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Reptilian Mermaid Seduction at AREA [NYFW]

Walking into an AREA show at MADE New York feels like you’ve checked reality at the door and entered the physical embodiment of a dream. With the floor to ceiling windows and sultry wood paneled walls of the Standard Hotel serving as the backdrop for designers Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg’s SS17 collection, we couldn’t help but feel like we had entered the anteroom at a Valley of the Dolls remake. Needless to say we were immediately in bliss, a feeling that became exacerbated with the intricate pieces comprising each look. “Every collection informs a new collection; it’s a continuum of what we’ve done before,” Panszczyk tells me as models walk towards us. It’s easy to see what he means, what with the emblematic embossing techniques and buckle shoes adorning nearly every outfit.

One look at their clothes makes it clear why AREA has very quickly made a big splash in the fashion scene, going from being an underground label to being CFDA Fashion Fund nominees. “That’s been opening a lot of doors, and everyone takes us a bit more seriously,” Panszczyk told us. “AREA is a bit different than what people are used to, which we think is a great thing,” added Fogg. “Finally people are starting to recognize us in a good way.” When asked who they picture wearing their clothes, Piotrek immediately responded with a laugh, “Everyone! That’s the goal.” With perfect look after perfect look grazing the runway, we’re sure that they can’t be far off.

The Look That Gave Us Life…

The monochromatic crocodile-embossed ensemble in a light reflecting emerald. Literally everything from head to toe (purse included) was cut from the same cloth, creating the perfect ensemble for when we want to engage in some reptilian mermaid cosplay.

We Can’t Wait to Wear This…

While we hop from beach party to beach party, all while stomping over our enemies in Nikes or buckle heels, and amassing a huge army of crocodiles, dalmatians, and pink poodles to be our entourage. Oh, and we’ll be having a cocktail too, thanks.

Adding to Our Shopping Lists…

All of the accessories, which are AREA’s newest venture. From lucite jewelry available in different colors and with or without sparkles, to rim-less reflective sunnies that are a straight up Star Trek x Tron hybrid, we nearly passed out, and not from heatstroke.

It’s in the Details…

AREA’s unique embossing style has become a huge staple of their brand, and this time they expanded their reach, playing with textures and fabrics. However, they’re not afraid to expand their horizons. “The biggest new thing was sunglasses, swim, and a lot of digital print, which we had never done,” said Piotrek.

The Takeaway…

The Parsons MFA grads create distinctly unique and beautiful pieces, something that comes from a natural symbiosis of inspirations. “We like to make a lot of historical research from FIT library with more contemporary references from Tumblr and Instagram,” said Fogg. When asked what’s on their moodboard, Panszczyk answered, “Marc Jacob’s old dog Tiger, a lot of Naomi Campbell, also a lot of 2003 Ralph Lauren collection pics-very American stellar things.” The future is bright, y’all.

Photos by Andy J. Scott

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