kiko kostadinov celebrates fearless female outlaws from future’s past
With their blend of retro-futurism and cinematic sci-fi daydreams, Laura and Deanna Fanning’s sophomore collection for Kiko Kostadinov womenswear is for cowgirls and cyborgs.
Building on last season’s bold, ambitious and fearless Kiko Kostadinov womenswear debut, the CSM MA-educated Fanning sisters’ silhouette-shifting, time-travelling, fierce female tribe took another confident step back to the future. For autumn/winter 19, the dynamic duo paid tribute to the ‘bandidas’ and ‘pistoleras’ of the nineteenth century, reimagining them inside an alternate near future gothic reality, inspired by Andrzej Żuławski’s 1989 film, On the Silver Globe.
“We were drawn to a series of photographs of Mexican women from the 1900s because they were rebels of their time, so strong,” Laura and Deanna Fanning excitedly
explained post-show in near unison. “They were feminine but encapsulated the practical utility of their time with a sense of nomadic style -- ropes, layers, medallions and these contrasts between earthy and ornate fabrications.” Throughout the collection, the Fannings delighted in this duality, cut; pasting and manipulating nylons, lycra and synthetics with velvet alongside their quickly forged signature of knitted metallics and classic tweeds, reimagining outdoor technical-wear with a warmth of traditional patchwork and female craftsmanship. Woman versus machine, or rather, woman and machine.
Back in September, the Melbourne-born London-based sisters told i-D that they wanted “people to take away a sense of alchemy” from their upcoming show, and textile alchemy perfectly sums up what they accomplished in their second offering, blending each of their distinct voices, visions and talents into one persuasive and powerful statement. Building on Kiko Kostadinov’s highly sought after collaborations with Asics, this collection marked the Fannings’ first collaborations with the Kobe-based sportswear giant, with cycling shoe-inspired footwear and performancewear bodysuits.
United by an emphasis on pattern-cutting and uniforms, Kostadinov and the Fannings are working towards a collaborative brand that houses a mutual passion for sartorial innovation and experimentation. It’s all about contrasts and complexity. So, there was a duality in cut too that mirrored those discovered in the sepia portraits of the bandidas which depicted moments on the body that looked both masculine and overtly feminine with cropped silhouettes and bustiers.
“We mixed these sensibilities with the more gothic elements found in Andrzej Żuławski’s 1989 film, On the Silver Globe, because we were drawn to the sense of a tribe within a cargo cult,” Laura explained. “We liked this idea of new communities,” Deanna concluded. There’s a definite sense that the Fannings are cultivating their own alternate community. A tribe of post-#metoo, post-apocalyptic fierce females to lead all survivors into a brave new world. With images of stalagmites pinned to their studio walls, the Fannings enlisted Thomas Petherick to create sculptures that turned the Covent Garden-based Swiss Church show space into a futuristic gothic cave. It was a reminder that times may be tough but we’re tougher together. With time running out as we face a climate emergency, the dystopian daydreams that the Fanning sisters design for are unnervingly close.
If anyone can save us, it’s their fierce female tribe.