Florentina Leitner, KAWAkEY, and Asia Fashion Collection F/W 2022


Florentina Leitner, KAWAkEY, and Asia Fashion Collection F/W 2022


Florentina Leitner, KAWAkEY, and Asia Fashion Collection (AFC), represented by taeko, have released their fall/winter 2022 collections. 

Florentina Leitner

Titled ‘Der Zaurberger,’ Florentina Leitner’s collection represents the intersection of femininity and elegance, with commentary about sustainability. Inspired by American artist Jeff Koons, Leitner created puffy flower adornments from upcycled trash bags and bottle caps in a style reminiscent of Koons’ balloon dogs which have become synonymous with his art. 

Florentina Leitner, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, designed for Dries Van Noten the same year. This collection is whimsical, forward-thinking, and conscious of sustainability and what it means to improve fashion practices today and in the future. The digital presentation, which is directed by Jens Burez, is an artistic representation of the variety and differences that humans possess, all while celebrating the similarities. The collection features fur-trimmed coats complete with giant knit flowers, headscarves, and fur bucket hats. 

The music, unsettling, forces the viewer to think about what they’re watching — to really internalize it. Der Zauberberg is a collection unlike any other, its presentation reminiscent of science fiction and American Horror Story’s Asylum and The Shining (1980). It’s bright, it’s fun, it’s elaborate. Leitner, who produced a fashion film that drew influence from 80’s horror films, has clearly drawn inspiration from that film which is visible throughout this entire collection.

der zauberberg FLORENTINA LEITNER F/W 2022

London-based KAWAkEY uses sustainable materials to infuse everyday casualwear and knitwear with the roots of Asian and Scandinavian heritage. They describe themselves as working to “incorporate ethical sourcing and manufacturing to achieve their vision of simplicity that meets soft masculinity.” 

This collection, as described in their own press release, “uses digital prints on various kinds of Tencel satin and BCI cotton twills to imitate these effects — layered prints and textures dissolve into each other, Mohair/Alpaca blended yarns are knitted with unique gradients effect to reinterpret fabric fades in an exaggerated form, then heavily brushed to imitate a worn-out romantic knit.” 

The collection focuses on the secrets we keep inside of us, locked away although they are a part of us — too ashamed, too scared to face them. 

Key was inspired by his own teenage experience — ”As gay and on the spectrum, being a teenager was sometimes rather lonely. I imagined characters to be friends with as I felt no one else could understand me. I also realized some of them in the form of love and erotic-themed manga drawings. It was pure imagination — a form of escapism and self-expression at that time. Once my drawings were found and they raised conversation and concern within my family. I was ashamed and didn’t know who to talk to. I buried all those fantasies under my bed and hoped they would never see daylight again. Even after all these years, I can still remember those characters and stories I created, they must have had great meaning to me. There is no way I can forget them. They are still reminding me who I was, who I am.” 

Asia Fashion Collection

The Asia Fashion Collection has a mission to discover and promote young Asian designers. This year, six different brands were featured — YUUNA ICHIKAWA, COCOTONO, GLENDA GARCIA, WooLeeX, SUNG JU, and DOKKA. They describe themselves as passionate about discovering new talent while “widening the reach in the fashion industry by fostering the growth of the continent’s most promising up-and-coming designers.” 

YUUNA ICHIKAWA, whose designer is the namesake, aimed to seek a theme of the youth in heart, regardless of society’s beliefs and “stumbling blocks.” Uncomfortable with the concept of the identity of a student being synonymous with youth, Ichikawa wrote a poem — “youth is not a certain period of your life, but the way you feel in your heart.” 

COCOTONA holds a brand concept of laughter through everyday wear, aiming to create products that will make people all over the world laugh unintentionally. Kotono Fukazawa, the designer, drew inspiration from the sense of déjà vu and familiar scenery — aiming to draw a feeling of discomfort from the viewer. 

GLENDA GARCIA’s collection, inspired by work, takes on traditional business wear and combines them with wear testing and draping. It’s designed for the modern working woman, the brand founded in function and utility. 

WooLeeX, with its theme of WrevoLutionX, features a collection with the concepts of collages, prints, and drawings on suits. It features basic formal wear as well as the reinterpretation of formalwear through unique concepts. “This series allows spectators to rethink the subtlety between the ups and downs of emotion and the rules & regulations while experiencing fashion and music. Let the passionate singing and the deep roar interweave a unique narrative, extracting the color of emotion that belongs to every participated individual.” 

SUNG JU’s concept of unconventional collections based on structure ties together seemingly random items through representation in this collection, the theme entitled “safe house.” The collection, as described by the brand, “adapts the unique individual features of each item directly into the collection. The resulting outcome is simple yet clear and delicate.” 

DOKKA’s theme was love & choice, inspired by creating happiness and bringing a “fun and gentle spice to the world”. The brand aims to address social issues in a “fun, popular way” by developing images as a new option for the world through vivid colors and sustainability. It aims to “create a brand in a new form that has never been seen before”. There are upcycled items and the brand reuses clothes that are no longer worn and dead-stock fabrics.


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