The unapologetic knitwear label looks to 18th century garments and Rococo excess to shine light on the greed and ignorance of the past, echoing the harsh realities of today. Using waste and found objects to piece together a collection, Rubens continues to create clothing that is both planet and people positive. This season introduces a new inspiration of Shakespearean descent that beats at the heart of this collection.
“The on-stage restraint of Shakespeare’s Ophelia in the 18th century is a pivotal source of inspiration this season” says Olivia Rubens. “When you consider the taboo and censorship of this female role at the time, it’s no surprise that by the 19th century, Ophelia’s portrayal embraces an essence of rebellion– this spirit, the kookiness, and freedom it represents is emblematic of the Olivia Rubens brand.”
References to the 18th and 19th century are juxtaposed by a backdrop of modern innovation seen throughout the collection. Most recognizably is Rubens’s continued collaboration with Post Carbon Lab, enabling parts of the collection to photosynthesize. All photosynthesis coated pieces have a recognizable green hue and give off oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. These require indirect sunlight and regular misting to maintain their climate positivity, similar to a house plant. New this season is collaboration with material storyteller, Coline Le Quenven, to develop bag handles and trims using unconventional materials like melted CD cases and bottle caps, biodegradable corn-based plastic, upcycled chains and trinkets, and found objects, toys, and seashells. The collection is a rich collage of quirks, signature to Olivia Rubens each season.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY
BRIAN RANKIN (W LAB)
HIROKI KOJIMA (CAREN AGENCY)