“We’ve been around for about 10 years now, which is kind of a milestone. It was really kind of looking back, but mostly looking forward and how we can evolve and what is this new perspective on Area,” said Piotrek Panszczyk backstage at his spring ready-to-wear and couture collection show.
Panszczyk’s spring lineup was inspired by black-and-white cartoon eyes from the 1920s, or more popularly known as “googly eyes,” using the famed plastic item within a surrealist landscape onto the brand’s signature elements, unifying commercial pieces with the lavish and artful creations that the brand is known for.
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For Panszczyk, eyes provide a sense of introspection, especially during a time when younger generations began to “open their eyes” so to speak and create new formats of self-expression. The motif was utilized literally and replicated in an almost psychedelic manner, from multi-googly eye halter tops in brass and enamel paired with a miniskirt with an explosion of the eye motif overlapping and some even extending outward as flowers; oversize eyelet leather tailored coats paired with a matching skirt and headpiece, and an embroidered oversize eye chest plate.
The focal motif was also reinterpreted into graphic dalmatian spots and seen on denim jacquard flowy capes with embroidered crystals in black, oversize shirtdresses and even halter dresses with flower-shaped cutouts and ruffles that would even have Cruella de Vil fawning over.
“It also needs to have something very intuitional and desirable just by looking at it, so I think fusing those two worlds together was really important,” said Panszczyk.
The brand’s signature crystals were blown up in several proportions and utilized as oversize belts, as the core of blooming flowers and an all crystal look consisting of a halter top and skirt with dripping strands, all donning a light pink hue, and topped with a matching face mask.
Vibrant Pop Art graphics from the ’60s were also present via the use of blooming flowers, adding a sensibility of the Mod era, with touches of soft pink, as seen on floor-length dresses with an oversize black and pink flower motif and laser cut leather eyelet minidresses with silver hardware as the pupil detail.
“Many new customers also don’t really know from us the denim portion of our business, only the client who already kind of buys from our worlds, so for us it was really important to put that next to looks that are super major and creative,” Panszczyk told WWD.
Panszczyk made a strong case for his denim offering, sending down pared-down looks featuring a basic white tank with a well-tailored denim jean, a denim skort, and even a cropped tailored denim jacket paired with skinny jeans, all usually topped with some version of the eye captivating crystals in belts, necklaces and even halter tops.
Taylor Swift was spotted arriving from the Asian leg of her “Eras Tour” at Sunday’s Super Bowl game in Las Vegas, in the brand’s crystal slit denim jeans, a similar style to the rhinestone shorts she wore to an earlier game, adding to the brand’s continued push of the famed wardrobe staple.
The brand continues to see great success with their see now, buy now model that they adopted about three years ago, with the collection being immediately shoppable on their new luxury store on Amazon, as well as the teasing of a shoe collaboration with famed Italian footwear brand Giuseppe Zanotti, which included styles in the form of classic flats with the motif on the toe-cap, and several chunky high-heeled numbers adorned with an oversize flower done in shiny black, a silver metallic and a blue denim option.
Launch Gallery: Area Spring 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection
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