Last night in London’s Strand, 032c debuted its first ever womenswear collection on the runway. Titled “COSMIC WORKSHOP,” the women’s ready-to-wear collection joined 032c’s ’90s rave wear-inspired menswear apparel line. The show cemented 032c’s pivot from magazine and occasional apparel designer into fully fledged designer label, one that translates the visual language of its Berlin roots for a global fashion audience using sheer fabrics and a palette of black, gray, white, and metallics.
Walking down the runway to the sounds of German post-punks Fehlfarben and an unreleased track by Berghain resident DJ Kobosil (made specially for the show), the women’s collection combined equestrian-style boots (a Buffalo collaboration) with see-through dresses, giving off an unmistakeably Berlin-inspired identity. A recurring “WORKSHOP” logo was inspired by Love Parade, a Berlin electronic music festival founded in 1989, and anyone who has visited the German capital will have recognized the quilted Matrix-like jackets, loose-fitting pants, and general deference to a black utilitarian aesthetic.
Check out all the looks in the gallery above, and then peep below, where we caught up with 032c apparel creative director Maria Koch about the transition from print media and streetwear drops to realizing a complete fashion collection.
This is your first women’s collection. That seems a world away from your first logo tee three years ago. What’s the story behind the elevated elegance?
I come from a womenswear background, so in many ways the T-shirts were the challenge and this is a return home for me. We see the womenswear as a natural evolution of the creative conversation we’ve always been having at 032c. We just finally have the resources, infrastructure, and collaborators we need to do it.
Walk us through your design process. Is there a team behind the collection? How do you source your fabrics?
It’s an extremely collaborative process, both within the 032c workshop, where the apparel is part of an integrated creative conversation, and outside of our offices, with our many partner brands, fabricators, and so on.
Why do you think it was necessary to create a more high-end line?
032c apparel’s menswear and unisex streetwear is limited to a certain price range, scope, style, and conversation. But our interests and philosophy as a brand are extremely wide-ranging, and we think the clothing we produce, which is another way we distribute ideas and start conversations, should reflect the full spectrum of what we are talking and thinking about.
The collection is also inspired by ’90s rave and club wear. When you think of that era, who comes to mind specifically? How were they dressed?
There are actually some great examples of what people wore discussed in our latest issue of 032c, which features a piece on rave wear by Adriano Sack!
The first source of inspiration is really my own experience. I was super into the rave scene back then in Berlin, when it was really authentic, not happening in big stadiums but in left-wing squats and old bunkers. I’m very interested in the specifics of that time and what connects its spirit and sentiment to the present day.
Why did you choose to show in London rather than another fashion capital?
I visited London last year and had a walkthrough of the space at 180 The Strand and just found it really inspiring as an environment. I wasn’t sure how it would factor into what we were working on until I came back to the space with Joerg [Koch, 032c founder and editor-in-chief] and we knew it was perfect for this presentation.
Talk about the reason behind not showing on the typical fashion show calendar?
There is no typical fashion calendar in 2018!
Let us know your thoughts on the collection in the comments below.
In other style news, Travis Scott just dropped his Astroworld Festival merch.