XXY FOCUS : Ostwald Helgason SS14

XXY FOCUS : Ostwald Helgason SS14

XXY FOCUS : Ostwald Helgason SS14

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“The clothes shown are characterised by a buoyant jubilance that inspires a ‘celebration of happiness.’”

It is well known that artist Jeff Koons is the subject of sharply divided criticisms in the art world. Whether you love his works or think they have hardly any artistic values, it’s undeniable that his giant sculptures of balloon animals never fail to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Much like Koon’s creations, the vibe at the Ostwald Helgason presentation is one of cheer; the clothes shown are characterised by a buoyant jubilance that inspires a “celebration of happiness”, as explained by the label’s duo, Ingvar Helgason and Susanne Ostwald. Fuelling this is the central motif of the collection, a balloon sculpture doggy which brings to mind Jeff Koons’ works, peppered on many of the pieces.

Curiously though, the designers said that “Koons did not inspire them”, but rather the artist, Sean O’Malley who’s a toy-maker from the 70s was their key muse. It’s not clear whether this is true or if it’s a tongue-in-cheek jab at Koons; O’Malley being a real influence is questionable since an account of his work is almost non-existent online. Whichever the case, the graphics work well with the label’s youthful energy and rich, saturated colours.

There are some standout pieces, such as, the pleated skirts and light knits. The separates splashed with bold botanical prints – a trend that never seems to wither – are highly wearable yet with a charm of their own, even if we have seen a myriad of floral prints these past few seasons. Most notably, this collection marks Ostwald Helgason’s first collaboration with Aldo for their Rise line to create shoes and bags – a union which makes perfect sense when you see the label’s graphic blocking and upbeat colour combinations work so well on Aldo’s modern structural shapes.

Text: Sean Tan Kwok Siong

Images courtesy of Style.com