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Friday, September 18, 2015

NWF: Next Wave Fashion

Victor Wilde's designs in action during opening night of COLLAPSE. Photo: Mike Benigno

by Chris Tyler

New York Fashion Week might be over, but things are just heating up for this year’s Next Wave Festival. From Willi Smith’s work with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in ‘89’s Secret Pastures (for which Keith Haring designed sets), to the custom Pina Prada bags at the Two Cigarettes in the Dark opening in ‘94, Next Wave artists have a long (and stylish!) history of attracting visionary talent from the fashion world… and 2015 proves no exception.

COLLAPSE star Timur Bekbosunov with costume 
designer Victor Wilde. Photo: Michael Bezjian
For instance, Timur and the Dime Museum’s rebellious requiem COLLAPSE, at the BAM Fisher through Saturday, features frontman Timur Bekbosunov sporting an intricately outré wardrobe designed by Bohemian Society-founder Victor Wilde. An emerging staple of international progressive fashion, Wilde’s signature post-punk couture has been seen everywhere from Tokyo Fashion Week to MTV. Smart, emotional, and reflective of a realm just beyond our earthly purview, Wilde’s designs provide an ideal complement to COLLAPSE’s grungy apocalyptic soundscape.

The following week, dancers from Finnish-born, Stockholm-based choreographer Kenneth Kvarnström’s company take the Fisher stage in TAPE sporting costumes designed by Swedish designer Astrid Olsson of By the number. Olsson—a former dancer—celebrates collaboration between the fashion and performance worlds. In a recent interview with International Habit, she notes “I believe [fashion designers] can bring a fresh approach [to dance], because when you’ve lived and worked in a world where you know exactly what is required, how much and how little, you eventually adapt to it. I don’t have the same respect for tradition. That can be liberating.”

TAPE dancers in Olsson's roomy trousers. Each pair is made with over six meters of fabric!
Photo: Mats Backer
Ustatshakirt Plus member Makhabat.
In October, Seán Curran Company's Dream'd in a Dream comes to the Harvey Theater with the electrifying Kyrgyz folk music ensemble Ustatshakirt Plus—and so do the band’s traditional Kyrgyz garments. Sure, you might not spot these traipsing down the runway at NYFW anytime soon...but the embroidered detail on these garments is so glorious we’d feel remiss not including an example here.

When the much-anticipated Hagoromo arrives at the Harvey Theater on November 5, audiences will be treated to a parade of bold designs by Belgian icon Dries Van Noten. One of fashion’s few remaining independent designers, the Antwerp-based Van Noten is a bit of an anomaly in the industry—eschewing standard practices like advertising and the creation of pre-collections. In a recent interview with Anja Aronowsky Cronberg for Vestoj, he notes “the most important thing to me is that my work is creative. I want to put all my energy and enthusiasm into colors, fabrics – things like that. I don’t automatically think about whether it will sell well or if I’ll earn a lot of money.”

Van Noten's sketches for Hagoromo.

And no 2015 Next Wave fashion profile would be complete without mentioning the thoroughly modern Andrew Ondrejcak—whose vivid re-imagining of the 17th-century court masque, YOU US WE ALL, comes to the Harvey Theater November 11 to 14. One of the most sought-after production designers in the fashion industry, writer/director/designer Ondrejcak has worked with Vogue, Wallpaper, Italian Vogue, and W, among others. He is art director for Vivienne Westwood’s Paris fashion shows and also designed one of the new venues for the most recent iteration of New York Fashion Week. Ondrejcak’s exacting but imaginative eye endows his work with impeccable flair, channeling the frenetic energy of the international runway with poetic aplomb.


The courtly splendor of YOU US WE ALL. Photo: Hans Stockmans

Chris Tyler is a Brooklyn-based performing artist and BAM's Content Marketing Assistant.

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