It is usually a norm for brands to roll out monochromatic and deeper-toned looks for autumn and winter seasons, so when Swedish clothing brand COS – short for Collection of Style – decided to showcase an array of vibrant coloured pieces alongside black and whites for its Autumn/Winter 2015 collection at its press preview last Thursday, we had to do a double-take.
Taking its key influence from Japan, the brand introduced the dramatic minimalism of the 20th century Mono-ha art movement into the womenswear collection by exploring fabric mix and textures, proportions and silhouettes, in order to represent the encounter between natural and industrial materials, as well as the contrast between the pursuit of aesthetics and that of the utilitarian.
By doing so, the brand cleverly strikes a balance between the opposing elements within each look, such as the floor-length textured wool coat, which comes with a long obi belt that is reminiscent of Japanese kimono style, as well as the gathering detailing that is contrasted on an incredibly comfortable-looking wool flannel grey dress with asymmetrical hemline.
Other standout pieces from the collection include a grey cardigan with brushed wool patches in dark navy and green that sit like terrains in a forest as well as a long-sleeved wool top with origami folds that gradually fall on the body like flowing waterfalls in a downward direction.
It is obvious that the brand whose style is iconic for the interplay of modern, functional pieces is striving for the ethos of New York-based, Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic; a deceptive portrait of stillness and serenity, whilst transcending a sense of extremeness, by basing its choice of colour schemes for the women’s collection on German photographer Olaf Otto Becker’s images of glacial landscapes.
Aside, the women’s collection also features a intelligent juxtaposition of silhouettes by layering a fluidly-draped outer on a long, column-like dress.
Unlike the women’s collection, the men’s collection takes on a more subtle approach by keeping the detailing to the mere essentials; tailored silhouettes that followed the sleek plastic resin sculptures of Peter Alexander, by exploring the elements of light and space.
Wool blazers were single-breasted and collarless and held by only a clip fastening. Paddings existed as the sole key detail of one look, while the others featured kimono v-necks on sweaters, and not forgetting, a blouson that looked like patent PVC leather but is in actuality a waterproof iridescent fabric.
It is undoubtedly less-is-more minimalism at its best in the menswear department, albeit with COS’s signature layering in styling for the cold weather.
To top it off, COS has also rolled out a series of black leather and grey wool accessories, a surprising mix of fabrication, especially for the shoes and bags, which are attuned to a sporty aesthetics with an irrefutable wintery vibe going on.
Our personal favourites would have to be the wool heeled sandals and the felted belt with an unexpected black leather backing, which are both simple and versatile enough to give great mileage to anyone’s closet.
COS’s Autumn/Winter 2015 is now available its Ion Orchard store.
For more information, do visit COS’s website.
Lookbook images taken from COS press kit
Close-up and accessories shots taken by Felly Loi