To close the day with Paris Fashion Week, here’s OAMC Menswear Spring 2022.
Luke Meier turned to the restrained design practice of Dieter Rams for his OAMC spring collection, approaching the creative process with a “product design mindset,” as he explained on a Zoom call from Milan. Meier quoted Ram’s ethos in the press notes: “Good design is as little as possible. Less, but better, because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products aren’t burdened by the non-essential. Back to purity, back to simplicity.”
Ram’s assumption feels particularly pertinent in today’s world; it isn’t too far removed from Meier’s sensibility either. Economy of gesture and elegant subtraction are very much part of his lexicon. This season, he deep-dived into “questioning the purpose of what we do and how we do it and why,” through a considered exploration of responsible practices. For Meier that means creating high-quality ‘products’ with longevity, integrity, and, of course, beautiful design.
A thorough research on sustainably produced fabrics gave the collection a solid foundation, grounding its smooth modular shapes in fine materials and supporting the voluminous proportions of its sleek functional tailoring. Repurposed wools and felts, compact Japanese cottons, bonded double-faced viscose—all feature prominently in the offer, together with a textured polyester made in Italy by a company that processes leftover scraps gathered only within 10 kilometers of its mill. Adding a soft touch to the otherwise industrial, ergonomic feel, a recycled 3-layered nylon was printed with painterly watercolor effects, reproducing an abstract constellation of nebular clouds, “like looking at some sort of dreamy sky maps,” Meier said.
“Obviously it is very of the moment, all these talks about sustainability and upcycling,” reflected Meier. “But the underlying idea is that the resources we have at our disposal aren’t infinite; we don’t have an endless amount and stream of everything.” Going deeper into the idea of trying to make pre-existing things interesting again, he started working on OAMC Re:Work, a sort of artisanal project on the re-use of existing surplus military garments and blankets which he over-dyed and modified, and then integrated with hardware or fabric panels to compose new silhouettes. The quilted liner of an American M-65 field jacket was transformed into a slim bi-color elongated jacket or into an attractive lightweight orange overcoat.
Finding beauty in the discarded is a conceptual and visual exercise that Meier finds fascinating. Images of humble crushed soda cans were rendered in black-and-white silk-printed graphics on a round-cut shirt/jacket. “It’s not only a necessity, I also think it’s something professionally creative,” he said. Artists have always given their best when confronted with limitations. “I always feel that you have to give yourself a bit of a boundary, making things interesting by staying within a certain perimeter,” confirmed Meier. “Every season I somehow always reference Matthew Barney’s performative work—there must be some kind of weird Cremaster thing going on now on the globe, really. His series Drawing Restraint is today particularly poignant, that effort of overcoming self-created obstacles to reach something further, more powerful. We don’t have unlimited resources. But we can certainly have unlimited supplies of creativity.”
Photographed in Milan by Ben Beagent @ben088.