Letting go of excess baggage is the way forward both literally and metaphorically. It was never more evident at Aganovich, where Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor reached a new waypost in their creative road, marked, as is their wont, by a cryptic illustration by friend of the house, Clifford Harper, picturing a woman with a veil floating past her face. More controlled and constrained than ever, this summer collection saw them exploring the semantics of icons. The pair have done away, or at least dialed right down, the almost theatrical obedience to the past that colored many of their earlier collections. And while they have carved a purely personal niche in the fashion landscape, the synchronicity with the general streamlining movement couldn't be missed.
It started, Taylor said backstage after the show, with a gilded icon bought in Montenegro. From then, they obsessively unwound the relationship of cloth and stone. "We looked at how cloth and drape were caught in stone, and then applied different techniques [of construction] to make rigid layers of fabric look fluid," he explained. "Behind that, we thought about the infatuation with icons, images, from the religious sense to silver screen sirens," added Aganovich.
What changed here was the balance of textures, and with that, a lightened silhouette with no fussy volumes or cumbersome attachments. Indeed, the collection was driven by the opposition between fluidity and rigidity. Arrested movement gave collars and neckline a commanding presence while hankerchief hemlines and fraying edges kept it changeant. But there was no obvious backwards glance. The carefully crafted pleats on the neck of a silk blouse, or the asymmetries of hemlines, or even the sleek tailoring of a jacquard trouser suit all vibrated with present-day a-propos. Yet for all these perceived changes, it was still intrinsically Aganovich. Keeping your identity while evolving positively -- nothing short of a miracle these days.