Sitting on the block bars of metal that Thomas Petherick designed for Kiko Kostadinov’s S/S 18 collection, I read that David Lynch’s Lost Highway served as a pivotal point of reference for the collection and was playing as the show’s soundtrack. I got chills, not just because those metal seats were cold, but because there is a certain anxiety that one feels when watching Lynch’s Lost Highway, an eerie nature, an ominous feeling.
Things were Lynchian from the first look. Kostadinov had been looking at how the very concept of evil had become entertainment. The models certainly looked evil. Skin coloured tights were drawn over the face in an attempt to conceal identity, lean and mean tailoring came in the form of an oxblood blazer with menacing zip down the centre and long coats seemed constricted at the waist by sleeves that appeared from within the garment. Even the colour palette was sinister; toxic chartreuse, oxblood, stone grey, pale water-cooler blue.
There was an element of American Pyscho at play here too, see the slicked back hair, bloodied lips and all white looks; one a forensic boiler suit, the other a lab coat look-a-like with Admiral side-poppers - perhaps an influence from Kostadinov’s appointment at Mackintosh. Square shoulders, weatherproof nylon wool and medic collars added a pleasing air of dystopian sci-fi.
There have been a lot of utilitarian looks in London this season, a theme for S/S 18 I’m sure, but uniform staples such as these are Kostadinov’s signature. Kostadinov is a dab hand at reinterpreting utilitarian uniform with contemporary design. Just look at the unexpected seams, the parallel zips which struck the back of thighs, the double darting across blazer’s backs. This collection also marked the first ever designer collaboration with trainer brand Asics. Another testament to Kostadinov’s impressive skill.