It’s quite something when a style as well-explored and weighted with cultural memory as nautical can be shown to yield unexpected new length. Fyodar Golan’s SS’19 collection, Lost & Found, is a case in point. Their formula of finding the imagistic fun in an idea before reasoning through its real world implications works here through an exact inversion of the references they employ. While nautical stylings often utilise a serious and reserved clothing softened by its reference to seasonal leisure, the collection displayed this morning inverts this relationship with a string of works unashamedly ludic and exuberant, but made poignant through in their striking referentiality to such issues as ecological decay and and marine pollution.
Keen attention to the contextual meaning of symbols and tropes can be tracked throughout their career, and such inventive referential detail upon the runway is refreshingly fascinating. The duo deconstruct nautical’s minimalist unity by reinventing the image of the coastline as an emblem of natural collage and visual symptom of environmental disaster. Emphasising this is a runway bedecked with the spoils of the beachcomber: lobster creels and coral-crusted driftwood made from flowers form the backdrop for a collection that plays on these textural ideas.
One dress, for instance combines a body piece made from loose-linked rainbow netting, before spilling into a wash of material that falls behind the wearer like a flood of water. Similarly, dark-plastic parachute skirts billow somewhere in a reference that straddles maritime sails and wind-lost binliners, fusing playful humour with political intent. Loose fitting blouses and sea-turquoise jackets retain the relaxed atmosphere of their tradition’s leisurewear origins, but with a technicolour, postmodern intensity through pathwork collage and combinations which, in their audacity, only just about make sense.
And amongst all this were Sonic The Hedgehog and Dr Who. Making Iconoclasm fun and cool is perhaps nothing new, and certainly not difficult. But it takes a true talent to make it feel so fresh and exciting. Fyodar Golan are to be applauded for the strength of their ideas from conception to realisation: still, certainly, ones to watch.