Art plays a substantial role at Akris, its influence on Albert Kriemler shining through each collection to varying degrees. The creative trigger for spring’s strong lineup was a visit to “Malevich: Revolutionary of Russian Art” at London’s Tate Gallery, marking Kazimir Malevich’s groundbreaking 1915 exhibit that launched Suprematism. The artist, Kriemler said backstage before the show, “reduced any realistic art down to a black square, and made it extremely independent and powerful.”
The designer interpreted such “quest for independence,” as he put it, with graphic elegance and ease, inserting geometric shapes — squares and rectangles — into many silhouettes. Patches of fabric were mapped with precision onto a white cotton voile blouse that was teamed with cropped pants, for example. He also cut panels together for an asymmetrical black dress with transparent insets. Exquisite St. Gallen lacework, including the square crochet for tops and a tunic, added to the subtle cubist dimension of these pieces.
Although Kriemler demonstrated reverence to Malevich, he was never trapped by it, which may explain the independence part. He kept his experimental proclivities in check, resulting in relatable clothes that, while commercial, also had the right arty appeal.