Since Samuel Ross segued into fine art and design, recently exhibiting furniture at Design Miami with New York’s Friedman Benda gallery, he’s decided to work in a more “emotional way” with fashion, too, focusing more on “expression and form and shape.”
His fall effort for A-Cold-Wall may be his most avant-garde yet; not always easy to like, but sometimes hard to get out of your head. Here were pants as curved as parenthesis, enveloping coats with wire-framed hoods that obscure the face, or burqa-like hoods that make one think of samurai head armor — or if you live in London, perhaps Renzo Piano’s striking building known as The Shard.
The look fell somewhere between the street urchin of yesteryear, and the Mars dweller of tomorrow.
“There are definitely strands of hardship in some of the silhouettes,” Ross said, mentioning the weight of some of the overcoats in heavy canvas, molded Tyvek and Dyneema fabrics, and the foam tubes inserted into some of the flak jackets. “I wouldn’t say the word is anxiety, but there’s still a tension.”
The video presentation, in the Brutalist, bunker-like bowels of the Tate Modern, heightened the sense of unease, models striding out tentatively in their protective layers, eyes darting.
Despite the dystopian undertones, Ross left plenty of room for cool, splashing fractures of the brand logo on marble-print anoraks, flaring military parkas or sleeveless knits. There was offbeat elegance, too, especially the long, mottled white trench that opened the show.
The designer also revealed plans to open the first freestanding A-Cold-Wall store, with units planned for Seoul and London in the first half and in China later in the year.