Time and light are the themes of Filippa K’s spring collection. This year marks the brand’s anniversary, and Liisa Kessler and team have been thinking about the passing of the years. She abstracted the idea by adding a tried-and-true patina to the clothes, and introduced a new quatrefoil logo consisting of 9 and 3, denoting the year the company was founded.
The spring 1993 season is remembered for bringing grunge to the runways, but the script never got off to Filippa K. During its ‘ golden age, the brand established a signature of relaxed tailoring, activewear and denim that appealed to a generation of health-conscious working women. That decade continues to fascinate, but we can only see it through the filter of today. 1990 has become fiction. Kessler’s challenge was to translate elements of the past into the way we live and dress in the present. She did this with reissued pieces and revisited long-lined silhouettes, an example of which was a low-waisted, gray-cut secretary dress worn with a cropped sleeveless V-neck sweater and headband. It’s not a spinoff look, but fans of Narciso Rodriguez’s Cerruti collection will instantly feel the vibe.
As for the lighting, the designers aimed to capture the golden moment of summer, that fleeting amber-colored time bar between day and night. It’s reflected in the lighting of the sets and the color palette of the cast, which runs (roughly) from light to dark. Kessler said she was reminded of her summers in Finland, where “you’d get these crazy looks from going out, maybe in a bathing suit … and then it got colder and you put a nylon parka on it coat, or your cashmere sweater, and then clogs or sandals. In a way, it’s a weird combination of clothing.” The clogs are there (in collaboration with Swedish Hasbeens), but if she incorporates That nasty real-life vibe, and it can be fun. Maybe that’s what she meant when she sent out lingerie with the logo on the runway. When asked, she explained that it was a continuation of the pant theme introduced in last season’s ski-inspired collection. Here, it makes the models look vulnerable rather than confident. By contrast, a malleable viscose and steel vest was seductive and strong—in every sense of the word.
A black slip dress with sheer black trim fits the style too, and it’s nice to see the overall look of this two-piece collection. The designer, who worked with Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, clearly has a mastery of tailoring and draping; at times, those skills seem to get lost in overly complex narratives aimed at too broad an audience. Where the hell are those short suits?
Kessler has a feel for tailoring, as evidenced by the opening look. Combining a sharply cut shimmering gold miniskirt suit, a reimagined knit top and armbands made in collaboration with Swedish jeweler RAV, the amber color is an extension of the sunset theme.
As for the denim, there’s a stylish piece in glossy black laminate, as well as railroad stripe styles for men and women. Bandeau tops were a theme, but the assortment of separates showed an interest in representing the product category rather than setting a clear direction.