IRINA SCHROTTER SPRING/SUMMER 2017

This week I have stumbled upon an article announcing a very interesting exhibition which will be hosted by The Museum of Modern Art in New York, entitled Items: Is Fashion Modern? . In this article, its writers reference an older exhibition, bearing a similar name (Are Clothes Modern?) held in the same museum, curated by the architect and designer Bernard Rudofsky. In the exhibition’s press release, while trying to explain the importance of such an exhibition for the understanding of modernity, he states: “It is strange that dress has been generally denied the status of art, when it is actually a most happy summation of aesthetic, philosophic and psychological components. While painting, sculpture and dance have very definite limitations, dress at its best not only comprises notable elements of these arts, but its sovereign expressiveness through form, color, rhythm – it has to be worn to be alive – its intimate relation to the very source and standard of all esthetic evaluations, the human body, should make it the supreme achievement among the arts.”

The Romanian brand irina schrotter, since its rebranding, five years ago, when Lucian Broscățean became the designer of the brand, had as main focus the exploration of femininity through a constant questioning of what modern means for fashion. In the spring/summer 2017 collection, presented last week at MQ Vienna Fashion Week, the irina schrotter team, composed of Lucian Broscățean (who is now the Creative Director of the brand), Carmen Cherecheș and Diana Flore who are the designers, offered us a well-constructed exploration of femininity. The dress, which represented the central focus of this exploration, was deconstructed in such a subtle manner that it made me reevaluate its importance. Often times the dress is seen as a piece of clothing, embodying the fragility and the preciousness of a woman, but a dress can be much more than that. Its versatility and its aesthetical power were impeccably rendered in irina schrotter’s collection. Meticulously designed details were subtly placed on new types of silhouette, flattering volumes, and asymmetric shapes. The color pallet dominated by white, powder pink, ivory, and pearlescent shades was a very tricky choice made by the designers, because they tend to overwhelm the viewer, and can easily seem repetitive and flat. The fact that it did quite the opposite is an achievement in design and craftsmanship. I very much liked the laser-cut accessories made out of plexiglas, veneer and transparent foil, a very fresh attempt to introduce the logo of the brand in the styling of the collection.

The reason why I referenced Bernard Rudofsky’s quote at the beginning was not at all random. Although I don’t fully agree with his point of view on the matter, I find his approach interesting, and although his exhibition dates back to the 1940’s, his discourse is still very relevant today. His attempt to reexamine the importance of clothing in the artistic discourse seems to me similar to irina schrotter’s attempt to rethink the importance of the dress in the discourse about femininity/feminism in the 21st century. As clothing still struggles to obtain its autonomy in the art world, the dress still struggles to become more than an accessory of a romanticized view on femininity, when in fact it is much more than that.

Creative Director – Lucian Broscățean
Designers: Diana Flore & Carmen Cherecheș
Technical Department Coordinator – Aurora Gongescu
Fashion Show Stylist – Ovidiu Buta
Make-up Artist – Alexandru Abagiu
Accesories – Diana Flore în colaborare cu Woven Atelier
Shoes – Ego
Music – Blanilla
Photos – Raluca Ciornea

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Architecturing Collaborations – Irina Schrotter spring-summer 2016

Last Friday, the Romanian brand Irina Schrotter presented its spring – summer 2016 collection during MQ Vienna Fashion Week. This is the third consecutive season in which the brand’s collection is showcased on the official schedule of this event. A soothing feeling of accomplishment transcended this collection because Lucian Broscatean succeeded once again to reinforce the brand’s identity. Relevance, consistency and emotion are the three concepts which represent the basis of Lucian Broscatean’s reconfiguration of the brand since 2012 when the Romanian avant-garde designer started his collaboration with Irina Schrotter.

