their radar. She thinks about making a shift: ” I am into streetwear [but] it is not something that has a long shelflife,” she states. “Fashion has become very lazy… it’s time to get smarter.”
Parley for the Oceans: The organisation that transforms ocean plastic into fashion
At December’s Fashion Awards, Cyrill Gutsch, Parley for the Oceans founder declared that “Purpose is the new luxury”. He won the Innovation Award. Recycled Ocean Plastic, which was used in bags by Julian Schnabel for Adidas and Stella McCartney by Stella McCartney, was created by Julian Schnabel, a long-time collaborator. He believes that the industry has the “power to bring about rapid change.” He believes that this is the beginning of a material revolution, with several clean-up projects underway.
Ahluwalia Studio: The brand asking us to reuse and relove our clothes
Clearing out clutter is a good idea. Ahluwalia Studio is a great place to start. Seeking a sustainable solution to throwaway fashion, designer Priya Ahluwalia “repurposed things that could be thrown away” for SS22. Her pieces are traditional and honor her Indian-Nigerian heritage. She says, “We know so many things about fashion’s effect on the planet, that it’s impossible not to notice.”