The first thing you couldn’t miss were the thousands of small gold link chains that had been painstakingly hung from the ceiling. They were strung so close together they created a sort of architecture for the Spring/Summer 2020 AREA showing in New York.
Designed by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk, the show took the name plate necklace, an accessory ‘pioneered by African Americans in the 80s and 90s,’ as the starting point. It’s departure? There were quite a few listed on the press release: cultural exchange, Romanic Neo-Victorian modernism, and 50s/60s Americana.
Before we get too intellectualized with cultural references, this is ultimately a collection about excess as seen through different points in history.
Excess has always been present in fashion, perhaps the words are even synonymous, and that is the greater point we took from the show. How excess is expressed over time is what changes. Shapes that recall the post-war ‘New Look,’ Gingham check patterns, and nods to couture were the symbols of excess for their time just as gold jewelry was to Cleopatra. This is a show that is primarily concerned with flattening excess, global culture, and time.
What results is not a singular silhouette governed by occasion or social norms, but a wardrobe full of inhibition and self-expression.
Explore the show below. Images courtesy of AREA.