Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski, who won the LVMH Prix Spécial prize in 2016, chose to put his namesake brand on hold to focus on a new project. Now in its second season, Pihakapi, a brand developed in partnership with Italian leather manufacturer Pellemoda, blends high-quality leather with the 21-year-old-designer’s radical vision.

“Because the brand is leather-focused, I like to build the collection around the outerwear,” said Kruszewski at the presentation of his spring collection (the first offering was shown during men’s fashion week, Pihakapi being a unisex brand.)

A black leather trenchcoat featured details from this season’s key inspirations: mini leather horns recalling the anatomy of the stag beetle on the sleeves and a flame shaped cowboy collar. The same details were reworked on denim and jersey, as well as on a side-slit black slipdress, a welcome update to the wardrobe staple.

“I was really interested in reworking Western wear,” said the designer, gesturing to a white linen skirt with a black leather holster detail. He also created a pair of “refined chaps,” playing on the dichotomy between leather and fabric. The chocolate-colored leather added texture and serious flair to a pair of well-cut black trousers. Throwing in a couple of Grecian draped cottons and splashes of color, the collection looked sharp and very cool.

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