Every six months, Rave Review’s Livia Schück and Josephine Bergqvist (who work with second-hand fabrics and unused inventory) are faced with the challenge of making something new out of something old. Now that many brands are jumping on the upcycling wagon, they must also maintain their distinction in the market. So far they have done well; their fall collection is part of Gucci Vault, and their spring collection offered a lot of novelty thanks to the pair’s expansion into separate rooms, their exploration of sporty elements, and a bit of sex appeal.
In the past, these two Swedes have found inspiration in their travels; having been confined to the confines of their studio for over a year, they drew inspiration from the musical scenes – rave, punk – as they developed a collection harder than the previous ones. They came to this place from a quieter place; the text print used throughout was made up of statements like the kind you find floating around on Instagram, and which Schück pushed herself with. This contributed to what she called “a new age vibe” which is indulgently kitschy.
It was anything but a meditative collection, it was more of a sizzle of energy. This new attitude was in part derived from the designers’ decision to explore separate pieces, which allowed for more style and curation than the full coats and dresses they are known for. The dividers seemed to have opened the door to a more relaxed and customizable offering. The use of home textiles to create sporty silhouettes was inspired. Cargo pants, zippers that turn sweatpants into board shorts, wide leg, strappy jeans with JNCO-like fullness and the shortest of the fly, inspired by the designers’ teen Fornarina jeans , spoke about the trends we’ve seen this season while maintaining the brand’s voice.
Schück and Bergqvist always say that because of the materials they use their designs have a sort of inherent nostalgia, but it’s the way the pair filters their designs through their own memories that makes them distinctive. The lookbook images are cut into the kind of silhouettes you might see in a yearbook or high school locker. Yet at the same time, this collection, Bergqvist noted, was “even sexier” than the others; but not in the way indicative of the current trend.
“Our idea of sexy isn’t necessarily a super tight jersey dress, it’s loose pants, but with a super cropped top,” Schück said. “It’s not stereotypical sex appeal,” Bergqvist said. “It’s that really oversized look, but you have these zippers so you can decide how you want to reveal your body.” Selective self-expression is a good option to have.