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There is a sense of easy at the heart of this collection. This may be due to the cleverly orchestrated play on textile surfaces, the use of a relaxed pallet of colors such as beige, ochre, white, navy blue, or the predominance of one – piece outfits which can function as standalone pieces or can be easily combined with other garments existent in ones wardrobe. By just looking at the collection one can easily identify the characteristics of the woman envisioned by Lucian Broscatean, together with his two assistant designers – Carmen Chereches and Diana Flore. She is sensitive and sophisticated, discreetly powerful, unapproachably sexy. She knows that clothes can have a functional side, but also an aesthetical one, that is why sometimes, when she is complimented on her outfit, she mentions the cultural and artistic references that her clothes carry within them: “I love this dress; it’s so functional, like a Bauhaus project”. The geometric cuts, the asymmetries which reshape the silhouette and the patterns which can be reconfigured through styling could be related with the Bauhaus movement, but more than a literal reference, it is the idea of a creative collaboration which may link Irina Schrotter’s collection to the movement. There were the shoes designed by Mihaela Glavan which is a long time collaborator with Irina Schrotter, and the two models promoting the collection in the campaign images – Larisa Citea (one of Irina Schrotter’s favorite model) and Fica Balancan (one of Lucian Broscatean’s favorite model), and the consistent input of Carmen Chereches and Diana Flore that have succeeded in creating a coherent and relevant collection.

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Photos – Emil Costrut

Displaced Dreams in Displaced Shapes

In the article entitled “Sign of the Time”, Cathy Horyn signals a change in today’s fashion: “If you accept that fashion reflects the times — and I do — then you have to concede that in this respect Slimane has been impressive, even prescient. His Saint Laurent collections perfectly capture the mood and values of the present. The need for simple messages. The triumph of branding.” She gives Slimane as an example because his clever move at the house of Saint Laurent will surely be mentioned in the future as an important moment in the shift from wearable ideas to wearable clothes. Hedi Slimane’s first collections for Saint Laurent were controversial because they weren’t desirable for the fashion critics and journalists, but they were extremely desirable for the public. And according to fashion journalist Cathy Horyn, the commercial desirability of fashion is a sign of our times.

I have always been a fashion spectator, observing fashion through a screen, or on the pages of magazines, and although the majority of my wardrobe consists of wearable and almost boring pieces, I always loved watching a collection that had a story behind it, a collection that made me dream or made me think. Maybe because I perceive fashion from a romantic point of view. But fashion is not only for dreaming; it is a functioning economic system that thrives on consumer’s dreams and succeeds in turning them into reality.

Irina Schrotter’s collection for spring/summer 2015 was presented during MQ Vienna Fashion Week. Her forth collection in collaboration with the Romanian conceptual designer Lucian Broscatean is entitled Displaced Shapes and intertwines in a process of assimilation the conceptual tools used by Lucian Broscatean in his personal collections with the commercial desirability of Irina Schrotter’s brand. The reason why I have referenced Cathy Horyn’s article is because I sensed in Schrotter’s collection a new type of modernity similar to the one discussed by the fashion journalist. The interplay between color blocking, black and white structures and digital prints compose easy-to-wear pieces that are desirable for women who do not seek meaning in their clothes but comfort and care-free elegance. The visual/cultural/artistic references on which Lucian Broscatean constructed or deconstructed the former collections for Irina Schrotter were not mentioned in this collection, but his solid background in those fields was still present. He understands that in the process of fashion democratization a hermeneutical approach seems somehow futile. Meaning is simplified so that it can reach a larger audience. The clothes have learnt how to speak for themselves. As for dreamers like me, the dream doesn’t have to end, it just has to become more lucid.irina schrotter SS 2015

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Designer – Lucian Broscățean

Print Design  – Carmen Cherecheș

Shoes – Mihaela Glăvan

Accessories – Carmen Cherecheș & Diana Flore

Hairstyle – Cristina Micu, Simina Cheteleș & Raul Tișa

Photo credit – Emil Costruț

 

