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James Hock Harbinger Autumn/Winter 2012

  Monday 26th March 2012

Reflecting the sentiment of our nation, James Hock’s Autumn/Winter 2012-2013 Collection is a Harbinger for the ominous fiscal fate of 2012. Where his Spring/Summer 2012 collection, The Incomplete Story of Hemimetaboly and the Joy of Fashion, employed colour for surrealist effect, Hock returns to his iconographic pallet of black, white and grey, transcending the gaiety of spring to the macabre. This bold, monochrome pallet emboldens his designs and is as unnerving as it is striking. Rather than being a collection that is welcoming to those observing its wearer, Hock’s designs retain intimacy with the introvert alone.

The self-reflective could wear this collection with homogeny, informing the world that their meditation surpassed shallow frivolity and acting as a caveat against optimism. Although his use of sheer fabric could be construed as provocative, Hock provides a translucent opening to look beyond his designs to the fragile human form. Were these panels tight, Hock’s purpose would be undermined, yet the billowy structure of his sheer tops, skirts and dresses provide a visualised, impermeable personal space, displaying the recluse’s demand to protect herself from the outside world.

Yet beyond the gloom, Hock draws inspiration from wildlife to revert to the simplicity of nature. Using feathers, leather and sheepskin, his intention is clear: solace from the degeneration of our society can only be sought in that which it does not control, the beast. With feathers seemingly impaling her head, Hock’s lookbook model seems comforted by her animalistic costume; her sheepskin sandals enhance her reclusive nature. Rejecting the synthetic materials that adorn the feet of the urban, these sandals step back to the tranquil state of being a pariah, freed from the troubles of the city.

Hock’s expertise centres on the construction of his pieces, the variety of which showcases his mastery of constructing unusual shapes to provide the individuality needed for an entirely monochrome collection. The message that unifies his designs encapsulates our shared anxiety of the future and provides an alternative to the destructive existence from which those anxieties were born.

Ryan Brown

Have a better look at the collection here.

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