Alexandre Plokhov Spring/Summer 2012

It is rare that a designer makes such an instant and lasting impression that the market maintains not just an interest, but a strong demand for their work regardless of circumstances and trends. Alexandre Plokhov accomplished just that. Garments from his earlier menswear label Cloak became collector’s items and his short-lived tenure at Versace raised expectations for a solo debut to “code red”. The sharply conceptualized and superbly tailored new collection leaves no doubt. Plokhov is back, never been better, here to stay.

His signature dark style has matured to allow romantic albeit sinister undertones. The collection is inspired by the instance of separation between a military recruit and his loved ones. The uncharacteristic all-white looks are not celebratory. Monochromatic palette suggests ashes, soot, dust. The lone blood-orange dress serves as an exclamation point. No one is deceived by the apparent ease of cuts and a relaxed fit. Obsessively expert tailoring ensures the pieces will survive any upheaval. There is hard-earned confidence in Plokhov’s take on uniforms for the long haul toil.

At the request of iconic NYC luxury retailer Barneys, the designer developed a women’s line exclusively for the store. Asymmetrical frocks and pleated shirtdresses fit organically into the Plokhov ethos. Taking this challenge a step further he presented several gender-bending skirted looks. Other spring-summer collection highlights include zipper-slashed necklines, short-sleeve jackets, bulk boots, and understated cadet hats. Epic battle of the buyers is to be expected.

Alexey Timbul

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