Friday 17th January

| BY Dino Bonacic

Kiko Kostadinov: Menswear AW20

From the starring spot on the opening day of London Fashion Week and into an off-schedule catwalk amid the madness of Paris – such is the harsh reality of the fashion circuit, especially the one that kicks off just a few days after New Year’s celebrations. But technicalities don’t affect the excellence of Kiko Kostadinov. The Bulgarian-born, London-based designer takes each catwalk show as an opportunity to build his business and extend the reach of unique ideas that make it. For his Paris debut, Kostadinov turned to late American abstract artist Kenneth Noland for inspiration. His uniquely graphic paintings of highly contrasting geometric shapes as well as the philosophy of Noland’s life transformed into some of the designer’s best work yet. 

The retro-futuristic essence that usually envelopes Kostadinov’s work wasn’t completely gone, but was definitely but on the back burner as he made more space for exploring the now. Calling his AW20 collection commercial would be quite an overstatement, but there was a clear dedication to translating the charm of his intellectual ideologies into clothes a whole range of people can actually incorporate in their everyday. Practical suiting and modular outerwear with slight asymmetry, dual-toned trousers and wonderful graphic knits are all heading straight for the shop floors. And even when some of the individual pieces became tricky – like the interlacing tailoring and jumpers with harness-like details – the execution of the silhouette was simplistic. 

Culminating his hyper-popular partnership with Asics, Kostadinov presented its final chapter with a folding Velcro-tongue shape in this season’s colour palette consisting of coral pink, dust blue and dove grey. Announcing the next chapter of the brand was the first standalone footwear collection which also made its debut in the show, consisting of a laced shooter shoe and a hybrid clog built atop a Vibram sole which is mostly used on hiking boots.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.