It's amazing how the pristine and unblemished can sometimes be remixed to look macabre and downright sinister. Chalk it up to someone's vivid imagination or odd perspective. For instance, there's someone quite beautiful and almost picturesque and organic about a papal procession with the swinging incensories. Now in the same breath imagine the portrayed perception over the years of the mysteries hidden beneath the seemingly sinless all white robe. The symbolic beauty of the shed blood and broken flesh as sacrifice remixed to uncover the sacrifice as more for something heinous and ghastly than ceremonial and redeeming.
Inspiration from everywhere, even religion, the dark sides of it and the organic elements of blood, earth, smoke, air and water can serve as factors to both titillate and terrify as was the case with the Skingraft Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
Pulling inspiration from practices of the syncretic ritual-based religion of Santeria, Jonny Cota showed a collection that cleverly brought Skingraft's dark aesthetic into the Spring/Summer season. Not straying from the usual primary, grayscale and monochromatic color palette Skingraft's S/S collection focused on a lightness with collaborative images from artist Jordan Eagles reminiscent of smoke trails printed onto white fabrics in breezy cuts and easy sportswear silhouettes. There was a particular focus on the dark beauty of blood, fluid or congealed for which Eagles has a penchant for, with the presence of textured and printed vibrant reds over the same gossamer lightness and languid shapes.
Never skimping on the brand's favorite color of black, the color was present in a variety of fabrics and cuts again like fluid hooded outerwear, bondage-esque swimwear and moto jackets. Eagles' abstract clustered and haunting fleur de lis-like prints and wovens on white sheers and in that fresh drawn blood color had an energy of the ornate elegance applied to ritual and sacrificial imagery and objects. Of particular beauty were some amazing papery thin leathers rendered in tees, shifts and full cut shorts that anchored the brand's aesthetic as well as completed an interesting tactile balance to the presence of the blood and sacrificial references.
In one runway stomp Skingraft managed to make the macabre see less so, which is what good fashion inspiration serves to do. Fashion takes what isn't necessarily fashionable and proposes that it could be just that. Whether you support the dark connection or not is not really the point; you should just want to wear it.
Photos by Randy Brooke