The darkness that Leon Louis presents in his Spring/Summer 2016 collection is not the darkness most people are accustomed to — it is neither foreboding or malicious. Louis offers us an introverted form of darkness that is represented in each and every one of us: the sort that is moody, wounded and flawed.
As is characteristic of the Danish designer, leather was abundant. Waxed horse leather, as well as ox hide and calf skin made for more than one unusual texture in the collection. Their surfaces, typically polished to a high sheen, were distressed and worn. For the most part, silhouettes were composed of thick layers. Shorts were paired with fitted leggings, and tops of different lengths created a distinct, tiered appearance. The oversized mock necks were a highlight, as were the pieces that included a band to be worn around the face. Materials were also warm and tactile: heavy-knits, a black and white bouclé and a dimpled jersey.
Deconstruction was a running theme throughout the collection. Seams and zippers traced irregular shapes across the garments. They were imperfect and often twisted along the lengths of sleeves and pants. Small appliques were whip stitched atop garment surfaces, crafting a hand-made aesthetic. Raw cut and tattered edges left fabric remnants to hang alongside leather zipper pulls and corozo buttons.
While there are functional, Nordic influences to this collection, Louis is ultimately a global designer. Imperfection is a concept understood on an individual level, surpassing regional boundaries. Crude stitching and torn edges might be considered a weakness to any other collection. However, for Louis, it’s these specific details that become a strength and object of beauty.
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