Glamazons Prepare for Battle at Lug Von Siga

by Katie on October 9, 2013

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Lug Von Siga’s collection struck an energetic attitude for S/S’14. Turkish-born designer Gül Agiş says the pieces were heavily influenced by international ‘tribal attitudes’. Indeed, her cultural heritage played a role in the design process, noting that the anger erupting from the Gezi Park protests in Istanbul earlier this summer provided impetus for the feeling of the collection. The demonstrations stand as the largest protest wave in modern Turkish history organised by a following of minority groups (Kurds, secular nationalists, leftist Islamists, environmentalists and gay activists). In some sense, the diversity of participants represented a network of tribes; each working in conjunction toward collective social progression. The surge of events symbolise a new generation of shifting democratic attitudes toward communal activism.

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Politically inspired statements are often difficult to translate into wearable collections, but Agiş’s atelier proves to adopt a functional sensitivity. As a departure from the extreme minimalist tone of last season, S/S’14 invigorates a monochromatic palette (black, white and beige) with strident prints, ornamental motifs and a vibrant red.

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Digital prints were used in butterfly-sleeved bombers, skirts and dresses. The mixture of materials offered a Glamazonian feast: a silk graphic print jacket with leather panelled skirt, fitted dresses deconstructed with cut-outs and embossed with embellishments in the form of tasselled piping, braided leather and intricate beadwork.

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Close inspection reveals the acute detail given to each piece. Accents of gold zippers and light-grained leather came to the surface as white and cream dresses, trousers and jackets defiantly marched the runway. In thematic consideration, the use of black and red revive the anger of intense violence and sombre lament while pristine white and gold glorify heroic deeds done – a visual immortalisation of conflict and memory.

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Working from study of Maori masks and woodcarvings a repertoire of tribal-inspired patterns were printed, embroidered and laser-cut onto silk, organza and crepe. A black tunic blouse embroidered with the impression of a mask in white silk thread was paired with oversized shorts to the knee. Complementing imagery emerged on an asymmetric strapless dress framed with flowing fringe and an appliqué shift organza option.

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The label has received some flack for insensitivity and ‘rip-off’ of Maori design, criticism emanating from camps scaling the periphery of the fashion industry. It appears difficult to validate such arguments for cultural misappropriation with noted discrepancy in their inability to convincingly discuss (or consider) the multi-faceted construct of design process, influence and interpretation.

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The collection was not a representation of Maori culture, but a few pieces were influenced by the visual tradition the culture has produced. It does not pinpoint or classify Maori peoples as angry or hostile; moreover, it seems to encompass an allegory for the frustrations and attitude perhaps felt by social groups in times of civil unrest.

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In turn, aside from the few Maori-inspired graphics, a large portion of the pieces referenced various modes of influence: with details reflecting works of Orientalised metallurgy and other minor arts produced by civilisations native to Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East.

In the grand scheme of women’s fashion the overall aesthetic aimed to personify a feminine warrior vibe; drawing from a diversity of cultural traditions added to the mythic gusto of the collection. S/S’14 signifies a new direction for Lug Von Siga; hopefully, criticism will not dampen the label’s creative imagination in ritual seasons to come.

Review written by Cody James (@roguing_vogue) for katiechutzpah.com

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