In keeping with the creative signatures of Apujan, SS21 transports us into a realm of sci-fi-fantasy. Exploring the concept of virtual technology and reality colliding, a fitting notion amid the digital nature of 2020, this seasons collection was delivered in the form of a fashion film, that wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of ‘Black Mirror’, a first in Apujan history.
Drawing the collections title from the Chinese idiom “Flowers seen in the mirror, mood reflected on the water’s surface” a subtle nod to the designer’s concept of virtual imagery is embedded within the collection, available to gaze upon but never touch. References to this are visualised throughout the fashion film, via inclusions of virtual reality glasses and a hologram music performance.
As we excel deeper into a digital era, this wearable collection of artistry is set to remind us of our gradually diminishing distinction between what is real and what is digital. Within Apujans SS21 fashion film, the designer creates the concept of a virtual account, you have the ability to log on and experiment with clothing, experience a virtual life, but as we do so, the lines between digital and reality are blurred further.
“We wanted to deliver a story exploring the difference between the virtual and the real. I imagine in the future we will use more and more social media, we talk to each other through the internet, I imagine one day just like magic, like in some science fiction film, we use a virtual account. In my mind it looks like a peep hole, you can make the player account, wear different clothes, it’s not real but just like VR you can feel like you’re in a different world, experiencing different situations, but in reality you are still in front of your computer or your cell phone. What we present in this video is a girl, she can log into an account and transport inside that world, look around, watch the fashion show in front of her. I see that for the future, we won’t know if what we are seeing is real or virtual.”
Within SS21, a collection comprised of over 100 unique pieces, we are greeted with the mesmerizing fictional illusion associated with any Apujan garment. Scatted across prints throughout the collection, motifs of goldfish, mirrors, skeletons, lattice-like digital grid patterns, dinosaurs and forests, are printed across flowing chiffon dresses, distinctive jacquard coats, futuristic sport jackets, and graceful formal gowns, uniting to form a compelling high-fashion-streetwear aesthetic. Contributing an additional layer to this alluring amalgamation, each design is complimented by the new Nike Airforce series, in a continuous collaboration between the brands.
Drawing us into their iconic Apujan world, undertones of fantasy are injected. Warming notions of the books that inspired the designer, this seasons novels including; Flowers in the mirror, Fahrenheit 451 and A Scanner Darkly, appear alongside ridged, gripping, digital references. “Since I was a child I liked to read, so many different kinds of novels, no matter if it was history or mystery novels, this inspiration comes from some science fiction novels”.
Time becomes non-existent when experiencing an Apujan garment. Signature detailing’s drawn from traditional oriental garments, juxtapose striking contemporary silhouettes, ageless silks and jacquard feature alongside 3D printed elements and digital embroidery, fusing to form an inimitable collection. “We used so many different kinds of techniques, we wanted to create a collection that when you look at it, you don’t know if it’s from 100 years ago or 100 years in the future”.
“We want people to use our collection to tell a story, send a message. I always think people want to let other people know there message, but most of the time they don’t want to say it out loud, that’s why we use social media so openly, we put our lives on Instagram because we don’t want to voice our story, we want other people to realise the message you are trying to send. We don’t talk, sometimes we don’t even write, but through our clothes we want to find people who want to present themselves, those who don’t know how to speak their message.”
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