Quite a bit has been said already, but here are a few of my pictures.
And the skulls:
In terms of actual product news, for SS13 a series of the small skull bags will be produced for a limited number of stores (they are aiming for something around ten worldwide I believe). Then, if all goes according to plan, next season will feature a range of 22 products (from trousers to a hat) that will function as a collection as well as form a base from which to build upon in subsequent years. As for the skulls themselves, there are two color-ways (grey and a different grey) and each has several attachment points for the leather straps so they can be adjusted to form various styles of bag (backpack / shoulder / waist / etc.). Befitting something that has been in the works for quite a while, the construction techniques and how they allow for the execution of the concept are indeed very impressive.
It is better (not to mention more apt) to think of Aitor as product designer. This makes his output as well as the emphasis he places on showcasing the concept and development easier to accept / understand. Still, I can't help but wonder whether him having two separate presentations / showrooms in Paris (plus his earlier showcase in London) for a bag and the promise of more was a bit much? Of course it is important to get press, hype, and people are talking (as evidenced here), but the target market will always be small. Anyways, others have talked about his approach much more eloquently than I so...Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Originally Posted by Ivwri
Not that I don't agree with the sentiment that the teasing has to stop at some point and clothes have to be shown, but Aitor is definitely working and has been perfecting a lot of the techniques he wants to use in his clothing. I mean, look at the skulls. They are stitched edge to edge with no overlapping seams and according to his press release, they are working on doing that with all of the clothing for the coming collection. That's bloody incredible if you ask me and also takes time to perfect.
Some excerpts from the press release:
Click (Click to show)
"It has taken the design studio approximately 6 years to construct the final 'blocks' from which to construct every subsequent design. The blocking system is a specific construction pattern, which determines the shapes of the pieces to be stitched together."
"Expanding on the studio's unwillingness to utilize traditional solutions, there is also a unified way in which all pieces are sewn. Through years of research and development, a unique process has been developed which allows the studio to stitch virtually any piece of material to another piece without the need for seam allowance. This revolutionary technique utilizes a specific type of vintage sewing machine - in a completely idiosyncratic way - that allows every panel to be stitched edge-to-edge. This instantly simplifies the aesthetic nature of each piece, and creates objects that are much more architectural: more focused on panels than seams."
Another thing to take into account is that Aitor's marketing is probably more frustrating only because we are used to the current fashion industry model. He is doing so much work on teasing his brand and building awareness right now precisely because he is going to be working outside the general fashion system and his brand is all about the processes he uses to design and make his stuff, not primarily about the clothing or accessories in and of themselves. The skull backpack for example gains more meaning when viewed in the context of the backstory he has for it. He is telling a story through his clothing so the behind the scenes stuff is as (if not more) important than what we will finally see and be able to purchase. In a way, we have already seen what the coming collection is going to be since he is only going to be working on stuff from a group of archetypes he has developed over the years - various iterations of really cool pants with cargo pouches and extended hems to cover the feet, transformable hats, shirts with straps to allow for easy combination with the skull pouches, a riding jacket of some sort (that might have been shown already in one of his drawings), transforming jackets with masks and scarves built in, and of course the skull bags. We have already seen all that stuff in drawings or from his older collections and exhibitions, so now he has to sell us the story behind that stuff AND his work process.
I am really in awe of what he is attempting to do as a designer and I really hope it turns out to be successful for him. Can't think of any other designer who is interested in building actual concrete narratives for their clothing as opposed to just selling an ambience.
Won't go for one of those skull backpacks, but I can see myself strewn with the skull pouches at some point in the future