3 February 2009

Parachute Tailoring


Named "Designer of the Year" at the Swedish ELLE awards only last month, creative duo Astrid Olsson and Lee Cotter added yet another accolade to their ever increasing pile. Their Fall 09 Collection, under the name of Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, helped to reaffirm their strength in the design world with a wonderous display of techinical tailoring inspired by historical tradition.

The label itself was actually named after a traditional cobblers in London, where the initimate knowledge and skills of the shoe maker has been passed down from generation to generation. Steeped in tradition and history, therefore, the duo believed it would be the perfect name for their own belief in the conceptual reimagining of the traditional style and intricate methods of tailoring. Whilst originally working only with womenswear, the label now also caters for mens. Both lines were clearly inspired and created from the same roots, and I must admit it is quite pleasing to see that design cohesion.

Taking a creative approach to traditional tailoring, the latest collection offered a well fitted yet relaxed silhouette. The inspiration for the collection seemed to lie in 1940s Europe, with the materials and looks evoking a modern imagining of wartime utility- and formalwear. One of the specific inspirations was the concept of the parachute, which was applied in intriguingly creative imaginings throughout.

The muted khaki and green wools, coupled with the maroon of the leggings and silk scarves took a clear inspiration from the uniforms and deep red berets of the wartime British Parachute Infantry. Fifth Avenue's uniform however was decidely more relaxed in its silhouette with the inclusion, for example, of a wonderfully crafted cowl neck jacket. The more formal looks were still based in the idea of uniform, with both the menswear and womenswear sharing a similar sense of design. The fitted upper garments were contrasted by the parachute trousers and shorts, with their wider cut thighs and tapered ends. The overall silhouettes provided by the collection were relaxed and the wonderful draping and gathering of the fabrics helped to create a beautiful finish.

What are your thoughts on the collection?

Currently playing: This Is My Demo - Sway

xxxx

17 comments:

  1. I love the colors and textures, the layers and interesting forms ... but some of the complete outfits make me think "Oliver Twist." And not in a good way. For me, I think these pieces would work isolated - take that first jacket and just put it with jeans instead of crops, for instance.

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  2. I think the tailoring keeps the outfits from looking stiff...I am loving the 6th, and the last looks especially. The menswear is fantastic too.
    I also love the background on all the different designers!
    Thank you DK :)

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  3. ok ok i've got my inspiration for the day. thank you!

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  4. I really like the the fifth outfit.
    I love traditional tailoring, especially when done in traditional English tweeds. I think it's possible to take deforming the structured shapes too far, but I like the balance here.

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  5. i love the androgyny of this!

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  6. The excess fabric produced some beautifully organic and whimsical forms around the body, the collection looks great.

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  7. I love love love this collection .... especially the pants.

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  8. Wow this is an amazing collection, I love how everything is flowing... those hats are so unique/great as well. Something about it reminds me of Charlie Chaplin and the 20s/30s, of course modernized.

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  9. Interesting..., but I agree with Sal.

    xoxo

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  10. I love 5th avenue shoe repair! remember when I first came across it on the selfridges window..and i literally FROZE! the work is so beautiful espeically with the draping of the pants and shirts..

    xx-LJ from SOS!

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  11. the pants in the second photo are beautifully tailored. i'm still not sure about the rest. i suppose any of it could work if it was styled really well, and not over-worked.

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  12. i really like the first and the second outfits!!!

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  13. i think the collection is fantastic. an innovative take on uniform and military wear. your writing is superb.

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  14. Very nice outfits here really like the 2nd one. keep it up

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  15. I'm especially liking the muted burgundy they threw into the color palette.

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