Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl made a loud statement for spring. The Berlin-based designers — who met at the University of Art in London and paired up to create their first collection, which was picked up by VFiles two seasons ago — have a fascination with pop culture, sadomasochism, religion and politics. In no particular order. “I think it all stems from the fact that we did not really grow up in or around any youth culture and when you look back in time at movements such as punk and grunge, there was so much energy and meaning,” Li explained.
As a result, their collections endeavor to revisit and reinterpret these subcultures, but in a modern context. On the runway, there was a lot of everything: Goth meets punk, fetishism meets anarchy (the models wore leather masks) and lots of vinyl (the standout being a red trenchcoat with floral appliqués and strapped-up sleeves). The duo also embraced Madonna-esque cone-bra corseted denim dresses, oversize hoodies with crosses embroidered throughout, and most memorably, a hoodie with a tulle cape-train back and biblical Adam and Eve image with the words “You’re Just a Toy.”
“We want to trigger thought with our clothes,” Li said. Added Pfohl: “If you are a designer, you have a voice — we want to be heard.” Again, the statement was loud, clear and thought-provoking.