Supposed to be subversive minimalism or a sticky glam ZARA party?
The digital presentation of THEO collection autumn / winter 2022 “_Crystalline_” was confusing. TEAled by designer Theo Dean, a Kiev fashion brand that erases borders and “offers a sharp look at traditional fashion codes,” destroying the notion that minimalism is boring. But his collection this season was dotted with acid green and brown suits along with sheer blue and shiny pink dresses, the inclusion of which only made it clear that THEO has lost its aesthetic cohesion.
At first I thought the show was unreasonably simple. Compared to past exhibitions – held in an empty parking lot and in a winter wonderland – this season’s runway was just a dull stone floor with a black background. It was too easy.
However the simple background made the clothes the center of attention. Male images, in which burnt oranges and pastel oil yellows were present, gave life to the collection. THEO has confirmed its status as a master of minimalism with branded silhouettes that have appeared in past seasons such as black and white leather tracksuits and black shiny suits paired with a black turtleneck mesh. The most spectacular view of them all was a burnt-out orange trench coat, the lapels of which had a cape-like design, with fishing ropes that embodied the brand’s futuristic essence of THEO.
Women’s clothing, however, overcompensates with its huge silhouettes in gray and cream with a rainbow melange, which at first seemed interesting, but soon became repetitive and stale. Although the show was aimed at the obsession with comfort and relaxation caused by the pandemic, the silhouette of the maxi dress was simply obscene and unflattering. The same was true of the velvet maxi dresses with bow ties, which gave the false impression that the show was a spring-summer collection. There were species that coincided with the mastery of men’s clothing. A brown brown leather trench coat with white ties on the shoulders was perfectly presented. However, compared to his kindred – the same top and bottom set – he looked just obscene and sticky.
Sunglasses and clear jewelry were the ransom qualities of the show. Ski visors and hardware goggles reminiscent of Dior John Galliano of the 2000s and modern Balenciaga sunglasses with a butterfly visor, raised maxi poufs and exquisite scuba details. The Y-shaped crystal necklace was one of the references to the show’s title, as well as the KiraKira sequins applied to the models ’faces. These gestures seemed forced and awkward and did not provide sufficient support for the non-existent thematic line of the collection.
THEO is in the midst of an identity crisis. With the success of past minimalist presentations there should be no reason for change. Expanding boundaries is natural for designers, but overly loud colors and patterns that try to balance simplistic black and white only undermine the brand’s reputation. Even with this diamond in rough collection, THEO’s preconditions and establishing the ideals of various experiments are undoubtedly strong. Given the past success and attractive color aspects of this show, THEO has the potential to find a voice that previously had.
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