"Florentina Leitner is aesthetically situated somewhere between abstraction, eclectic styling and classic elegance."
Local up-and-coming talent: Florentina Leitner can be classified aesthetically somewhere between abstraction, eclectic styling, and classic elegance. The Austrian-born artist is considered one of the most promising talents in the graduating class of the renowned Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts and received her doctorate at the beginning of the summer.
A bright future
An indication of a promising career is her debut at the London Fashion Week and her premiere at the “Global Talents”, a format of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia. Her Tinderella collection presented there focuses on bold maximalism: expressive prints meet typical British designs, petticoat dresses meet broad-shouldered coats - the looks are further set apart by means of daring styling and humorous accessories. Fabulous and yet modern!
The accompanying short film by Marnik A. Boekaerts, in which the models in shimmering catsuits in the venerable chambers of a castle experience a sports tournament with the tug-of-war and Zumba courses, also underlines the designer’s creative approach. As a customer, however, one should not make the mistake of interpreting the blooming fantasy as unworldly - at second glance, the majority of the pieces prove to be wearable and suitable for everyday use. Among them, for example, the ingeniously tailored jackets with balloon sleeves or the colorfully patterned dresses, which also skillfully play with volume. A clever move that will undoubtedly also arouse the interest of buyers.
"Body-hugging cuts, cut-outs and elastic materials are her signature and play with the stereotypes of open French sexuality."
French-born Lucille Thievre spent five years in the service of major luxury brands until she dared to start her label. Her designs have a light-hearted and modern attitude that is rarely found elsewhere.
Close to past and present
The inspiration for this also comes from the clothes her mother wore in the 1980s and skilfully picks up this spirit. Body-hugging cuts, cut-outs, and elastic materials are her signature and play with the stereotypes of open French sexuality. “The dresses are reminiscent of lingerie, accentuating the silhouette instead of hiding the body - like a gesture of tenderness”, she says in an interview. Her target audience is thus already defined: self-confident and sensual women who appreciate the sophistication of the designs.
She is admired for this courage, especially in her home country, and last year Thievre was already among the candidates for the Hyères Fashion Festival, which every summer coaches the most promising talents in the industry. This year, her name is once again among the candidates, even if, due to the COVID-19 crisis, a decision will not be taken until autumn. Whether she will win or not, in the long run, Lucille Thievre can already be sure of being on the winning side.
"Feminine silhouettes such as mermaid dresses and flared skirts meet bomber jackets with flower applications at Yolancris - functional and versatile feminine elegance."
Admittedly, the label founded in 2005 around the sister duo Yolanda and Cristina Pérez can no longer be called a newcomer, but the triumphal procession of the Spanish brand, which has made a name for itself as a fixed starter in the bridal and evening wear segment, is all the more impressive. Handcrafted pieces, with a couture appeal away from the usual clichés that one might wish to associate with the segment, are their trademark.
“I do not let myself be inspired by my environment but follow my intuition. We are too accustomed to be looking outside, but we must not be afraid to travel inside ourselves to find out what our true identity and true self is”, explains Yolanda Pérez, who is the label’s creative director. In doing so, she focuses on the strengths of the brand: elegance, subtlety and femininity of the golden age of the 1930s and the boho of the 1970s.
Craftsmanship meets design
These characteristics can also be seen in the current autumn/winter 2020/21 collection “Brown - The No Colour Collection”, which was presented in the venerable Hotel Ritz Paris. Feminine silhouettes such as mermaid dresses and flared skirts meet bomber jackets with flower applications - celebrating functional and versatile feminine elegance. Above all, the fact that the focus on quality and craftsmanship is also transferred to ready- to-wear is a reason for joy and also makes the label an insider tip in this area.
"The goal of Pangaia fashion collective is both honourable and ambitious: to revo- lutionise the fashion industry with smart fabrics and thus make it sustainable."
Design meets research, smart technology meets an idea of sustainability - it is hardly surprising that the Pangaia label, whose name is incidentally made up of the words “pan” (all-embracing) and “gaia” (mother earth), meets the spirit of the times and has become the young generation’s favourite label.
Fashion with a mission
The goal is both honourable and ambitious: to revolutionise the fashion industry with smart fabrics and thus make it sustainable. This is why sustainable and recyclable materials are used, such as bio-based, recycled fibres produced from plastic bottles, fabric blends of seaweed with organic cotton or natural, botanical dyes, such as pepper-mint. It almost goes without saying that these same models are also shipped in fully compostable packaging.
When it comes to design, the collective focuses on comfortable, timeless cuts and trendy colours, among them especially loungewear, partly inspired by the 1990s. This also goes down well with celebrities such as Justin Bieber or Bella Hadid, whose effective street style appearances regularly result in sold-out collections and long waiting lists. This is why the collection is currently being expanded more and more, without forgetting its self-image. An example of how a profitable fashion company can also establish itself with a green conscience, which hopefully will find many imitators.
Photos: Florentina Leitner, Pangaia, Patricia Narbón, Lucille Thievre, Yolancris