ukrainian fashion week: andre tan

(images via ufw)

i know, i know, we were just chugging along so nicely, and thanks to my getting caught up in some other things, we’ve gotten rather behind again. but! we’re plugging along and trying to do our best, and ultimately that’s what matters, non? so here we are, taking a little bit longer than i’d hoped with kiev’s ukrainian fashion week, but nonetheless, at least we’re getting the opportunity to talk about the designers, so there, right?

and so now we’ll be breaking to discuss the a/w 2013 exhibition of designer andre tan (Андре Тан), whose work we’ve pretty consistently loved over the seasons (see s/s 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, a/w 2012, s/s 2013), if all the same i’m not sure i can easily pin down exactly what he’s about in a single word or phrase or two. for example, even though i’d like to say ‘structure,’ as that seems to have defined his recent work, he has even belied that in the course of our following his archival work.

well. i suppose all the same, we could argue that mr. tan has done a really nice job of keeping things young, modern, and tied in with the current trends of whatever season he’s addressing, whilst remaining loyal to whatever theme he has chosen, although for the upcoming fall, it’s a lot more fluid than we’ve been accustomed to of late, with his blog academy, explaining that the range, titled ‘the light’ is (trans.) “(f)ollow(ing) the philosophy of the importance of women’s inner beauty, giving each outfit a special magnetism, energy, inner strength and femininity.”

so take from that what you will, but i’m always personally kind of annoyed when designers chose these themes, which feel kind of like cop-outs on their part, invitations to kind of just paint whatever they feel like into their customers’ closets for the season, with no rigid structure binding them in. and honestly, that’s kind of what i felt mr. tan did for fall, with looks that at times felt like a reinvention of dorothy from the wizard of oz‘s standard gingham getup to sexier, more boundary-pushing futurism.

but anyway, on the critical end, the ufw site explained that “(g)raphic cut typical for classic smart couture style is supported by futurist lines which make the looks mysterious and romantic. ‘Light’ collection is made in base white, grey, electric blue colors. Symbiosis of comfortable cashmere, democratic leather, exquisite silk Richelieu with dry fabrics make the collection mysterious and dramatic to certain extent,” as the site ukrainian fashion concurred that it was kind of futuristic, whilst arguing that the emphasis was mainly placed upon the shoulder here.

then, suddenly, we were slapped with the analysis of the excellent ukrainian blog be in trend, and i was quite surprised to read that they weren’t wholly convinced either, ultimately arguing that, much as i did, his ideas didn’t flow, and while some of the collection was in a (trans.) “sophisticated librarian” vein, later, “separate things seemed out of context, as if superfluous.” to be sure, i guess we could argue that there are still some decent looks to be culled from the show, but after a few excellent collections in a row, i was hoping for something more. but instead it felt like mr. tan quit whilst he was ahead, taking the day off in lieu of pushing himself harder, further, as he’d been doing (and succeeding!) at.

(see the full fashion show video here)

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