Wednesday, January 22, 2014
KS Swim Ruins
KS Swim, the little sister/ aquatic branch of Australian designer Karla Spetic have done it again delivering lycra swimsuits wrapped around one skinny blond model. The photo shoot takes place in a post-apocalyptic industrial site making the popping colours and bright tones even more visible, matched with New Balance runners- because occupational health and safety applies to everyone. That includes models who can't possibly be from this planet. Anyway! The theme of this season's collection is Egyptian characters and design which has been modified for a Western palette, with not a dusty sandstone tablet in sight.
The editing has an undeniably Internet vibe to it- but it's still very clever and seamless condensing different poses in the same outfit together. I really have to tip my hat to it- no one has really embraced or acknowledged this modern and lively take on showcasing fashion. Even the fashion collections of Karla Spetic remain in the safe realm of a well lit studio and professional photographs focusing on the clothes themselves and not venturing outside of that space to create a narrative. They've been able to explore another identity within the brand, allowing it to expand and grow. For lesser known Australian brands, this is imperative in order to survive a fickle industry.
One-pieces, bikini bottoms and halter tops alike have been illuminated by wild patterns and prints- and as you must know by know I'm all about digital prints and wacky designs. But I'm not really wild about swimming or going to the beach, even during summer. If I had to imagine my dream combination I would love to wear any of these designs underneath a sheer shirt or one of the dreamy pieces from the Molly Goddard Asos collaboration. It would give the illusion of a ghostly dress engulfing Egyptian ruins but also give me peace of mind that I wasn't totally exposed. A brilliant plan- no? Too bad I don't own either piece, I have to stop solving my wardrobe problems with items I don't own and falling in love with such expensive clothes.
The gritty environment and the trashy aesthetic of a junk yard was the perfect backdrop to emphasise the clean lines and bright colours of the swimwear line. It's very different, you won't see anything like it in Vogue but it still has a shiny, elusive editorial vibe to it. And while I would love to imitate this photo shoot I think my family and friends would all be concerned if I wanted to plan a field trip to the local dump... a real shame that. But this is exactly the kind of stuff I want to unearth when I trawl the Internet and look at fashion online- be it runways or photo shoots or street style I like the very different and unique. If people aren't already sitting up straight and paying attention to Karla Spetic, now would be a good time to hop on the band wagon.
Another surprise to come from this collection was the effortless use of stripes everywhere and I literally mean everywhere. Whether they were subordinate to the Egyptian alphabet or taking centre stage they were there. Even though I am made about my prints and patterns, vertical stripes haven't managed to worm their way into my wardrobe. I suppose it has a lot to do with the personal style of my mother being so stripe-oriented I felt I needed to be anti-stripe growing up. If that makes any sense. But this style is far different from the sedate tastes of my mother and I would be happy to fly the flag for breath-taking designs of Australian designers. As March approaches and Melbourne Fashion Week draws ever closer, this will be on my mind a lot.
To maximise the gorgeous prints and high-impact designs I would love to wrap myself in a one piece. Although I have bikinis and stuff to wear they have more to do with peer pressure and expectations one faces in high school rather than how I feel about my own body or my personal style. So wearing one of these bad boys is a nice compromise- it shows my narcissism, my willingness to invest in a brand but in a way that caters to my personal tastes. Fashion isn't about dressing for men, or necessarily feeling sexy but should be a fun and an exercise in self-exploration. This collection dances on the knife's edge of those two ideals. So if you want to feel sexy, whip your hair back and forth in a bikini. If however, you are like me and just want to wear fun designs there is also something to tickle your fancy.
I was a bit shocked at the choice of New Balance footwear at first, but after giving it some thought it did seem like an intuitive counterpart to this collection. They're sporty, trendy and brightly coloured, but overall remain subordinate to the swimwear itself. I always immediately question the use of high heels in poolside photo shoots with swimwear- like, is there a person who actually wears Jimmy Choo with a bikini? Whereas this partnership is actually believable in the magical land of fashion and celestial beings and editorials and high powered cameras. While I remain opposed to the beauty standards set by their choice of models, yet again, I am impressed with the work of KS Swim and can't wait to see what they come up with next year.
*Karla Spetic Swim SS13/14 Lookbook via oystermag.com