Petar Petrov Spring/Summer 2012

Vienna-based Bulgarian menswear designer Petar Petrov has been offering women’s pieces since 2007, but took time to develop and launch a complete women’s line which premiered on Aurora catwalk alongside highlights from his latest men’s lineup shown to critical acclaim in Paris in September. Roman murals of battle scenes and a fast pace of the show made clear the high-speed high-stakes environment inhabited by the Petrov target audience. Theirs is the urban space where life’s highs and lows constantly mix creating a particular energy flow which can be resisted or enjoyed. The latter, bitter!

“A woman can wear men’s clothing and still look gorgeous,” said designer at the press briefing.  Already a non-premise, yet many fail to successfully toe the gender line. Petrov mastered women’s pants after men’s classic designs. Otherwise, it was all neutral silhouettes. Fine see-through mesh and black lacquered miniskirts and sleeve inserts added a festive touch albeit with a corporate feel. Petrov is not a fan of hyperfemininity or all things hype, really. Reserved Mittel Europa values were on full blast. Comfort and practicality reigned over conceptual or production extravagance. Practical dark colors ruled: black, blue, purple and the ever-trending hues of orange and mustard. Relaxed fit and wrinkled surfaces suggested casual approach to post-globalization crisis woes.

Shoes with cut outs attempted to bridge formal and casual footwear. Rain-soaked St Petersburg crowds noted limited practicality of the design outside dry climate locales. An interesting effect nonetheless! Other collection highlights included double jackets, string-cords as belts, and vintage sunglasses. Whereas many brands who venture across gender boundaries aim to shock-n-awe their way into a new market niche, Petar Petrov chose to naturally evolve accentuating complementarities. Creative vitals are healthy. Commercial indicators are greenlit. Brand is expansion ready. Und das ist gut so!

Alexey Timbul

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