Against the ever encroaching might of the fast fashion empires it can be difficult as both a designer and a consumer to take a stand and compete against this new perception of fashion. Not that fast fashion and the artisanal spirit can’t happily coexist, it just feels that the conventional designers need to do more than ever to make people aware of what they can do that others can’t. Brands like aptform are brilliant ambassadors of that latter point – their stunning textiles and elegantly distressed leathers quite simply take time, care and most importantly of all – interest – to achieve. aptform couldn’t create what they do unless they cared about how the fabrics felt and hung, and it is that which shines so distinctly in their latest collection.
I would describe the look as organic industrial because while the designer Michail Gkinis nails structured gothic silhouettes that Rick Owens would be proud of, you can’t get away from the rich textures of the textiles and pig leather. The other thing that is really very noticeable about the whole collection is how unisex it is, and by that I mean that it meets the genders exactly half-way in absolute neutrality. For that reason I have put his men’s and women’s collection side by side, which you can enjoy in full later.
Your really can’t talk about this brand without mentioning that the designer is based in Tokyo but actually Greek and educated in London. He was also the first European ever to intern at Issey Miyake in Tokyo and it was then that he engaged with the city and its fashion. Now, there are lots of Japanese designers who have studied abroad before starting their brand domestically, but the number of foreigners who have actually founded their brands in Tokyo (rather than bringing an already successful brand to Japan) is probably in single figures. I just hope that many more follow in this movement and engage with the Japanese fashion scene and give back to, what is for so many foreign brands, their primary market.
But enough of that, bring on the lookbook:
I just love how viscerally organic it all is, it lends it a distressed quality even though it is flawless in reality. There is a whole lot of textile magic going on behind the scenes here including compression techniques on the edges of fabric to keep the edges raw but stop them from fraying. It all builds to a concise and clear vision – and one that I would happily drape myself in.
In terms of further reading he took part in the Runway for Japan charity event at Bunka Fashion College and he has a personal blog and official site. I am looking forward to seeing more of his work in Tokyo, but he is stocked at a good number of places internationally already and word is that that number will be rising very swiftly, very soon.