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A Look Inside Area’s Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection


This year, Area designer Piotr Panszczyk created a showgirl-centric line for the brand’s Spring 2022 collection. The crystal trim and casual glitz elements are fit for Carnival and Vegas – but it also works for more casual fashion fans who prefer to game with offers from online slots providers or stick to a trip to the local bingo hall. As Panszczyk told Vogue, “We’re all showgirls.”

From the bathroom in Area’s studio at New York Fashion Week, which was gilded entirely in silver, to the glitter-heavy makeup scheme, Panszczyk hit the nail on the head when it comes to transforming drab into glam. From the outside looking in, the Vegas-Carnaval theme looks over-the-top and cold. However, upon closer inspection, the crystal pants and rainbow-coloured decals aren’t mindless attempts at loud design. Instead, there’s a myriad of details that invite spectators to dive deeper into Panszczyk’s latest line.

Let’s take a closer look at what Area and Panszczyk got right at this year’s NYFW 2022.

‘’Unadulterated Creativity’

In Panszczyk’s interview with Vogue, he went on to describe Area’s Spring 2022 look as representative of deceptive power. In other words, those seeing each look might not understand the toughness of the women who wear sparkles and feathers. Even Panszczyk’s models, including Sophie Koella and Precious Lee, took powerful and rigid stances on the runway.

Each step was assertive, while each pose was like a dynamic power-move. Once again, Panszczyk is playing with expectations of what over-the-top fashion looks like and what the wearers of such fashion embody: strength, vision, and a serious dose of attitude.

For critics, Panszczyk’s Carnaval-in-the-boardroom idea panned out as a perfect snapshot of, as Vogue writer Steff Yotka put it, ‘unadulterated creativity’. From sequinned headpieces to feathered boots, to shapely and padded corsets and embroidered tops of all stripes, Panszczyk offered a haute spin on costume culture never seen before.

Established in 2013

Panszczyk isn’t the only creator behind the Spring 2022 collection. Back in 2013, Panszczyk started Area with Beckett Fog. The pair had spent time studying at Parsons for a Masters degree in Fashion Design and Society. They both took their professional experiences (at Chloé for Panszczyk and at Calvin Klein for Fog), then hit the ground running. 

In 2019, Area hit New York Fashion Week with plenty of heavy facial bejewelled decals, literally dripping from the model’s faces. Along with their destroyed urban glam line, the pair quickly gained a reputation. Their Autumn 2020 line added an edge of haute couture while keeping all the embroidery and bejewelling with rhinestone headscarves and slouchy layers.

The looks were enough to see the duo’s Area shortlisted for the LMVH prize. While the brand ended as semi-finalists, the nod was enough to put them on the map. In both 2021 and 2022, Area was one of the most-followed brands at New York Fashion Week.

 A New Success Story

The type of ‘unadulterated creativity’ displayed by Area doesn’t necessarily make for a success story in the fashion world. In fact, Area is one of the latest surprise startups in the industry. When they hit the scene in 2019, Panszczyk and Fogg didn’t have a huge corporate investor—or even traditional investors of note. In fact, their first official partnership was designing t-shirts for Opening Ceremony.

The kiss of death wouldn’t have been the lack of funding, but it could have been the high couture designs undertaken by the duo. They don’t make readily wearable items (imagine: towering handmade headdresses of rhinestones). And yet, Area was the third-highest fashion brand in terms of social media engagement at Coachella 2019.

Soon, both Kendall Jenner and Katy Perry wore the brand—and they’d each purchased their own pieces from Area without any push from Panszczyk or Fogg. In fact, Jenner has been posting about the brand since it was in its infancy in 2015. At the time, Area was just starting to create the same stylistic looks they’re known for today, including a heavily embossed look and an emphasis on similarly gaudy textiles.

 



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