Neon lights and disco vibes set the mood for Braun Büf­fel. Here, the brand’s Cre­ative Di­rec­tor Fabio Panz­eri takes our Fash­ion Writer Ai Lim on a per­sonal jour­ney through his colour­ful col­lec­tion, in­spired by the op­u­lent ‘70s

Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Neon lights and disco vibes set the mood for Braun Büf­fel

No sooner had we set­tled into our ho­tel, we were whisked away to Braun Büf­fel’s FW18 Pre­sen­ta­tion. The theme: ‘70s disco grunge. Nes­tled in the heart of Tan­jong Pa­gar in Sin­ga­pore, we were greeted by a colour­ful wall of graf­fiti rem­i­nis­cent of the golden age of the ‘70s NYC’s graf­fiti cul­ture. As we made our way into the bar, our eyes slowly ad­justed to the neon lights that were set around the room, and a vivid glimpse into the past came to light. In­spi­ra­tion from the disco era was on bright dis­play in the dimly lit bar full of bags.

But why the ‘70s ? “The ‘70s was an era of revo­lu­tion full of op­por­tu­ni­ties and ex­cite­ment; and that was what I wanted to re­flect in this col­lec­tion. Also, it was a time of change,” says Fabio Panz­eri, cre­ative di­rec­tor of Braun Büf­fel. In­deed, the ‘70s ap­peared to be an in­ter­est­ing time filled with be­witch­ing au­dac­ity and self-ex­pres­sion. Disco danc­ing was at its peak and at the cen­tre of this phe­nom­e­non, a night club called Stu­dio 54 that was reg­u­larly fre­quented by the likes of El­ton John, Andy Warhol and David Bowie to name a few. The mag­ne­tiz­ing al­lure, em­blem­atic nightlife and un­der­ground cul­ture of the ‘70s—in par­tic­u­lar Stu­dio

54—was ev­i­dently, hard to ig­nore for Panz­eri. Seek­ing in­spi­ra­tion from ‘70s art and mu­sic, the brand’s Fall/Win­ter 2018 col­lec­tion is a colour­ful dis­play of

what Fabio re–imag­ined the ‘70s to be for the mod­ern women of to­day; fea­tur­ing so­phis­ti­cated colour pal­ettes, jux­ta­posed against con­tem­po­rary kalei­do­scopic hues in­flu­enced by the Pop Art works of Andy Warhol.

“Street cul­ture was also very in­flu­en­tial in my de­ci­sion to em­body the spirit of the ‘70s. Sim­i­lar to the past, the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion has a heavy in­ter­est in street cul­ture,” Fabio adds. The defin­ing so­cial move­ments for gen­der equal­ity in ‘70s New York also ap­peared to be an im­por­tant topic to Fabio as he stresses on a gen­der­less fu­ture free from prej­u­dice. This be­lief is very much re­flected in the Buffy and Bully Col­lec­tion which he says has got­ten “Rave re­views from both men and women” and his favourite uni­sex bag, Ch­ester that he thinks is “An ex­pres­sion of the fu­ture”.

But of course, as ex­cit­ing as the ‘70s was for pop cul­ture, it was also a poignant mo­ment in time that rep­re­sented a piv­otal change in world his­tory. “As I dove even deeper into the world of the ‘70s, I found it to be sim­i­lar to the times we are in now. There is a lot of con­fu­sion in this day and age but with it, also came revo­lu­tion. And that’s what I wanted to por­tray in this col­lec­tion.” Dur­ing the ‘70s, anti-war sen­ti­ments were high, gay rights move­ment steamed ahead and sec­ond wave fem­i­nism was trend­ing with more women hav­ing a role in the work­force and hav­ing more con­trol over their re­pro­duc­tive rights. Fabio con­tin­ues, “Ev­ery­thing is a cy­cle,” as he ex­plains the phi­los­o­phy be­hind the col­lec­tion even fur­ther, link­ing the ‘70s to the cur­rent eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal world state of af­fairs: Grow­ing ten­sions of trade wars be­tween China and Amer­ica are con­sis­tently strewn across the news head­lines. In­ter­est­ingly, the #metoo move­ment and most re­cent re­peal of the Ir­ish abor­tion ref­er­en­dum has sparked a new form of fe­male em­pow­er­ment rem­i­nis­cent of those seen in the ‘70s. Over the re­cent years, de­vel­op­ments in same sex mar­riages have also taken on a more pos­i­tive light.

There is clearly more to Fabio Panz­eri than meets the eye. His de­sign process is care­ful, thought out and ar­tic­u­late. “I tend to look into the DNA of a brand as an out­sider and I think that has served me well through­out my ca­reer. I also try to ex­plore and trans­late the po­ten­tial of the brand in a new di­rec­tion with­out break­ing away from the DNA too much. And to do that, for me any­way, look­ing in­side a brand from the out­side is the best ap­proach.” Stay­ing true to a brand’s her­itage was espe­cially im­por­tant to Fabio as much as it was cru­cial for him to make the brand more cur­rent.

“Is there a rule that you stick to when it comes to de­sign­ing?” I ask as I make a men­tal note of the in­tri­ca­cies of the de­tails and process be­hind this cere­bral col­lec­tion. “Oh, that’s an in­ter­est­ing one!” he ex­claims, gaz­ing into the dis­tance while think­ing about my ques­tion. “No, there are no strict rules that I ad­here to. I let things flow nat­u­rally and with ease,” he replies. One can rightly as­sume that that in it­self was a rule to his oth­er­wise ‘no rules’ mantra. “I tend to do things in­stinc­tively. The mood board changes all the time and even as we reach the fi­nal stages, we find our­selves think­ing we can do bet­ter for the next col­lec­tion. There is al­ways room for im­prove­ment!” he con­tin­ues with a smile. If one could de­scribe Fabio’s sec­ond col­lec­tion for Braun Büf­fel, it would be nos­tal­gic and bold. Cou­pled with ar­tic­u­late youth­ful en­ergy and Fabio’s eye for func­tion­al­ity, the lat­est col­lec­tion is an el­e­gant de­pic­tion of a dar­ing, fear­less era that is mod­ern and pro­gres­sive.

Your favourite piece. “Ch­ester! As it’s uni­sex and prac­ti­cal.“




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