Vladimir Karaleev’s S/S16 Menswear collection is an education in the art of mix and match. Patterns evoking the balmy nostalgia of 90s Hawaiian shirts are presented alongside the austere naval elegance of broad-striped marinières, allowing for a collection that boldly asserts the malleability of fashion when a little playfulness seeps into the creative process.
The collection’s immediate visual impact can, and should, be attributed to the use of specific patterns, prints and fabrics, all of which are veined with acute cultural and symbolic associations. Yet the variety of texture is just as crucial in illustrating the ethics of experimentation that form the theoretical cornerstone of the collection.
Sharp, stiff even, cuts and matte fabrics find themselves within the same vestiary contexts as materials that seem weathered, battered, or otherwise dishevelled. However, with an intimate acquaintance with the technicalities of design at his side, the HTW graduate actualises alchemistic potential, transforming the gaudy, the familiar, the banal into exemplars of contemporary design, all accompanied by a hearty dollop of most-welcome wit. With the austerity of the underpinning principles of fashion, and particularly of menswear, being increasingly called into question, the collection acts, if anything, as a manifesto of Karaleev’s relevancy, situating him at the spearhead of a generation of designers that refuse to have their creativity dictated to them.
All images taken from the Vladimir Karaleev Menswear S/S 2016 Lookbook
Photography | Hanna Rueckert