The International Concept Brand, or ICB, has had a constant stream of new directors since its launch in 1995, but for now Makoto Takada is on the brand’s frontline. For the coming fall/winter seasons, ICB turned yet another corner, but this time it was to restructure the design aesthetic rather than to restate another designer to the head position. The now-Japanese-based brand decided to employ a New York state of mind to design the ICB fall/winter 2016-2017 ready-to-wear runway show for New York Fashion Week. This seems to go along with ICB’s bio as listed on its website. It has a goal of uniting the world, and “has revolutionized the idea of the world as a single fashion marketplace.” The brand maintains that its clothes are effortless, and classic, cool, and edgy all wrapped in one. So a constantly changing atmosphere must make those with the label feel right at home.
The design plan for the ICB fall 2016 collection is actually quite lovely and calming when you think about the implications. The design team headed by Takada was designing for a woman who would be “taking a stroll on a cold midnight in winter in New York City.” This led to the additions of extra long sleeves, fur, and otherwise soft fabrics that would be luxurious in bed, while still being manufactured and purposed for work outside. Even if you don’t appreciate the artistry within the garments, the line had an initial design scheme and the final product is the story panning out.
While the line’s proclaimed story makes the garments seem like nighttime apparel worn out in a chilly night, the styling and setting for the clothes’ photoshoot changed the mood to almost that of a mental ward, with the stretched out arms and oversized silhouettes. Although the feeling was lessened in the shots with NYC in the background, the overall feeling remained constant throughout. The eerie feeling was actually interesting, especially on the New York Fashion Week stage, but this may not have been the brand’s intent.
Looking away from the styling and overall presentation, the clothes do have some potential to serve their ready-to-wear purpose. The long sleeves are just as useful as gloves against chilly breezes, although the extent of the length might be a bit too much for practicality. This could be solved by simply rolling up the sleeves to have them scrunched up.
At that point, the looks are comfy and easier to wear, while still being acceptable worn out on errands or even in an office setting. The intended purpose of the collection does appear to be for the nighttime life of a busy woman, who finally has some downtime for a shopping run. The days grow shorter during the cold months, so shopping in the dark is especially feasible for this season. Perhaps this futuristic, comfy, yet slightly eccentric fashion statement will catch on as a preventive measure against the cold, but this will be easier to gauge once the line hits the markets later this year.
Photos courtesy of Vogue