During New York Fashion Week, Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Pansczczyk’s American luxury label Area debuted its “see-now, buy-now” spring/summer 2023 collection that examined the aesthetics and meaning of fruits.
The Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Ariana Grande favourite brand looked at the various stages of fruits like grapes, bananas, and watermelons as well as their significance in popular culture to create sculptural and crystal-encrusted pieces like a 3D banana bustier top and a watermelon strapless mini.
Fruit often symbolises abundance, fertility, vigour, and youth when it is in its fresh and vibrant state. Fruit can, however, represent mortality and the cycle of life when it is in a state of decay, according to Area’s show notes. “We expressed these notions through different embroidery, decoration, metalwork, and building techniques using motifs like grapes, bananas, and watermelon,” the statement continued.
Area design director Panszczyk converted traditional floral Chantilly lace into a sensual scattered grape lace, making bodysuits and hosiery as second skins for the grape, which historically symbolised abundance, fertility, and pleasure. By embroidering ostrich and rooster feathers around the edge to produce bursts of distressed grape holes, Panszczyk also experimented with the idea of decay and frayed circular grape-like cut-outs in the lace.
Bananas, which traditionally represent sex, death, and freedom, had to be the most stunning fruit on exhibit. The brand made reference to Andy Warhol’s sexually explicit album covers for The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967) and the Banana Skirt worn by Josephine Baker.
On plunging halter tops and cut-out miniskirts, Panszyzcyk transformed the banana into an artwork of rich yellow crystal and beading with rotting brown blotches in paillette sequins. She also fashioned 3D bananas from black velvet and ombre denim with sculpted 24K gold stem cuts.
Together with Italian women’s footwear company Sergio Rossi, Area also debuted a 20-piece capsule collection. The collection comprises slingbacks, gladiators, pumps, and sandals with distinguishing Area accents like feathers, gems, and bows.