Koché Resort 2023

At a Zoom appointment, Christelle Kocher discussed her practical approach to Koché’s resort collection. “It’s a chance to rework things which make the identity of the brand, the everyday uniform of jeans, knitwear… but give them a sense of poetry,” she explained. A puzzling statement. Was the poetry in the signature feathers, this time ostrich, that appeared on a knitted orange vest, sprouting like tall grass, and worn over brown, low-slung trousers? Or was it in the mesh knits made of a blend of recycled cotton and polyester fibers, turned into sleeveless vests and tunics that featured a colorblocked design across the body? “It gives this idea of a landscape, but is also very textured, with a sense of softness that feels like a cocoon.”

It turned out there was more to this collection than just “reworking things.” Kocher has been traveling a lot recently, and it was a trip to the West Coast of the United States that seems to have influenced the collection’s energy. In San Francisco, she spent time in galleries and museums where she saw the works of Neri Oxman, Pipilotti Rist, Barbara Kruger, and Tauba Auerbach. She also went to the nearby ancient redwood forests. In Los Angeles, she was moved by “the colors and the light: the silver and blues, the landscape.”

“I’m like a sponge all the time, I feel connected to all the embroidery, the texture, the colors, it’s very emotional for me,” she added. Looking at the collection again, the components started coming together. There’s the silver she remembered from her time in LA, in a silk satin woven into a jacquard and transformed into a kind of sportswear material and made into a layered mini-skirt, a pair of pleated trousers, and a slouchy trench coat emblazoned with a new take on the Koché logo. Her familiar remix of streetwear with more formal silhouettes was particularly successful on a white button-down shirt with long sleeves taken from a sports polo, and on an asymmetric dress made of bands of different fabrics including sporty black mesh, and trimmed in lace. A brown men’s cargo shorts suit featuring a black floral jacquard inset stitched with a neon yellow overlock, worn over a graphic print neon yellow and orange t-shirt was definitely cool.

After hearing Kocher talk about her thought process and looking at all the pieces individually, it was easy to find pieces to feel joy about, something that upon first glance at the collection wasn’t immediately evident. From her time in LA she said she was inspired by the “feeling of space and freedom.” Maybe what the clothes need is just a little space to breathe, away from complicated styling choices that distract from the emotion and dreams that so drive her work.

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https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/resort-2023/koche, Vogue

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