Area: Ready-To-Wear SS24

Celebrating its 10th year in the business, Area’s SS24 outing played with perspectives. Audience members looked at the clothes and the clothes stared back with big, surreal googly eyes. Inspired by 1920s cartoon eyes and ‘60s pop art, these oculi were Piotrek Panszczyk’s point of departure. “Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, but also in the shared experience between the artist and the audience,” read the show notes.

The mixed ready-to-wear and couture collection – which took place at New York’s Starrett-Lehigh Building – opened with a simple paper-white shift dress. A rectangular cut out at the bust revealed a pair of ovular eyes with silver studs for irises. This was followed by a skirt and then a dress covered completely in googly eyes that floated above the body. These eventually metamorphosed into dalmatian spots which peppered a veiled, floor-sweeping cape dress, an oversized shirt dress and a classic denim corset worn with matching wide-leg jeans. After this came cigarette jeans and denim hot pants that barely covered models’ bums. Denim twinsets were decorated with drapes of huge circular crystals that jingled and jangled as models stepped to the sound of cartoon boioioings. These colossal crystals eventually formed an entire look from its tessellated skirt, to its cropped top to its full-face mask. Spots soon became flowers which bloomed in ruched bunches from long sleeve tops, longline dresses, high waisted shorts, boot covers and roomy crossbody bags. Some floral appliques were glass-like and three dimensional, protruding from slinky halterneck gowns as if they’d been grown there in the first place. Finally, the eyes were simplified into just a circle within a circle, realised through delicate crystal eyelets and leather – also with silver studs for the iris – all in pretty carnation pinks, blacks, whites. 

Photography courtesy of Area.

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