Fashion has a penchant for paradox. It is an industry hell-bent on novelty while remaining stubbornly anchored in the past. The 032c Spring/Summer 2024 collection, conceptualized by Maria Koch, co-founder and creative director of the influential German label, both embraces and challenges this duality. Koch’s approach to innovation doesn’t revolve around the creation of something entirely new, but rather in reshaping the familiar to offer a fresh perspective.
Koch draws our attention away from the allure of the ‘new’ during a recent launch event. As glasses clinked and murmurs floated through the crowd, she remarked, “Trying to do something new is a marketing strategy. What is new is to find a scenario that changes something existing.” This statement, profound in its simplicity, underscores the aesthetic philosophy behind her Spring/Summer 2024 collection.
True to her words, Koch’s latest collection champions a minimalist approach to reinventing the traditional. Tailoring is deconstructed and reimagined, resulting in juxtaposing silhouettes—slim-fit rubbing shoulders with oversized structures. The color palette, purposefully restrained, amplifies the boldness of the designs.
For example, traditional baggy pants find new expression as a full silk evening skirt, with intriguing fabric flaps accentuating the hips. A voluminous trench coat strikes a delicate balance between the casual spirit of streetwear and the solemnity of formal attire. Men’s shorts, crafted in stiff satin, are updated with boxy pockets and given the surprising form of a miniskirt. Leather pants, completed with a scuba-fabric finish, are transformed from a literal interpretation of streetwear to a fashionable cutting-edge staple.
Intriguingly, the collection also introduces a collaboration with Mykita, a fellow Berlin-based, high-end eyewear maker. The wraparound shades, echoing 032c‘s unique aesthetic, are designed from Mykita’s proprietary Mylon material. This innovative use of materials allows for voluminous shapes devoid of weight. Set to launch in the spring, the eyewear line will be available in four vibrant colorways, accentuating the ensembles’ streamlined minimalism.
The link between 032c and Mykita runs deep. Born from Berlin’s burgeoning creative scene in the early 2000s, both brands have garnered a global following, thanks to their distinctive and singular approaches to design. Their mutual synergy adds another layer of depth to Koch’s collection, underlining the notion that revisiting the familiar can indeed generate a sense of novelty.
Koch’s vision for the collection was further enhanced through a video set against the lush backdrop of a 1930s Berlin garden—another poignant contrast to the collection’s minimalistic silhouettes. “I wanted to show a new scenario of what Berlin can be,” she explained. This desire to redefine Berlin’s image was punctuated by the energetic performance of Berlin’s rising singer-songwriter Gavriel August, whose presence escalated the overall cool factor.
© Photos: 032c
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