Ciel PR – AW14 picks

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Chris Lorimer of CielPR kindly invited me and my brother to visit the showroom to view (and try on) the upcoming AW14 collections of his clients. Given Chris’ attire and his partner’s label Jimmy D, I had expected to be greeted by a showroom full of amorphous black garments but to my (pleasant) surprise, CielPR has a diverse range of clients, ranging from avant garde conceptual designers through to accessible streetwear brands.

My brother and I had the opportunity to wander through the racks and find pieces that we liked – here were some of them.

1. Otsu Jacket
01 Otsu1

Otsu is a Japanese designer who is based in Wellington. The designs bring construction conventions and shapes from a traditional Japanese canon of dress together with a modern wearablility. The jacket takes reference from the Kimono, with square sleeves extending far beyond the shoulders to drape off the arms. The collar, starting with a split seam at the back, curves around the neckline to create a stunning drape at the back. The fabric used gives it a stunning volume at the back, and sits beautifully straight at the front. It also features functional pockets (yes). A rising sun motif is cleverly employed throughout the collection: sometimes it is sewn into panels, sometimes it is a belt, and other times it creates a neckline. The garments are executed in soft colours and thoughtfully chosen fabrics with their own texture and personality. The Japanese influence is always present: at times quiet, at times loud. It gives a feeling to the clothing that is fresh, but points to something deeper and more ancient. The collection maintains a strong design aesthetic, and it is one unique to Otsu.

01 Otsu2


2. Company of Strangers dress

02 COS1

We thought this asymmetrical dress from Company of Strangers was just beautiful. It was nice seeing the bluish Payne’s grey layering surprisingly well with blacks as well as neutrals, and the silk georgette made the fabric flow beautifully with the body. The dress falls downwards from the shoulders, but the drapery is broken by hems and seams which have been hitched up and sewn into place in a highly considered randomness. The split and twisted hem on one half hitches the dress up to create beautiful flow and movement within the garment. It really moves with a body in a way that only high quality silk does.

02 COS2

It was interesting to see a garment which had more detailing on the back than the front. Overall we thought this was a great example of structured pieces which are masterfully undone by fabric drops and asymmetry.


3.  Maaike top

03 X-Plain2

This garment is all about textures; reflecting the feel of the entire collection. A chiffon and a sport mesh are put together to show a contrast between two very different blacks. We loved how this garment bunches around the shoulders and hung down from the neck. The almost invisible belt made simply from a thin strap of silk and a single metal ring completed this piece.

03 X-Plain1

The textiles which make up this collection range from custom printed silks, cotton, leather and intarsia wool knit. Despite the uniform colour, the blacks contrast and show movement and volume through the different textiles used in the garments. Classic Maaike.


4. X-Plain long vest

05 long sleeveless cape

The matte and gritty linen against the solid shiny vinyl collar-panel on this floor-length X-Plain sleeveless coat plays on a hard juxtaposition of materials. The black collar which follows up the length of the body, around the neck, then back down, combined with the lighter linen body lengthens the figure to a straight up-and-down to create a dramatic column-like silhouette. The unshaped waist lends to the flow of the garment, and pattern has been cut so that the garments has a slight flare outwards from the shoulders right down to the floor. 

5. Kowtow jacket

06 Kowtow

This stone-grey blazer by Kowtow is made of organic cotton twill – turning what is traditionally formal and highly structured into something soft, movemental and casual. The white grid-print references the appearance of cotton fibres when observed up close and under the microscope.  The slanted panel pockets provide some simple detailing that is echoed in the open cross-over in the back, which also gives the garment ease of movement and breaks up the horizontal-vertical grid of the pattern.

07 kowtow2

Collection after collection, the signature aesthetic of Kowtow’s diverse range of organic cotton products is its sober but relaxed and natural feeling. The designs and the colours are cool yet approachable, stern yet friendly. Steven tried the jacket on upside-down, as he is wont to do. We think it looks better the way Kowtow intended though. 

– Chris & Steven

Author: Chris Park

One half of the Park Brothers. Purveyor of banter, curator of misc. Manage comms for @BuoyandMine. Read More

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