032c Apparel Debut Womenswear With A Rave-Inspired London Show
Boom, boom, boom. The beat of Berlin techno was hitting hard on Monday evening at the 032c show, as strobe lights flashed up the concrete space at 180 Strand. For those 7 minutes the models walked down the catwalk, the London showspace became one of those messy sex dungeons in the German capital your coolest so-called-friend always talks about. The magazine-cum-fashion-brand, 032c presented their first ever real catwalk show, which came along with with their womenswear debut. In addition to their (already well-known) printed sweatshirts and raving tracksuits, a set of 1990s Berlin clubwear essentials come back to life, in a collection called Cosmic Workshop.
“A friend of ours showed us this space and we were quite impressed by the general feeling of a construction site. It was a blank space, and we could create our own context. And there’s all the journalists here too – it was a very cold-blooded decision to show in London. It’s not like I was inspired by teabags,” Maria Koch, the creative director of the brand’s apparel side, told us backstage of her decision to show on our territory. And with this nostalgic essence the whole show spoke through, a piece of “old” London came back too. But beyond the emotions, the show just looked like a great brand exercise, a sort of case study for development in this contemporary day and age. “We started with a merchandise shirt, like a fan t-shirt. After the third one, we called it merchandise. And then soon after we were able to name it apparel. But even after the first ever fashion show at Pitti [Uomo] in Florence back in January, we knew we would make womenswear. I’m a womenswear designer and I always want to come back home,” Koch said of the brand’s quick trajectory.
When it comes to the actual looks that walked down the concrete catwalk, it was very much a family affair. Designed by Koch and styled by the magazine’s fashion director Marc Goehring, the minimal silhouettes were embellished with subtle pops of pastel colours and black leather harnesses, popping up in the most unexpected of places. On the women’s side it was the absolute sense of transparency that stood out – a pair of balls is very much needed when it comes to exposing your total self to the world. “When you raved in the West Wing squats, there were these guys dressed like this, and then these girls… Some of them very naked, very sexy but sensitive, and I really like that feeling always,” Koch elaborates. Was she ever that naked, sexy girl? “Yeah, for sure – everybody was!”