A New Sobriety At Osklen-------
Oskar Metsavaht, the designer of Osklen, went back to basics with his vision for Fall 2009 at São Paulo fashion week, sending out a stark, sculptural collection set against a digital backdrop depicting a rising sun. The experimental cuts caught the audience’s attention, but his message was even more compelling. His was the first collection since the financial crisis began that seemed to address the new economic and social reality head-on. This took on physical form as a neutral palette, and relaxed, natural makeup and dreadlocked hair contrasted with engineered fabrics and chunky, nerd-chic glasses. Even his use of embellishment, a typically blingy Brazilian trademark, was toned down to graphite metallic accents. The sentiment seemed to be that brains are the new beauty and substance is the new style. Will European and American collections follow the path of new sobriety as major banks continue to fail and layoffs swell the ranks of the unemployed or will they go in the opposite direction? We’ll be waiting to see.