"Ostwald Helgason" is a bit of a mouthful. But you might as well get used to saying it, because this London-based line is going places, fast. Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason's clothes are confirmed street-style favorites, and since their brand made its New York fashion week debut last season, it has been picked up by several pacesetting stores, including Louis Boston and Ikram. That momentum should only increase with this collection. The theme here was a hilarious one: a punning juxtaposition of French Symbolist poets, notably Charles Baudelaire, author of Les Fleurs du Mal, and the campy Little Shop of Horrors, a musical about a bad flower. The latter reference served as fodder for the designers' spirited riff on Americana; the poetry, meanwhile, they parlayed into an homage to the textile designer William Morris, a contemporary of the Symbolists.
It also inspired the duo's first forays into tailoring, for which they have a knack. A neat suit of Morris-esque gold brocade, with neoprene lapels on the jacket, was a collection highlight. So too the board shorts in Morris-inspired silk floral prints—a minor quibble, here, was that these looks didn't seem particularly appropriate to Fall. But then, it seems mean-spirited, and perhaps even unwise, to quibble with any item of clothing featuring a cannibal flower. The board short print had one, and the joke was sophisticated and funny. Which is a pretty good way of summing up the Ostwald Helgason modus operandi; they seem to work from the position that having a good time needn't come at the expense of intelligence and refinement.
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