Restricted softness by AREA RTW 04
‘This season, as lockdowns and regulations began lifting around the world, we wanted to explore the contrast and similarities between restriction and softness.
Our research started with the study of corsetry through the ages. Designed for support in the 1400’s, it was later seen as corrective and restrictive by the early 20th century. With modern-day corsetry being celebrated as reclamation of femininity and confidence, we constructed corset tops and dresses emphasized with lines of crystal in vegan leather and stretch bonded suiting. Corset lacing as motif was also used in tailoring and denim.
From corsetry, we looked at lingerie through a 1920’s lens. We crafted a fringed negligee dress, balconette bra, and thong panty all in crystal cup-chain, giving a precious feel to intimates.
Conservative styles restricted for the office became playful and erogenous. Cropped blazer-skirt sets are realized in a multi/jade colored Italian tweed, and traditional black and white hounds tooth is re-rendered in our signature heart motif. The novelty suitings are finished with hand-embroidered crystal fringe, creating the illusion of frayed edges.
Knitwear this season was developed into ultra-soft, distressed, mohair pullovers and oversized cardigans in lilac and black, adorned with crystal bows with pearl accents.
In exploring softness, we connected remotely with Chinese designer Dingyun Zhang. Interested in each other’s techniques we wanted to collaborate on a range of lux outerwear by contrasting AREA’s signature crystal embroidery with Dingyun’s XXL down puffers. Starting with a jacket and vest, we expanded the range to a puffer bra and skirt trimmed with baroque and lattice motifs.
For our RTW 04 campaign we worked with Italian photographer Zoe Natale Manella, and London-based stylist Danielle Emerson to visualize the idea of restricted softness and create an inflated playroom filled with sleek, after-dark glamour. Zoe’s use of angles to highlight the body and movement combine a sense of surrealism with sensuality. Like AREA, her work beautifully demands presence and exudes confidence.’
– AREA (Beckett & Piotrek)