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Anna K Celebrates Fashion's Space Invaders

The title of Anna K’s Fall/Winter ’16 collection, which showed today with MADE Fashion Week, is “Guest from the Future,”—an ode to millennials, which makes sense if you know anything about the designer. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, and now based in both Kiev and Paris, the designer began modeling at the ripe age of 14, showed her first collection in London at 16, and now, at 20 years old, is the youngest designer to show in Milan, London, New York, and Paris.

There aren’t many 20-year-old designers who can check both “Colette collaboration” and “LuisaViaRoma collaboration” off their list of lifelong goals. Having already earned the approvals of such reputable fashion figures, Anna Karenina (no relation to Tolstoy) is an anomaly in the industry. Which most likely contributed to the theme of her collection. “Guests from the Future,” as she explains in the show notes, is akin to her generation, whom she describes as “space invaders in fashion.” Take one gander at some millennials’ layered, asthmatic, and logo-d street style looks, and you’ll see that she’s onto something; there are only two places these kids could’ve come from, and that’s Discount Universe or space.

And yet, Anna K’s interpretation of her generation managed to stay within cute and comely confines. Details from past collections trickled down into this one, such as ruffles, bows, and pearls. She mixed different plaids and fashioned them into dresses, skirts, and tops, and then threw on some space themed patches. There were diaphanous, flowy dresses—some pleated, others stamped with space age-y graphics— and a handful of looks that were adorned with illustrations of babies, and are part of her Happy Active Wear line. As for all the colorful shoes, you have Anna K’s collaboration with Giannico to thank. Most memorable of all were the leather skirt and jacket sets, which looked like a cross between Courrèges and a race car driver’s uniform.

The show’s space-y music culminated in a crescendo so booming and all-encompassing that I wouldn’t have been surprised if Anna K herself (who closed the show) shot up towards the sky with a fire spewing from her bum like a human rocket. If her goal was to promote and uplift her generation, she succeeded with flying (and mostly pastel) colors.

So you’re a model as well as a designer, right?

I started as a model at 14. And now every season, I model clothes in my show.

Cool. I love the collection by the way!

Thank you. My inspiration was space—guests from the future.

Was there a reason you were drawn to this theme?

On the one hand it’s [an interpretation of] space—the shapes of rockets and space costumes. On the other hand, there’s a bigger meaning, because guests from the future are like millennials. For example, I did a collaboration with Giannico shoes. [Nicolò Beretta, the founder,] is also 20 years old. So it’s like the next generation.

Were those shoes in this collection?

The loafers were designed by me. But the sneakers [and] the different colored shoes were Giannico’s.

I loved those. Is it true that you casted the models on Instagram?

Yes, I have two models from Instagram.

Cool. What was the baby print about?

It’s a small capsule collection, Happy Active Wear, for younger people. That’s why, in the first edition of this collection, all the [baby] characters were doing yoga. So in this collection she developed and added more.

More runway recaps, right this way

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