KUALA LUMPUR, 9th August 2018 – MINI Malaysia presented the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection for the first time in Asia at the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2018.
The limited-run collection is an early result of a collaboration – dedicated primarily to promoting young and talented designers – between MINI and The Woolmark Company, one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands in textile and fashion. The 16-piece MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection, which was first introduced at the Pitti Uomo 94, features a quartet of up-and-coming international designers translating personal memories from travelling into fashion pieces using the finest Merino wool.
“A progressive and expressive brand, MINI is iconic and sets the trends and style of the creative class in the modern urban setting. This creative spirit and trendsetting expression are also very much present in the fashion industry. This is the idea and movement behind MINI FASHION. MINI FASHION creates emotional, fashion-forward designs that resonate with the Urban Traveller – one who embraces travel as a personal crossing of borders, from one feeling, one culture, one perspective to another,” said Sashi Ambi, Head of Corporate Communications of BMW Group Malaysia.
The guiding theme of MINI FASHION is “Transcending Borders” and the Capsule Collection celebrates the experiences one makes while traveling to new and unknown territories. The new Capsule Collection lends form to very personal experiences. Each of the 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.
The designers involved in the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection are Liam Hodges (UK), Staffonly (China), PH5 (USA), and Rike Feurstein (Germany). Most of them are alumni of the International Woolmark Prize, one of the world’s most renowned awards for rising stars of the fashion world. Using a variety of colours, forms and material compositions, featuring contemporary, innovative uses of wool as the principal material, the Capsule Collection epitomises the MINI brand’s open and optimistic mindset.
Liam Hodges, United Kingdom.
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 which he fuses into punchy, multi-layered statements. His 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,” he said.
His designs for MINI FASHION also exudes a new yet familiar feeling, giving classics such as jeans, denim jackets, and long-sleeves something fresh to say through the use of wool (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 in a classic Prince of Wales check.
Shimo Zhou and Une Yea founded the young label, Staffonly, in Shanghai just three years ago. Their ethos of fashion combines technology and design with experiments on materials and colours for a provocative take on the subject, that is enhanced by unusual and sculpted silhouettes. Their designs exude curiosity and a yearning to 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 Shimo and Une during their studies in London.
“Greenwich is the home of time. It’s an idyllic, almost magical place with a wonderful view over London,” mused Staffonly as they explained the background to their collection. They added, “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. The Meridian Line running through the park effortlessly brings the Bonnet Stripes on a MINI to mind. 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; a 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 the 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 breath-taking 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 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,” offered Mijia by way of a backstory for the PH5 designs.
The same combination of pastel colours and 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 Fourstein explores the fine line between art and fashion. Deeply rooted in the vanishing craft of millinery, Rike creates hats and clothing in avant-garde shapes. With a keen 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 pieces for the MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection draw on impressions from a trip to Russia – 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.”
The MINI FASHION FIELD NOTES Capsule Collection will be displayed exclusively at KLFW 2018 from now until Sunday, 12th August 2018. Be sure to check it out on Level 3, Couture Pavilion, at the Prada-Rolex area.