See It Clearly
It is a muse to Wong Kar-wai’s masterpieces, an insomniac city where junk boats cruise the harbour and neon lights, taxis, people breathe eternal life into the streets. Above it rose the phenomenon we were there for, an urban oasis created by in-demand architect André Fu in collaboration with COS, overlooking the dramatic cityscape of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. It was here that COS unveiled its AW 15 collection, as art within an installation.
We entered Fu’s Urban Landscape via a forest-green bridge, traversing a space-age glass and steel cube. Composed of soft light, crisp lines and glacial shades of grey, silver and white, it was clarity epitomised. And as models moved between panes of glass, their silhouettes reflected against the dramatic skyline in the latest creations of Karin Gustafsson and Martin Andersson, the respective heads of Womenswear and Menswear Design at COS, we were transported into a utopian future.
The collection, says Gustafsson, is driven by two opposing forces: drama and serenity.
“We liked to put them together to create this contrast,” she explains. “We really looked to outdoor creativity, the interest many of us take now in exploring and embracing nature … We looked towards different types of sports like hiking, even camping, and old-fashioned ski boots. We also created silhouettes that were quite voluminous, with sleeping bags and tents in mind.
“Then we looked towards Japan and an art movement called Mono-ha, which started in the 60s. We looked towards the kimono and the unisex side of traditional Japanese clothing … We liked the idea that it was a mix between the minimal and conceptual and we loved the pure materials.”
The au naturel aesthetic is one the designers share with Fu, whom they met three years ago in this very city.
“And there is this (common) focus on something that is timeless, and on quality that will last for years,” Gustafsson explains.
“It’s interesting to see the two come together.”
The project, says Fu, took “a year in conceptualisation”.
“I’ve never designed an installation for a fashion presentation.
“Hopefully, it brings a different perspective to how clothing, which is kind of about urban life, can be showcased … It’s quite an immersive, experiential quality.”
And so, immerse ourselves we did, wandering between bright orbs of moss and low-lying jade hedges, and exploring the angular shapes, reflective surfaces and incredible views from all perspectives.
Eventually came the time to leave it all behind. But when we did, we took a shard of that dramatic calm with us, taking comfort in the prospect of a future so bright.