TRUE BLUE

Cult la­bel Colovos goes all-in with denim.

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents -

Many peo­ple have a sen­ti­men­tal at­tach­ment to their favourite pair of jeans, but for hus­band-and­wife de­signer duo Nicole and Michael Colovos, denim equals ob­ses­sion.the cou­ple’s re­la­tion­ship with the sturdy tex­tile spans 16 years: from the launch of their first la­bel, Ha­bit­ual, which fed the de­signer denim boom in 2002, to Hel­mut Lang, where they were co-creative di­rec­tors for eight years, el­e­vat­ing the func­tional fab­ric to high fash­ion. In 2016, they launched their brand Colovos, which will have an en­tirely denim ready-to-wear range come mid-novem­ber. “Denim crosses so many dif­fer­ent cul­tures and oc­ca­sions,” Nicole says. “The way peo­ple are liv­ing their lives now is a lot more ca­sual than in the past, so it’s more rel­e­vant than ever. we’ve al­ways had denim in our col­lec­tions, but we re­cently had so many re­quests that we wanted to ex­per­i­ment and see what an en­tire col­lec­tion looks like. ”what it looks like is this: raw-edged trench coats, drop-shoul­dered blaz­ers, but­ton-front wrap skirts and high-waisted pan­elled trousers in a pal­ette rang­ing from ivory and olive to brick red and in­digo. Cig­a­rette trousers, shirt-dresses and but­ton-downs round out the Colovos brand of ver­sa­tile, un­der­stated lux­ury that can take a work­ing mother — Nicole and Michael have three chil­dren — from meet­ings and school runs to drinks and din­ner, in a min­i­mal yet dis­tinc­tive aes­thetic. “the vi­sion for Colovos was this idea of el­e­vated es­sen­tial pieces,” Nicole ex­plains. “we wanted to make fewer pieces of cloth­ing and smaller col­lec­tions that were more mean­ing­ful and wear­able over time.” This sen­ti­ment is borne of nearly two decades in an in­dus­try that works at an ex­haust­ing pace and is dam­ag­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment.the denim used in the new Colovos range is made in a small mill in Ja­pan, washed in re­cy­cled fil­tered wa­ter and then treated with non­toxic chem­i­cals. this way of sourc­ing and pro­cess­ing ma­te­ri­als is part of the brand’s jour­ney to­wards fully sus­tain­able denim, and th­ese pieces are de­signed to last be­yond a sea­son — or even 15.“Denim is a re­new­able re­source and I love how it adapts to your body in cer­tain ways over time,” Michael says. “it’s not dis­pos­able fash­ion — it just be­comes bet­ter with age.” Nicole, who was the se­nior mar­ket ed­i­tor for US Harper’s BAZAAR when she met Span­ish-born Michael in Newyork in 2001, says work­ing to­gether from the fam­ily’s tribeca home, where the Colovos stu­dio is lo­cated, means the cou­ple can play off each other’s re­ac­tions to pieces. “We are both drawn to sim­i­lar ideas and sil­hou­ettes, but as a man and a woman, we come to it from a dif­fer­ent point of view,” Nicole says. Michael agrees: “a lot of times I can see Nicole putting some­thing on in her mind, and if it doesn’t serve a pur­pose or if she al­ready has it or it feels ir­rel­e­vant, there is re­ally no point in mak­ing it. That re­ally helps me dis­til a de­sign down to its essence.” The fash­ion world is fi­nally com­ing around to the cou­ple’s ca­sual cool way of think­ing. “the cus­tomer has been shift­ing from stuffy, high-end dress­ing to be­ing more com­fort­able with be­ing ca­sual,” Michael says. “but that doesn’t mean sloppy — you can still be el­e­gant and find de­signs that are an ex­pres­sion of who you are. That ap­peals to our de­sign sen­si­bil­ity be­cause we’ve al­ways made cloth­ing that’s meant to be worn ev­ery day. I feel like we’re in our com­fort zone.” colovos.com.

Looks from Colovos’s new line. Top: Nicole and Michael Colovos.

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