Based in Austria and wielding the longest name in fashion, House of the Very Island's Royal Club Division Middlesex Klassenkampf, But the Question Is: Where Are U, Now? has a lot of explaining to do.Read More
"Natural forms and curves are applicable to human architectures," says bag designer Konstantin Kofta, who's incorporated ornate baroque architecture — replicating actual chunks of the stuff — in his spring collection of backpacks, tote, and clutches.
The Slovenian designer has revived the columns, busts, and other decoration of the dramatic period for spring and fall 2016, transferring them to sculpted leather — much like his unconventional recreations of skin, bones, and tar of seasons past.
Private Policy is the brainchild of Haoran Li and Siying Qu, a concept-driven unisex label that pushes the parameters of fashion — a synthesis between the disparate realms of high fashion, costume, and streetwear. Their spritely cross-breeding has been compared to vintage Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe, as well as Nick Cave's shaggy soundsuits, for their philosophically tinged narratives and surreal expressions.
In more evidence that minimalism won't be returning to men's fashion any time soon, Wataru Tominaga has won the grand prize at the 31st annual Hyères International Festival in the south of France. Envisioned for emerging designers, the title has previously been awarded to Anthony Vaccarello (now the designer of Yves Saint Laurent, following Hedi Slimane's departure) and Viktor & Rolf.
There once was a very avant Swedish label known as Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, designed by Astrid Olsson and Lee Cotter. Sadly, the label is no more, but the duo have morphed their talents into a new project, By The Number, which partners with a different collaborator each season. The collaborator for spring 2016 is Kenneth Kvarnström, one of Scandinavia's foremost choreographers in contemporary dance, and the collection was presented as a dance performance at Nordiska Kompaniet in late August during Stockholm Fashion Week.
Their first contact was a few years ago when Kvarnström sought costumes for one of his performances. Good thing the two are former dancers and have always had the moving body in mind when designing. They also have the same references as Kvarnström when it comes to shapes, materials and images, which they say made this collaboration a very natural process.
As you might expect from a Spanish designer, Sebastian Khourianbeer is a master leather craftsman. He deftly manipulates the material in bold, innovative ways, creating surprisingly tailored pieces, as well as curiously shaped bags. He'll often work with a single panel of leather, or knit, resulting in an oversized silhouette that, through folding and stitching, is brought down to size.
If we know Hintsters, and we just might, we think you're going to fancy the fancy footwear of Filipino shoe designer Kermit Tesuro. Even before the obligatory Lady Gaga strutted around in his cuckoo confections, the Central Saint Martins' grad was getting plenty of avant-attention. The next time you see electric-blue tentacles encircling someone's ankles, or chunks of black plastic melting around their feet, don't be alarmed — it's only Kermit using his imagination.
Though not in the mainstream news much anymore, Ukraine is still embroiled in a border dispute with its neighbor to the north. But at least one designer of the avant sort, Irina Dzhus, is pushing boundaries of her own. Who needs the mainstream anyway?
Despite the austere nature of her Dzhus label, launched in 2010, there's something familiar and refreshing about its conceptual attitude. "It's inspired by things at the edge of perception," she says, "from spiritual strongholds to abandoned industrial zones."
For her fall 2015 collection, called Totalitarium, Dzhul took her cues from the authoritarian regimes of the early 20th century, particularly their working-class propaganda and stoic monuments. The silhouettes are both historical and modern, while the rare detail, like geometrical pleats, interpret architectural elements of Constructivism. All the pieces are made of authentic worker cottons and wools in a strict grayscale palette.
But that's where similarities to brutal dictators ends because Dzhus is a vegetarian-friendly brand where all products are made of violence-free materials.