Thoughts from London Fashion Week: Apujan AW18
Updated: Feb 27, 2018
"Drifting in a million stars" is the name of ApuJan's newest collection that was showcased at London Fashion Week, Autumn/Winter 2018. The collection has an impressive 47 pieces and in terms of style and performance, was in keeping with his signature artistic preoccupation: a complex narrative exploring the contemporary, the classical and the literary. The collection has been influenced by a variety of science fiction writers, namely Philip K Dick, Isaac Asimov and Oscar Scott Gard. The intention of the collection is to explore the feminine form with a contemporary, futuristic twist- that intent, while not glaringly obvious to the viewer of the pieces themselves, does manifest interestingly and in a complex form by producing wearable dresses, edgy suits and trendy outerwear.
You don't need to delve that far into his archives to understand that Jan is romantic in his approach to design. His sensibilities as a designer are remindful of a philosopher who is conceptually preoccupied with the line between fiction, history and femininity. In the press release the brand talks about it's intentions in cerebral, lyrical prose: "All the designs, including packaging, interior of the stores, and the pattern, are related to the concept of an open book. As if the clothing walks out of the book while turning the pages. This story is about the distance between the stars."
This exploration is reflected in so many of the pieces: an intricately sewn knitwear dress in a navy blue with a long hem; a color blocked black wool coat with a bold, patterned geometric squared print; a fringed, chiffon puffed silver and plum coat, all paired with either flats or wedged boots. The hair worn with the outfits was simple and current, pulled back in a reserved, casual style so that what ultimately pops is the colors of the clothes.
Apujan also continues to use an eclectic array of materials including wool, chiffon and silk. His signature for creating complex knitwear was equally prevalent in this collection, particularly for the pieces that play with fusion fashion, meshing sensibilities from both the east and west. As a result, the detail to attention in terms of meshing east and west aesthetics patterns and materials is simultaneously startling and subtle.
In doing so, he walks a fine line between formal dress and casual: for example a trouser and blouse silk, coordinated ensemble that would look good at a gallery opening in Dalston and would also work for grabbing a cup of coffee on a Sunday afternoon. There is a combination of chic and reserved cuts that pair conservative neck lines with ornate patterns, exemplified by unique blues and silvers. There is also an interesting use of what has been declared as one of the newest trends that have shown up on the catwalks which is plastic- transparent materials that aptly emulate the futuristic intentions behind Jan's collection as a whole.
The sentiment that one walks away from after viewing this collection is layered in terms of how the brand's explorations mirror Apu Jan's eclectic pieces. While I personally found it difficult to equate the dense, intellectual intentions with the laid back, undeniably chic and current pieces that were showcased, I find that I'm taken with his diverse designs that vary in style but remain distinctive and incredibly current in terms of the trends we're seeing emerge from this past London Fashion Week.