What a corker…

Beyond the on schedule or even the on AND off schedule, London has a myriad of designers that exhibit at the London Fashion Week exhibitions who don't really need to make a big song and dance about their collections and simply get on with the business of selling.  Ostwald Helgason, made up of duo Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason, is one of those labels that has grown from strength to strength, and in the last few seasons has really found their strength in experimenting with textile advances.  Last season's gradiated mohair knits, fluffed up polka dots and flesh coloured spongey mesh are currently sitting happy in Browns Focus and Opening Ceremony and those two pow-wow stockists is no small feat for this duo.  

I already pounced on their CORKING backpack from their new S/S 12 collection but there are further corker pieces that seem to fit effortlessly in to Ostwald Helgason's sporty-but-pretty vibe of the collection.  Cork as a material in clothing/accessories isn't of course new but I do love the manipulation of the material into an unexpected bomber jacket with patent sleeves.  I've in fact ordered the jacket that will hopefully be my shell come March.  I might invite people to scribble on my back in biro for an ultra-customised take on the jacket just because I know how satisfying it is to write in biro on cork surface.

The 'woody' texture of the cork is further emphasised in the 'woody' grained linens that are then further contrasted with a frayed white cotton to add depth to what can be a seen as a fuddy duddy fabric.  Pops of neon trim also help the linen's cause.  Further naturalistic and 'grainy' in texture fabrics such as cotton netting, embroidered chiffons are injected into the mix and all the while, the shapes kick back and relax into sweatshirts, loose skorts, and mannish blazers, sometimes held up with carefree single strap cork brace.  Ostwald Helgason has toned back on print in the past few seasons but here it does turn up as a colourful echo of the embroidered chiffons.  Instead of plain and simple print, Helgason has turned to interesting surface texture and so a print of dried hydrangeas physically manifests as ACTUAL dried hydrangeas that have been individually laminated and embroidered on to a netted sweatshirt.  Christopher Kane may have cornered floral artifice with his S/S 12 collection featuring flower stickers but Ostwald Helgason takes it a step further with his dried ones.  Matching caps by Noel Stewart complete these enticing total looks, which also sees Ostwald Helgason venturing into shoes.  The summationg of all of this is that a collection containing cork, dried hydrangeas and burlap sack-esque netting manages to work on more than one level – strange that…  





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16 Replies to “What a corker…”

  1. im ashamed
    first i looked at the title and i said to myself
    ‘what a funny name’
    then i looked at the pics and i said to myself
    ‘wow that material is really strange’
    after a few minutes of stairing at the amazing shoes and tunics i finally made the connection…
    they are soooooooo cool!

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