VIN + OMI SPRING/SUMMER 2019
That Vin + Omi were musing upon J.K. Rowling’s writings for Spring/Summer 2018 is surely a spurious claim. Yet these ecocentric evangelists may have gleaned a single pointer from J.K.’s scrawls: King’s Cross offers transgressive boundaries into alternative realms.
The duo’s decision to charge models through the ruby ventricles of King’s Cross St Pancras was by no means a chance coincidence. Yes, the station’s Grand Terrace injected the air with starry wonder, recalling the ceremonial drama of the catwalk. But this political pair are less likely roused by the titans of the past; more motivated by the psyhchogeography of St Pancras; our border-erasing entry-point into Europe.
Could it be that the resilient Vin + Omi were inspired by the apocalyptic coming of Brexit to create an alternative future; a colourful new vision to weave the world together with fresh connectivity?
In this breath began our transgression beyond the boundaries of fashion and into politics. Poodle-haired models ignited the plan, waving hand-painted banners bearing Vin + Omi’s namesake. Provoked by post-truth politics fanning Brexit and the Presidential election, a slogan bikini stated ‘Fake News’ and a men’s t-shirt read ‘Burst Him’ alluding to the Trump Baby balloon floating over London last July. With fluffy tresses clotted in rainbow colours, models’ activist aesthetic was loaded with levity.
Paradoxically under this logic, the seemingly frivolous became permeated with purpose. Ruffled coats and embellished jackets came from ‘rPET’ materials gleaned from plastic debris found in rivers and oceans. In Vin + Omi world, fashion as frippery is turned on its head. This season, these feathery structures make an ebullient call to clean-up the ocean.
The ecologically-sound designs didn’t end there. Through a collaboration with London College of Fashion, Vin + Omi pioneered their ‘BIN 2 BODY’ concept. Here, waste plastic bottles discarded at London Fashion Week Men’s were regenerated into textiles for everyone’s accessory of choice, the coveted handbag. Other eco-treats came courtesy of mixed metal materials, manufactured from cans collected in Birmingham by homeless people working via a charity-support initiative. An earthy mix that reads like tinctures in a witchy potion generated further fabrics; nettle, rosebay willowherb, cow parsley and flax were fused into hybrid textiles.
Heightening occultist vibes was a recurring pentagram motif. As an emblem associated with earth magic, Vin + Omi declare that its use in their collection represents a new wave of thought, a new ‘eco-religion’. Melded with recurring poodle references similar to the cat memes flooding the internet, what’s the take-home? Amongst digital distraction, come-and-go trends and fashion frippery, you can still dress like a show poodle and be responsible.
Taking their walk at the end of the show, the designers’ appeared covered by poodle masks and holding camera-phones back up at the audience. What might they have seen through the lens? A fash-pack crowd ready to transgress into a realm where fashion has purpose.