- Munich/Florence. MINI is presenting a new Capsule Collection billed MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection at Pitti Uomo 94 (12 – 15 June 2018), one of the leading fairs worldwide for men’s fashion and lifestyle. The limited-run collection is the result of a collaboration between MINI and The Woolmark Company dedicated primarily to promoting young and talented designers. The 16-piece MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection sees a quartet of up-and-coming international designers translating personal memories from travelling into fashion pieces using the finest Merino wool. Inspiring products for the urban traveller are the result.
“Transcending borders” – a guiding theme of MINI FASHION.
“Travelling for us amounts to more than just stepping over physical borders, going from A to B; it’s about our experiences and the blurring of the lines between feelings, cultures and perspectives,” explains Sabine Ringel, Creative Lead MINI FASHION. The products of the new Capsule Collection lend form to very personal experiences. All four designers have sourced inspiration from trips to foreign cities – and woven the encounters and stories they’ve picked up along the way into garments for the collection.
Eye-catching fashion items express the spirit of the urban traveller.
The designers involved in the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection – Liam Hodges (UK), Staffonly (China), PH5 (USA) and Rike Feurstein (D) – are among the most exciting new names on the fashion scene. And most of them being alumni of the International Woolmark Prize, one of the world’s most renowned awards for rising stars of the fashion world. The products included in the new capsule collection reflect the experiences of Hodges, Staffonly, PH5 and Feurstein on their travels – using a variety of colours, forms and material composition, and featuring contemporary, innovative uses of wool as the principal material.
Liam Hodges, UK.
British designer Liam Hodges lives and works in London. His work draws rich inspiration from modern sub-cultures, hip-hop skatewear, UK streetwear and post-punk – influences he fuses into punchy and multi-layered statements. Signature elements include wide silhouettes, patch working and references to hard-wearing workwear and sportswear. These characteristics also feature in his pieces for the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection, which tell the stories of his encounters in New York City. “The first time I visited New York, it was as a kid with my parents and I only really got to know Manhattan. So the second time I went there – this time as an adult – I was determined to check out Brooklyn and the other districts around the city. Although everything was new and exciting, I had the feeling I’d been there before – a sort of déjà vu. It was almost uncanny.” His designs for MINI FASHION also have a touch of the new yet familiar, giving classics such as jeans, denim jackets and long-sleeves something fresh and new to say through the use of wool (and especially Wool Denim). Rounding off Hodges’ six-piece look is a car coat, a bucket hat and a travel pouch made from a water-repellent bonded wool fabric with classical Prince of Wales check.
Shimo Zhou and Une Yea founded the still young label Staffonly in Shanghai in 2015. Their idea and ideal of fashion combine technology and design with experiments on materials and colours for an ironic and provocative take on the subject that is enhanced by unusual and sculpted silhouettes. Their designs exude curiosity and a sense of humour, not to mention the boldness to dismantle boundaries and explore a world still unknown. All very MINI FASHION, in other words. Their creations for the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection focus on Greenwich Park in England, a bolthole of tranquillity for the designers during their studies in London. “Greenwich is the home of time. It’s an idyllic, almost magical place with a wonderful view over London,” muse Staffonly as they explain the background to their collection. “It’s the perfect place to escape the city on the spur of the moment. The greenness, the scent of freshly cut grass, Earl Grey tea and scones remind us of the special times we spent there.” The lush green of the Greenwich Park lawns provides the central colour theme for this contribution to the limited-edition collection. And the Meridian Line running through the park brings to mind the Bonnet Stripes on a MINI. These two elements form the connecting theme for Staffonly’s ensemble of jacket, shirt and patchwork jeans. One of the highlights of their creation is the matching duffle bag, which also serves as a garment bag and therefore provides a rather handy accessory for any urban traveller.
Brought to life by Wei Lin – the daughter of a large knitwear manufacturer – and award-winning designer Mijia Zhangin in New York in 2014, PH5 majors in advanced contemporary knitwear. The label challenges the conventional vision of knitwear by marrying whimsical designs with architectural dimensions of innovative knitting techniques. PH5 sets out to create boundary-breaking knitwear with a new and playful twist. Their pieces for the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection are inspired by the Art Deco District of Miami Beach. “When I first set eyes on these breathtaking buildings, it was a very special, slightly weird feeling: a strong sense of excitement, yes, but at the same time gentle and almost understated. Art Deco is a hugely influential design movement for me. The design and workmanship involved in the structures and textures are extraordinary, but the colours and decoration have also guided me in much of my design decision-making,” offers Mijia Zhangin by way of backstory for the PH5 designs. The same combination of pastel colours and special technical design features can also be found in the Jacquard woven wool sweater with MINI and PH5 logos, sleeveless knitted jumpsuit and hand-crocheted shawl, which doubles up as a travel rug.
Rike Feurstein, Germany.
The work of Berlin designer Rike Feurstein explores the fine line between art and fashion. Deeply rooted in the almost extinct craft of millinery, Rike sculpts hats and clothing in avant-garde shapes. With a keen painterly eye, she experiments with surprising colour combinations, invents new kinds of surface structures and plays with surrealist details, thus creating contemporary, exclusive and elegant clothes and accessories. Her three pieces for the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection draw on impressions from a trip to Russia – and in particular the Catherine Palace south of St. Petersburg, the original home to the legendary Amber Room. “When it came to the aesthetics of form in my designs for the collection, I looked back to the time of the Russian Revolution over 100 years ago. They bring together pre- and post-revolutionary elements with the modern aesthetic of my current range of felt hats. The colour scheme uses gemstone colours such as amber (for the Newsboy Cap), garnet (Bowler Hat) and emerald (Modern Base Cap) to celebrate the splendour of the Catherine Palace.”
Limited edition – available online from this autumn.
FIELD NOTES is the fourth MINI FASHION Capsule Collection and epitomises the MINI brand’s open and optimistic mindset. The collection will be on show at Pitti Uomo 94 in Florence, Italy from 12 – 15 June 2018, and online available for purchase in limited numbers from this autumn.
MINI and Pitti
Pitti Immagine is an annual fashion-centric show held in Italy. The Pitti Uomo fair, meanwhile, which focuses exclusively on men’s fashion, has taken place in Florence twice a year since 1972. Both events promote young, aspiring and sometimes unconventional fashion labels. In January 2015, MINI and Pitti Immagine began an ongoing collaboration that highlights their shared passion for innovation, attention to detail and quality, not to mention the ability to anticipate new trends.