After three weeks immersed in Paris life I am back in London.
I’ve been thinking about how a certain kind of modern minimalism must be the key trend at the moment in fashion because almost everything I’ve seen in shops seems to abide by the rules of that much debated craze. There is no standard aesthetic when it comes to this genre. Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, Phoebe Philo at Céline, Alexander Wang, Prada in the nineties, ACNE etc all adopted a minimalist vision at one point in their career. Inevitably, the high street has come under this influence with COS leading the way.
But for me the current master of the genre is the Brussels based David Szeto, a fascinating Canadian fashion designer who is extremely talented, admired but also enigmatic. He could be described as a kind of Martin Margiela character. I’m not sure whether he’s voluntarily reluctant to be in the fashion public eye but search the Internet all you like and you'll find that interviews or pictures of the man himself are rare. This in some ways is illuminating when you look at his collections. He views fashion through the lens of an “outsider” and his reality is far removed from the sometimes far too exotic or farcical trends churned out by designers every season. Stepping into his world is like entering a wonderland of clothes with a strong identity. His pieces are made for the tribes of modern and cool girls with messy hair. They’re highly desirable and reflect a youthful sensibility which plays with notions of quiet sophistication, sportswear chic combined with classic, loose and clean lines. The spotlight tends to be on colour, prints and skilful draping but everything is easy to wear and versatile. The more I look at his collections, the more I am entranced. There is no question that he is one of the most brilliant current designers.
Oh, and his website is quite possibly one of the best “fashion” platforms I’ve visited. The interaction between the space, movement, clothes, imagery and music is amazing. It’s a thrilling experience. David Szeto has welcomed the more commercial elements of modern technology and it’s clear that he has perfectly understood the rapidly changing nature of the fashion business. The launch of his site in late 2010 was well-timed. Like SHOWstudio.com he is presenting the future of fashion and digital media.
Here’s a man who has taken a risk by staying away from the fashion scene but embraced the challenge in a very elegant way. The result? Success.
In the meantime, I continue to lament the loss of my perfect abstract blue and red David Szeto silk scarf. I lost it before Christmas at the Mayfair cinema never to find it again...
All images courtesy of David Szeto