“We started in a more clinical way and we ended up exploring a more natural feeling,” said Luke Meier, summing up the spirit of his OAMC fall collection, striking an attractive balance between the label’s tailored workwear roots and a softer, sensitive aesthetic.
Meier looks at nature as the epitome of the complex yet perfect equilibrium of beauty and function that he’s pursuing in his practice. “Art and function in combination, that’s the Holy Grail of design,” he said. The collection played out a tension he likes “between something very strict, tailored, and refined and something that’s more fluid or undulating.” Of late Meier has been referencing the function-driven approach of industrial designer Dieter Rams, stripping away everything superfluous and keeping what is necessary. Although this is a conceptual course that makes sense from a project-oriented standpoint, it can feel a bit restrictive from a purely creative perspective. Imperfections and detours are part of the picture when it comes to human nature, and to nature itself; discipline can coexist with sentiment and it isn’t diminished when insinuated by emotion.
An intelligent, perceptive designer, Meier understands that a fashion identity conceptually and visually grounded on rigor and precision isn’t undermined by sensitivity, so he played along these lines for the collection, which he said he considers “my best so far.” While he kept functional shapes sharp-cut and angular, he softened the edges, choosing custom-developed fabrics more pliable and lightweight than usual, and as sustainably sourced as possible.
Workwear served as a sort of canvas for strong, boxy, hard-pressed pieces or for various underpinnings, like stem-collared zippered gilets worn underneath the sharp-tailored, elegant coats that were one of the collection’s standouts. The Re:Work idea the designer launched last season was continued here, proposed as a series of one-of-kind pieces re-fashioned, re-fitted, and re-dyed from taken-apart Swiss military surplus shirts, or made anew from American camouflage blankets.
Amidst the workwear-inflected, utilitarian approach of the collection, a feel for the organic and the hand-made signaled Meier’s appreciation for aesthetic elements coming from nature. Tree bark and moss, watermarks, and strata of rock formations were beautifully rendered into patchworked, crocheted knits, irregular tinted surfaces, and undulating textured jacquards suggesting jagged landscapes. The fragile shadow of a flower was embroidered on the back of a white biker coat, contrasting with its heavy-hardware front; petal-shaped shirt collars overlapped with lapels or front openings, in a soft gesture of disorder. A fluid-tailored coat was made in textured hammered double wool in a nice shade of coral; Meier had an industrial label sewn at the hem, with a Kurt Vonnegut quotation hidden in it. “I liked the idea of this sort of uniform labeling, something private you have to discover yourself,” he said. Prodded to reveal what it was about, he answered: “Effectively, it is about necessary optimism.”
Leave a Reply