AN ITALIAN MENSWEAR LABEL THAT’S TURNING THE HUMBLE WORKMAN FABRIC INTO RIVIERA-WORTHY PIECES. A POWERHOUSE DUO WHO ARE MAKING ’90S DENIM DESIRABLE AGAIN. AND A FRENCHWOMAN WHO’S (LITERALLY) RIPPING APART CONVENTION. ISABEL ONG LOOKS AT THREE EMERGING LAB
Dressed up, disguised and shredded – meet the three emerging brands with a unique approach to denim.
SUNNEI What The barely year-old menswear label helmed by Italian duo Loris Messina (near left, formerly part of Gucci’s visual merchandising team) and Simone Rizzo, buyer and PR representative of Milanese multilabel men’s boutique Full Milano.
While the brand doesn’t work exclusively in denim, the material features heavily in its debut Spring/Summer 2015 collection, elevated into sophisticated casual separates like tailored tees, bermudas and suits. Every piece is handcrafted in Italy; the finish looks expensive – the denim’s imported from Japan and includes special textures like “denim waves”, a striped fabric made from twisting nylon and cotton threads together; yet prices start from a wallet-friendly 100 euros (S$153) for a top.
The four-year-old label of Central Saint Martins-trained Portuguese designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, who worked at Vivienne Westwood and Preen respectively.
Innovative, fashion-forward denim dresses and separates that have gained the brand a cult insider following (fashion consultant Yasmin Sewell and Russian socialite Elena Perminova are all fans). While its previous collections helped spearhead the return of ’90s distressed denim, its latest collection has grown more polished in style and craftsmanship. Black denim is woven with metallic yarn to create a sophisticated sheen and turned into cocktail-worthy halterneck tops, minidresses, and tailored shorts and jeans. That’s not to say the label’s lost its edge: Its signature frayed edges remain.
Where to buy
The nearest stockist is highend multi-label store I.T in Hong Kong (prices unavailable).
FAUSTINE STEINMETZ What
The London-based French designer’s two-year-old eponymous label. The Central Saint Martins alumni is one of eight names under the British Fashion Council’s S/S ’15 Newgen programme, which supports young, promising London labels.
Like an artist, Steinmetz deconstructs, dyes and even weaves her own denim (she reinterpreted Levi’s 501s in indigo-dyed mohair for her debut F/W ’ 13 collection) to create never-before-seen textures. This Spring/ Summer, she shredded then re-felted old denim into yarn, using it to make jeans and jackets that look like they’re constructed from crumpled crepe, fuzzy wool and even gossamerlight webs. Everything is painstakingly done by hand, which means a single piece can take weeks to complete, with prices ranging from £400 to £1,000 (S$820 to S$2,050).
buy The brand has plans to launch an online store on its website (www.faustinesteinmetz.com), but for now, shop at www.openingceremony.us.