Smaranda Almasan: primavara-vara 2014

Designerul Smaranda Almasan ne propune pentru sezonul primavara-vara 2014 o garderoba in care elemente din vestimentatia masculina sunt mixate cu cele din vestimentatia feminina, imprimeurile exotice functioneaza ca antidot pentru o lume in alb si negru, iar asimetriile semnaleaza prezenta unei rupturi in realitatea cotidiana. Colectia prezentata in cadrul MQ Vienna Fashion Week are ca punct de pornire  romanul halucinant al lui Boris Vian, Spuma Zilelor. Elemente care sustin atmosfera suprarealista din cadrul romanului au fost folosite de designer cu scopul de a-si construi un univers care asculta de alte reguli, un univers intim, un univers in care hainele reflecta starea sufleteasca a purtatorului.

Lejeritatea ansamblurilor vestimentare, tuşele de umor contureaza o realitate fictiva prin intermediul careia designerul ne dezvaluie, intr-o maniera personala, propria noastra realitate.

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Calatorii printre carari (i)luminate

Irina Schrotter a ales sa isi prezinte colectia pentru primavara-vara 2014 in cadrul Saptamanii Modei din Viena (MQ Vienna Fashion Week) continuandu-si astfel colaborarea fructuoasa cu designerul Lucian Broscatean, pe partea de design vestimentar, si cu Mihaela Glavan pe partea de design de accesorii.  „Lighted Paths”, numele dat colectiei, ne dezvaluie reperele simbolice pe care trebuie sa le luam in considerare atunci cand alegem sa descifram intelesurile presarate printre cararile (i)luminate.

Daca ramanem in zona de analiza simbolica putem realiza legatura armonios tesuta intre cele trei colectii ale Irinei Schrotter in colaborare cu Lucian Broscatean: „Shapes of Light” (colectia primavara-vara 2013) contureaza prin transparente identitatea unei noi feminitati, „Immersed Self” (colectia toamna-iarna 2013/2014) pare a fi o perspectiva introspectiva a acestei noi identitati, iar „Lighted Paths” devine astfel o calatorie initiatica la sfarsitul careia intregul proces de redescoperire, de reinventare, de regasire capata sens. 1

Calatoria pe care ne-o propun cei doi designeri este una ciclica, alegerea celor doua ansambluri vestimentare in intregime albe care deschid si inchid show-ul devin astfel chei de „lectura”. Ansamblurile nu sunt identice, pentru ca joaca subtila cu simbolurile nu este una manierista, ci este o joaca vizuala consistenta. Colectia are un ritm intern atent  masurat. Suprapunerile imaculate ale tinutelor de la inceputul prezentarii sunt acompaniate de solo-uri puternice de verde smarald, oranj, fuchsia, culminand cu invazia imprimeurilor luxuriante dirijate de mana artistei Agnes Keszeg. Detaliile minutioase ale matasurilor imprimate ne dezvaluie franturi dintr-un taram imaginar cu iz oriental. Acestea se unduiesc pe ritmurile adierilor de vant, ademenindu-ne simturile. Pana si pantofii, creati special pentru aceasta colectie de Mihaela Glavan contribuie la hipnoza indusa de miscarile naucitoare ale asimetriilor subtile. Baretele fine din piele se incolacesc pe gambele manechinelor, iar tocurile filiforme lasa in urma lor ecouri discrete ale pasilor tuturor celor care au strabatut aceste carari (i)luminate. 234

5Versuri dintr-una din poeziile lui Robert Frost imi revine mereu in minte la fiecare noua vizionare a colectiei: „Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Colectia Irinei Schrotter realizata in colaborare cu Lucian Broscatean, accesorizata de Mihaela Glavan si pictata de Agnes Keszeg ni se dezvaluie a fi o calatorie creativa, initiata de individualitati aparte care ne impartasesc franturi din propriile lor trasee existentiale. Indiferent de drumul ales si strabatut de fiecare, intalnirea finala e cea care da sens calatoriei.   6

Credit foto – Daniel Robu