Area is the high-gloss, high-glamour brainchild of designers Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk, who have a modern Seventies-meets-downtown edge and a proclivity for glitz and sheen.
Their designs are hyper-sexual and hyper-feminine even when they cover up the body. For fall, the duo was inspired by the concepts of love and obsession for a collection that was less flashy, more inviting and more approachable than in seasons past. The show opened with models gliding in flowy ruffled silhouettes to a stripped-back soundtrack of Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat.” Ruffles were a recurring element, featured on open-back tops, loosely clasped blazers and shorts-pants hybrids.
But there were also moments of dazzle — the impossibly flamboyant crystal garter belt, for one. These excerpts from a text by fashion and cultural historian, Laura Mclaws Helms, which were included in the program notes, captured the spirit and highlights of the season best: “Hanging from thin straps, a slip of silk caressing your body, your curves and angles.”
For Fogg and Panszczyk, this meant an asymmetric skirt held at the shoulder with a single strap. “The desirability of the body inked on our clothes.” Voilà, an embossed metallic lamé jumpsuit and demi bra and an ostrich-embossed dress. “Clothing as status, as armor, as seduction”: a parade of crystal body-scaped jumpsuits, tracksuits and gown.