Abasi Rosborough's Utopia / Dystopia
NEW YORK, United States - Red light flooded the runway at Cadillac House, the setting for the Fall / Winter 2018 collection of five-year old menswear label Abasi Rosborough. In the midst of a reckoning for New York Fashion Week, the designer collaborators Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough made their debut runway presentation asking tough questions relevant for our times. Specifically, how has humanity been led by the proliferation of technology in the past two decades - towards utopia or dystopia?
To know Abasi Rosborough is to know that their design aesthetic is all about precision. On their site, they describe it as "a tailored militancy intertwined with progressive anatomical and architectural references." It makes sense given that Nigerian-American Abasi spent 8 years as a sergeant in the US Military while Scottish-American Rosborough grew up in the realm of technical athletics. Abasi and Rosborough know what it means to play along two lines, oscillating between simplicity and complexity in their carefully executed designs.
This collection reinforces their founding principles of tailoring reimagined for the 21st century. Timeless and yet wanting to represent a clear shift in the paradigm of men's classic suiting. The runway was filled with men of all stages and phases - a testament perhaps to this desire to democratize what may have only been considered for the few historically. Lush layering of a jacket over a vest and shorts paired with performance leggings, Abasi Rosborough takes its tenants into sportswear with real success. A shawl collar defines their reimagined suit jacket in olive green, mustard, and crimson berry. Pieces feel multi-functional for how we live today. The fabrics of natural fiber, often deadstock recycled from warehouses throughout New York, boast bold contrasting stripes and feel luxurious while being ethically sustainable.
As a whole, it would be difficult to place the collection if not for the styling and facial accoutrements. Technically rethinking and retooling what has been traditionally accepted, the design duo collaborated with famed makeup artist Ryan Burke to place metallic splices and painted markings on the models' faces. The geometric patterns were inspired by the facial recognition maps used in social media and smart phone devices. In its simultaneous subtlety and brashness, the collection is a call to reflect on where we are today and what will take us there (wherever "there" is) moving forward.
Photos Courtesy of Abasi Rosborough.