Sorority and Pop Culture at Ostwald Helgason
At MADE, we love nothing more than a party—there is always something to celebrate. Last season Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason heralded the label’s 10-year anniversary, and today the party spirit continued in riotous style. Think confetti pants, shimmering mylar, and a graphic printed balloon animal puppies doing the nasty. It was a brilliant segue from their moniker royalist color blocking into the world of luxe pop art, voluminous textiles and the chic eroticism fit for a Scandinavian sorority girl with mounds of school spirit. What once screamed "Look at me! Take my photo!" has transitioned into a seductive, "You look interested. Stay awhile. Let’s get to know each other."
A periodic table’s worth of metals shone out—a copper anorak here, and a reflective bronze trench there. Soft neoprene, digital Ikat prints and Van Gogh paint strokes popped up, too. Keen eyes will spot nods to Jackson Pollock in the splatter-paint blouses and Andy Warhol in obtuse scuba tops adorned with silk screened fruit—a half peeled banana was a nod to The Velvet Underground’s famous album cover. But it wasn’t all tongue in cheek—there was an expensive and precious quality to it all, and the genius of their girl is that she will throw a casual t-shirt under a strapless bustier dress to keep it young. And should a mid-calf length skirt feel too grown up, hers has a handkerchief hem and sheer inserts revealing a slash of thigh.
The design team, whose fans range from fashion (front row peacocks Susie Bubble, Mira Duma and Leandra Medine) to music (Beyonce and Solange Knowles) have a "Music and Lyrics" working relationship. Ostwald is the lead on incorporating color and art references into the design, while Helgason controls the shape and structure of the pieces—something he says comes from his Icelandic roots. Having grown up in one of the coldest places on earth, Helgason says, “designing a fall winter collection is much easier”. Ostwald and Helgason might have a church and state approach to working, but whichever of them decided to climax the show with Khia’s “My Neck, My Back” track deserves a high five. It got us all right in the party mood.
Photography by Koury Angelo, Andrew Boyle, Anthony Cabaero and Joe Marquez
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