Monday 10th February

| BY Paul Toner

Area: Ready-to-Wear AW20

In just a few short years, Area have gone on to become one of the most exciting names on the NYFW calendar. Bold, brilliant and never shy of sparkle, designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk know how to experiment with shape, hue and an overall concept without ever straying too far away from what the brand stands for: inclusive glamour through and through. AW20 saw the brand turn to the draping of Madame Grès for inspiration, crafting sculptural gowns so epic they became their own entities. There was plenty of the brand’s Preciosa crystal cup chain – particularly great when pleated into a giant braided-bodice as the opening look. The design duo never loses sight of keeping things fun and energetic. Glittery palm tree prints and deconstructed tailoring walked alongside bat-winged blazers and a silver OTT raincoat that puffed-out like a gigantic Hershey’s kisses. A crimson-red ribbed material was also an excellent addition – think Robbie Williams in the Rock DJ music video, now getting ready for the 2020 Met Gala.

The collection doubled as Area’s kick-off to Area’s collaborative programs with The Africa Center. Holding the show at the Fifth Avenue institution, Area will start a shared studio Portal Program to “connect the Center in real-tine to communities around the world.” On top of that, proceeds from the completely sustainable array of accessories debuted in the show will go straight back to funding the Africa Center. In a moment in history so divided, Area is promoting a much-needed sense of togetherness.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.