>> On the last Business of Fashion Breakfast Club (can I just assert here that I DID actually scoff down my eggs and avocado on toast and that the food wasn’t just for show…), together with Colin McDowell, Mimma Viglezio and Imran Amed, we discussed the season that was. When it came to the subject of New York Fashion Week, the broad conclusion was that nothing really excited but I did speak up for the few young designers that are worth seeking out. Imran did say with the relentless schedule, this can be difficult to do. And with the severe weather in New York, even I had to minimise appointments. Wrists duly slapped as I missed out on seeing up and coming duo Area’s new A/W 15-6 collection.
Area are Piotrek Panzczyk and Beckett Fogg, both Parsons MA graduates who have garnered experience working at Calvin Klein, and Chloe but as their MA courses overlapped by a year, they decided to team up in 2013 to start their label. They happen on to a special embossing technique, which caught my eye last season as they very kindly gave me a t-shirt, shrink wrapped in dimpled plastic with hand-pressed nubbly dots impressed all over that are supposed to change over time. Regular washing would dull the texture and even create perforations that creates a unique punched pattern. It’s a t-shirt that is truly in flux as I’ve worn it to a holey death.
They have a special way of synthesising their references to that even for A/W 15-6 where they looked at members of sororities and an abstracted idea of sisterhood, what manifests are body conscious wool and lame pieces, punctuated with Area’s embossed dots and other methods of distressing fabrics. This sorority girl has gone wild and she’s hitting da club in tight arm warmers, elongated flares and for the purpose of lounging about at the afterparty, washed velvet overcoats and satin blousons. It’s a millennial walk of shame that showcases the duo’s predilection for tactile textures that immediately draw the eye in.
Their current S/S 15 collection, exclusive to Opening Ceremony at the moment also put the duo’s love of innovative textiles to good use as they used Leonardo DiCaprio’s youthful visage from The Basketball Diaries and had it carved into terry cloth bodysuits and cotton tops – a humorous take on sportswear. Even as they mined that familiar language of sports-derived oversized silhouettes and Kate Moss-inspired slip dresses, with their embossed language and interesting touchy-feely denims and cottons make their obvious referencing, not so obvious. Area are exploring the sort of hidden depths that in today’s Insta-culture can be a bit lost. As I’ve been repeatedly calling for, perhaps a thorough edit on the NYFW schedule wouldn’t go amiss so that we don’t miss the gems actually worth seeing.