Natasha Zinko commanded the spotlight on the inaugural day of London Fashion Week with her Spring/Summer 2024 collection, titled "CAMP." The show was a testament to her optimistic portrayal of contemporary life in constant motion.
Zinko's artistic vision extended to the exploration of functionality, resilience and the indomitable human spirit. In fact, the Ukrainian designer's recent collections have been infused with a powerful blend of fury and strength, a theme that was particularly prominent in her Fall/Winter 2023 presentation, which paid homage to the inner monsters within women, urging them to reclaim their power.
This time, Zinko posed a series of questions for SS24: "Where am I? Who are these people? Where am I going? Who am I? Why?" Inquiries triggered by the profound societal and environmental changes we are currently experiencing.
Zinko explained: "Humans have perpetually been on the move. In the past, it was on foot, evading perilous predators. Today, it's by train, car or plane, traversing countries and borders, relentlessly pursued by global threats that have unfortunately become disconcertingly commonplace: political unrest, warfare and environmental crises. The Russo-Ukrainian conflict, ongoing since 2014, has displaced roughly 17 million people."
WHAT: During times of natural adaptation, reflection becomes a necessity. This collection, therefore, drew its inspiration from the dynamism of modern-day life. The presence of camps in space prompts us to ponder what lies within and stirs thoughts about humanity's innate survival instincts. Zinko intended to explore functionality, resilience and the unwavering drive of the human spirit. Zinko also delved into a theme that unites us all. And no, it wasn't love; this time, the focus was on underwear. She commented: "In a polarized world, one thing that unites us is underwear. We all wear it; we all travel with it, stuff it in suitcases; so why do we hide it? It's time to normalize it."
WHO: The event attracted a diverse and lively crowd, ranging from influential figures like KOFI and artist Navinder Nangla to Greek model Nassia Matsa and Phoenix Brown, the daughter of Mel B. Additionally, curious onlookers gathered at the park gates to catch a glimpse of the spectacle.
WHERE: Natasha Zinko chose the LGBTQIA+ stronghold of Soho Square in central London as the backdrop. The location annually transforms into a hub of acceptance and celebration during Pride Month in June.
SEE: The collection included cropped hoodies, generously wide sweatpants and caps featuring embroidered, sawed-off visors. Besides, a long black hooded cape, lightweight backpacks that seamlessly transitioned from backs to fronts and doubled as vests secured by straps and cargo-moto pieces that skillfully merged cargo utility with motorcycle aesthetics. These included flared denim trousers boasting motorcycle ribbing on the knees, adorned with oversized square pockets and leather overalls with motorcycle-inspired accents on both the back and pockets.
TOUCH: The fabric palette encompassed faux leathers, robust structured materials, denim, repurposed cotton, nylon reminiscent of tents' fabric, hard belts, soft knits and distressed textiles.
HEAR: The runway was electrified with a pulsating soundtrack, a fusion of a revamped vintage Barbie advertisement and exhilarating rave-inspired beats.
TASTE: The collection encapsulated the essence of the Ukrainian designer's train of thought to perfection, offering a cohesive, nuanced, enjoyable and emotionally stirring experience that exuded energy. Comprising 42looks, it proved as empowering as it was finely detailed. Zinko's ongoing exploration of the human spirit through innate capabilities and raw emotions continues to be full of vitality.
In case you missed it, here's your definitive recap of NYFW SS24.