3 posts tagged "Osklen"
Everything’s coming up Rio this season. At last week’s much-buzzed-about Fashion Rio shows, we couldn’t help but get a little jealous after seeing all the island-ready prints and colors. (How many vacation days do we have left?) We were particularly drawn to Oskar Metsavaht’s latest swimwear offering at Osklen. For the first time, the designer—who also presents ready-to-wear in New York—focused solely on his swim range, which he designed in collaboration with stylish jet-setters Bianca Brandolini and Alexia Niedzielski. A first look at the collection debuts exclusively here. “While our customers know and love our swimwear, I wanted to increase visibility through our runway show,” Metsavaht told Style.com. “[Bianca and Alexia] are half-Brazilian, half-French, so [they] embody our mood, carioca mixing elegance and cosmopolitism.”
Niedzielski cited the French Riviera of the fifties and sixties and photos taken there by Slim Aarons as the main sources of inspiration. Luckily, there were no string bikinis in sight. “We wanted to explore new bikini shapes,” she said. “This is very new for Brazil, as they are used to tiny, mini bikinis! We wanted to revisit retro cuts in a modern, Brazilian way.” Bustier-style tops, high-waisted bottoms, and molded cups had a pinup vibe, but metallic finishes, saturated colors, and tropical prints packed a modern punch. “We wanted to stay faithful to the Osklen DNA by using all of these beautiful patterns of Rio and Brazil’s luxe vegetation,” she added.
Niedzielski and Brandolini also knew exactly what women look for in a swimsuit. “We really tried to design for lots of different women. Our mothers with elegant one-piece suits, our sisters with more cheeky cuts and jumpsuits…We named each piece according to someone we know,” they explained.
Not vacation-bound? Not a problem. Many of the pieces could easily transition from beach to street, blurring the line between swimwear and ready-to-wear. All the more reason to stock up. “I really think we created a collection that is original and new, a balance between the chic European style with the sexy Brazilian beach culture,” Metsavaht said.
“My winter collection is inspired by my summer collection,” Osklen’s Oskar Metsavaht told us at São Paulo fashion week. That last one was a minimalist take on carnival, but this season he’s reining in the samba for more somber tones. “All my work is about duality. I juxtapose symbolic, textural, conceptual, and visual opposites,” he explained. A felt bikini—not exactly what one would think of for fun in the sun—illustrated the point. “The choice in fabric was inspired by the Soviet Union’s army coats that they wore in winter and humanity’s first attempts to wrap themselves in animal skins.”
The person wearing the bikini probably would have accomplished more in boosting morale than in keeping warm during the fighting at Stalingrad. But that felt turned out to be a key fabric for Metsavaht’s collection. His sculpted dresses, menswear-style jackets, and molded coats were beautifully crafted, and their hard edges and overt seams were architectural, almost a mirror of the city’s modern skyline. Even an excursion to warmer climes—by way of a series of tropical-print pieces—kept the urban scene close in mind, rendering the usually vibrant landscape prints in tough, cool cityscape grays.
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.