When Caroline Lerch wants to introduce people to her label Pelican Avenue, she might show videos, stage a dance performance, and forget about the clothes altogether.
A former assistant to Bernhard Willhelm, the Academy of Antwerp graduate is a multi-media artist. Sometimes she creates clothes, and sometimes she's busy making videos which have absolutely nothing to do with fashion. In her work, the finished pieces are secondary. Instead, she focuses on the total universe of the collection, and invites us to reflect on la mode.
Case in point: At her show on Saturday, Lerch's clothes did a disappearing act. She organized an experimental performance around the theme of dressing and clothes-making.
Clothing lines were hung all through the spacious loft and draped with fabric swatches and unfinished garments. The dancer Kroot Juurak was a one woman show. She came in wearing red lace stockings, a slip and green ankle boots. She climbed over the cords, danced and undulated around the samples.
Juurak explored the potential of every pieces, and tried to weave herself into them.
All one could pick out from the collection was a recurring use of monochrome red, black and white tints, alternating fine knits and heavy cottons.
“The fashion performance is only illustrating methods I use in the collection,” Lerch told us. “The collection itself is a very wearable range of knitted pullovers, dresses, pants based on the same system of strings running through tunnels and geometric knitted shapes.”
“In general, I always try to find a balance between an artistic presentation, capturing a certain idea or atmosphere and an adapted collection,” she continued.
We’re sure Bernhard is proud.