spfw: alexandre herchcovitch

(images via ffw)

i’ve always thought it was, like, totally awesome that while basically every other designer in existence wants to premiere their collections at one of the mainstream fashion weeks (even when it means getting almost no attention), alexandre herchcovitch has remained loyal to his homeland and kept on keepin’ on presenting his work at são paulo fashion week with regularity, which is also kind of funny considering how ahead-of-time we are, now into the s/s 2014 season.

anyway, though i don’t think i’ve ever disliked–or would wish to bitch about–the designer’s work (see a/w 2010, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, pre-fall 2012, a/w 2012, s/s 2013, a/w 2013), for the upcoming season i’d say that there was a definite animale vibe to the black-and-white-and-animal-seductiveness of what he was presenting, maybe mixed in with a little bit of alexander wang’s a/w 2010 range, which is presumably fitting, as both were allegedly inspired (at least in part) by the late nineties for their respective works.

right, so. a little bit varying depending upon the actual source (and we’ll get to the above assertions in just a moment), the brazilian site closet online (and a couple of others) contended that there was (trans.) “(a) hint of the 1920s, and a striking and melancholy soundtrack, as Herchcovitch opened a music box to remember the past. Regardless of specific themes, the muse of Alexandre comes overflowing elegance this summer. The designer chose a more adjusted to body shape: midi skirts and dresses or knee-length and with some ruffles on the hems, cropped bustiers, sequined pants, light coats, and lots of asymmetry fluidity.”

other sites wanted to argue that connection to the great gatsby, apparently the only work of art the jazz age ever produced, or so the fashionies seem to believe since they mention it each and every time a designer evokes the decade (ad nauseum, methinks, much as i do love the novel, and the period), but whatever, mr. herchcovitch himself told elle that (trans.) “‘(i)t’s a reinterpretation of my work, things I’ve done before’…He said the idea began with bands involving the entire body of the models…It was from these stripes – black and white – another pattern that has emerged from the collection, a zebra with an ethnic [vibe].”

in other words, though i think we could easily argue that there’s some of the helmut lang heyday late nineties/mid-2000s minimalism at play here (i was thinking of mr. lang’s last rtw collection for his label, for the s/s 2005 season), as well as more than a little of balenciaga‘s future-as-seen-through-the-eye-of-the-past (or at least, that thing it used to have), also circa the s/s 2005 season, we’re also seeing that tribalist aesthetic that is the aforementioned animale’s forte. and maybe, of course, balenciaga under nicolas ghesquière. ahem.

anyway, in the end, that rendered into dresses that at once felt like a mesh of masculine and feminine, with the pinstripes of traditional tailored suiting playing together with delicate lacy lingerie-esque bits, and some unexpected cut-aways and sheer elements that left for a collection that felt wholly about the juxtapositions–urban and ethnic (say, the pin and the zebra stripes), man vs. woman (as mentioned just a moment ago), day vs. evening, and so on. it was quite clever, as it was wearable, if sometimes definitely pushing a few boundaries.

in terms of texiles and all of that noise, vogue noted much as i just did that we saw (trans.) “duchese satin stamped with cotton and silk, and often mixed with lace,” as well as some leather and crepe de chine action also at play. the palette was rather limited, with most black and white action going down, as well as a flash of gunmetal gray, and some lovely amethyst for a bit of spice mixed in towards the end, although as the brazilian site aremo pointed out, the designer wasn’t shy of his prints this time ’round.

anyway, elsewhere, the brazilian website costanza pascolato (chew on that for a while, will you) relayed how the designer (trans.) “reinterpreted – so smart and mature – his Summer Collection for 1998/99 that was provocative and experimental. His technique and vision have evolved.” unfortunately, the internet hates the nineties, and it’s not often we’re able to locate the images of the wayback, although i always find myself rather vexed that people can’t just, yannow, upload their archives. except vivienne westwood, who offers amazing archives on her site. alas.

but i’m sorry, what were we saying? ah, yes, that the brazilian site chic gloria kalil, in all of their stuffiness didn’t quite get it, and ffw did. it was a study in contrasts, and it was supremely wearable, to boot, if not necessarily the kind of all-encompassing wardrobe some kids like to find on the catwalk. as do i, at times. but no matter, mr. herchcovitch is edgy, and forward-thinking, even as he’s revisiting the past. but sometimes that can feel like the right thing to do. and oh, how i do miss the nineties.

(enjoy the fashion show video here)

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