STRATEAS CARLUCCI's FASHION REFORMATION words Luca Mitchell - images courtesy of Strateas Carlucci
In the age of gender politics, it’s hard to know whether a brand is truly being authentic in its statements of fluidity and their approach when creating their unisex collections. Though for Strateas Carlucci, this has never been called into question with the refusal of gendered stereotypes being at their core since its debut in 2013. Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci’s latest collection seems to be in direct dialogue with their AW/18 ‘hybrid’ range. Very much appropriate to the brand's core concept of ‘deconstructed androgyny’, Strateas Carlucci’s ‘creative inspiration for AW19 is one of ‘breakage and repair’. Conceptualised on the Japanese art of ‘Kintsugi’ (golden joinery), the AW/19 range is the product of Peter and Mario’s deliberate breaking of traditional fashion strictures. Tearing up the rule book while providing a clear proof that deconstruction is in Strateas Carlucci’s DNA as an organism driven by concept; season after season they shake up the norm.
In bringing together different spheres of art and design, Strateas Carlucci creates collections that consistently break with socially constructed understandings of what an individual ‘should’ wear. For AW/16 the duo tackled innocence vs. maturity in their ‘Imago’ collection, using materials to physically represent the strange notion of children as soldiers; the result was beautifully oversized garments which played with the traditional silhouette. Use of the right material is also a crucial part of the Strateas Carlucci brand, so when it came to their AW/17 menagerie it was leathers and phallic zippers that brought the sexuality of Nobuyoshi Araki’s explicit imagery into their designs.
Since the brand's conception in 2013, the Australian design house has gained international industry recognition for its skillful manipulation of the human form. From Vogue to Tiffany & Co., the duo from down under clearly know how to turn a look. With over six years of challenging the status quo, Strateas Carlucci now fulfills their zeal for shaking things up through the art of ‘Kintsugi’. Just like the ancient Japanese practice, Peter and Mario-Luca embrace the fractures of something broken through embellishment. With not pottery, but garments, the AW/19 collection embraces flaws and binds them with skillful use of materials.
Refreshing yet recognizable, Strateas Carlucci now references the art of college. With this, the brand continues to make unusually charming garments that blend art forms. Swooping asymmetrical cuts, layering, and silhouette manipulation that creates a feel of elegant drama. True to their brand, Peter and Mario-Luca haven't been afraid to use hot pinks and inflated forms to bring their creativity to life. Man, woman, or neither, you’ll probably want to work a few of these looks yourself. If ‘Mutation’ is the theme with this outing of Strateas Carlucci, then mutation has never looked better.