A-Cold-Wall continues to experiment at the border between couture and streetwear
The "survival kit" that was distributed to guests upon entry to the A-Cold-Wall show – featuring safety glasses, dust mask and earplugs – was somewhat foreboding to say the least... luckily, however, no storm or hurricane materialised! Just a masterful conceptual performance built around "man, shape and structure" and staged by the label's designer, Samuel Ross, to unveil his menswear collection for spring-summer 2019.
As the audience put on their masks and glasses in the former brasserie in which the show was to take place, a group of hooded figures appeared at the far end of the runway, advancing slowly to the deafening sound of an enormous fan, and wearing dusty tunics covered in ash-coloured dirt... as well as Nike sneakers designed by Samuel Ross. It's the second model that the designer has made for the sportswear brand, at least that's what the photo he posted on his Instagram account the day before the show suggests.
Afterwards, the first models appeared, wearing white sneakers, and asymmetric pants and gilets, which were variously peppered with pockets, zips, drawstrings and Velcro strips. The dominant code was evidently sportswear but pieces were also coupled with long scarves reaching down to the ground, one of which was made out of inflatable cushions like a life jacket.
The pants, which were modular and super comfortable, were made out of ultra-light nylon and could be opened at the sides or the front. Sometimes they were puffed out at different parts of the leg by padded pockets or bags attached with straps.
Leather or coloured wool shoulder yokes in old rose, golden yellow, red and blue, among other shades, lit up Ross' usually minimalist palette, and were worked into tops and even a coat which was aerated in the back by porthole-shaped openings.
The designer, a recent LVMH Prize finalist who has previously worked for Virgil Abloh, presented a particularly accomplished collection, managing to bring together wearability and creative exploration in perfect harmony. He innovated as much with the use of new textures (nylon, plastic, fishnet, space blankets, to name but a few) as with the structure of his apparel, playing with asymmetry and detachable pieces, creating clothes that can constantly evolve.
His accessories were also worthy of note, particularly the boldly shaped bags made by local artisans with 3D printers, and the micro-pouches that models wore hanging from their shoulders with thin tapes.
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