Inspiration: Asháninka people, indigenous to Peru and Brazilian border and descendants of the Inca.
I can’t help but feel extremely nervous and exuberantly giddy writing about my experience with the line this season. I have a confession to make first. While there are Osklen shoes in my closet, I didn’t know much about the brand before having the opportunity to document its NYFW backstage occurrences. As I read up on the brand identity, its history, and the designer, I realized this brief and usually nonchalant fashion week moment was an epic marker of my style evolution. Osklen is sitting in the ranks of my fashion heroes, proudly waving the flag of ethical, eco-sustainable, fashion-forward luxury.
Oskar Metsavaht, the Brazilian designer behind the brand, is very conscious of the world and its inhabitants. It’s easy to get sucked into the fervor of fashion week complete with its exuberant embroideries, fluttering fringe, and sleek silks. Oskar intends on elevating his brand Osklen’s line a bit beyond the “basic” status quo of things. The former doctor and Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO has quite a few accolades under his belt to prove that his vision of fashion involves ventures beyond a profit margin. There are no meaningless moments in Osklen.
The story of the Spring/Summer 2016 season involves a young city girl on a journey to explore the world of Asháninka peoples. The collection unfurls a sea of blue as she flies over the jungle. An Amazonian print silk dress makes way for the exploration inland, and we’re introduced to a host of languid taupe linen silhouettes. The snake and jaguar prints on the silk dresses carry an air of luxury that urbanites deem exotic, inviting the normally polished character into a literal interpretation of the phenomenon.
Subsequent rustic separates and fringed knitwear hint at the transition into Asháninka customs. A traditional dress is a woven robe that may take up to three months to make. Osklen gives an homage to traditional technique and the beauty of handcrafted items. The silhouettes prioritize utility and comfort, allowing optimal body movement without sacrificing aesthetic.
While the natural and earthy leaning silhouettes and designs present plenty of creatively luxurious beauty, a particular standout is a dark curumin (indigenous child) printed silk dress over see-through silk trousers. The look seems at home on the streets of SoHo in NYC.
The approachability and refinement of the pieces will appeal to a sensible and levelheaded clientele looking to contribute to a healthier planet while spicing up their street style aesthetic.