Fashion designer KIKO KOSTADINOV presented the Fall Winter 2023.24 Collection with a show held on the last day of the recently finished Paris Fashion Week. In order to express new ideas inside the restrictive frame of ‘menswear’, Kiko Kostadinov’s latest collection proposes a revisionist slant on the forgotten figures that shaped the history of avant-garde women’s fashion. Anne-Marie Beretta, Krizia, Irene Lent and the Sorelle Fontana – nods to quiet superstars of the Italian canon are mingled with gestures from the graduate collection of Laura & Deanna Fanning, Kostadinov’s closest collaborators.
A geometric rigour emerges in conversation with colour – untamed and electric – that unfolds in a collection of both hybrid and modular garments in vermillion and magenta, grass green, chartreuse, violet, cobalt and teal. Dismantled tailoring is reassembled, furled and unfurled. Symmetries are challenged by the possibilities of drape and manipulation, creating moments of folkloric elegance.
The London-based Estonian painter Mariann Metsis contributes fragments of work to the collection: figurative canine forms and abstract colour fields that are applied as digital print, intarsia knitwear and sculptural hardware. Other decorative anomalies appear in the form of naive découpage: arts & crafts by Kostadinov’s maternal grandmother printed on blanket scarves and felted knitwear. Matching ensembles – suits in the loose sense of the term – create graphic two-tone contrasts in drying or felted wool, scored corduroy and crisp cotton, as pintucks, kite-shaped tabs and epaulettes create structure and movement. Utility is softened in sack-back capes and petal trenches, engineered blazers are encrusted with striped cotton lapels and chequerboard knit panels, and a detachable padded overcoat becomes a bolero and a belted skirt. Trouser silhouettes explore irregular patchwork and 360° volumes, tucking into highwayman boots or flowing over lace-up derbies and wave-sole scratch trainers. – from Kiko Kostadinov