PFW SS19: Akris

MANY great women have inspired fashion collections. This season for PFW SS19, Albert Kriemler of Swiss fashion house Akris has chosen to celebrate the spirit and joie de vivre of Romanian artist Geta Brătescu. Brătescu is well known for a complex oeuvre that consists drawing, collage, object, photography and performance. Kriemler first discovered Brătescu at the Documenta 14 art fair in Athens, and soon, they forged a friendship after an invitation by the artist to visit her studio and exchange ideas for a collaboration. Two months later, Kriemler returned with the collection, much to the joy of the artist. And thus is the tale behind the Akris SS19 collection that was shown yesterday at Ledoyen Pavillion in Paris.

“I was fascinated by the light in her eyes. She embodied the spirit and life force of a young person,” recalls Kriemler. Indeed, although the multimedia artist was 92 when this collection was conceptualised, the collection itself is playful, fun and young. Take for instance, the bright yellow poncho punctuated by cartoon eyes and lips (inspired by the artist’s 2011 portrait), or the multiple electric pink pleated ensembles.

Kriemler injected playfulness in even the most formal or serious pieces: a white gown is painted in graphic black lines while fully black suit features a primary-coloured cartoon detailing at the sleeves. The Romanian artist’s influence was also palpable in the first few looks – flowy pleated dresses and edgy trench coats made out of a print featuring Brătescu’s work, Magnets in the City (1974).

Sadly, this tale came to an end when Brătescu passed away on September 19, almost two weeks before the show. The collection is a homage to her and how she made playfulness a serious pursuit in art, as well as a commemoration of her short but meaningful friendship with Kriemler. Her legacy lives on.

by Kay Leong



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