With its SS24 collection, called “On Tour”, 44 Label Group proved again that the boundaries between daylife and nightlife are meant to be eroded. Under the last rays of Milan’s sun, the show displayed an impressive ensemble of outfits ready for a seamless transition to the desire-filled night landscape. If you start reverse engineering the day you get an endless night, a night comprised of jouissance and freedom.
With the intent to infuse a higher degree of freedom in the collection, this season 44 Label Group headed on tour. Looking at the lifestyles of musicians while traveling the globe as its main source of inspiration, the brand reimagines the uniforms usually associated with roadies, engineers, gaffer boys and technicians. Presented in abstract versions of themselves, these uniforms reshape utilitarian codes through distressing and distortion while at the same time elevating the silhouettes of workwear. If on the road the normal course of things is somehow suspended opening lives to the unknown, the very same can be said for clothes which have to go through uncharted territory. Reinvention comes at a cost: change. And it’s only through change that chances can be found.
Crinkle bombers walk alongside corrosive work jackets and bowling shirts come laden with hedonistic prints, traces that the night left on these delighted bodies.
On the road, you have to take what circumstances offer you mixing your present identity and newfound elements: old parts are switched for new ones, alternative materials replace the ones already in place, and new interpretations take over. So on the runway tulle mesh and delicate, transparent layers contrast oversized workwear silhouettes collide with carpenter canvas shorts, whilst hoodies and tees come emblazoned in prints sampled from backstage flyers. This is a way of saying the backstage is now fully integrated on stage, the veil has been removed and desire can circulate freely around all space. Life becomes impossible to pigeonhole.
This blurring of borders invest also the distinction between real and digital and so when it comes to the color, an industrial color palette of black, cool grey and dusty white meets digitally distressed green: as if weathered from weeks of wear on the road clothes show no sign of surrender (or: the spirit doesn’t bend and it always come fully clothed). Another metaphor to describe the interplay of colors and this blurring of boundaries might be the following one: the show/concert doesn’t take place only on stage, but also infinite times backstage. What you see at the front is an echo of something still happening backstage. Digital techniques blend with the inevitability of industrial colors.
Pieces are purposefully distorted and this twist mirrors the collective dimension of these garments: imagine what endlessly playing for thousands of people in venues globally would do to your clothes and you might get a good impression of what is happening here. In this collection, 44 Label Group tried to envisage that collective breathing saturating concerts as fabrics. On-the-road experiences, assembled trepidations and errors are all weaved together by subtraction: what is subtracted is perfection, an obstacle to the ever-mutating identities of those who that no performance is a solitary act. Wrinkled finishes, distressed and dirtied washes and laser-cut holes expand the horizon of everyday staples and of the wearer too.
Besides revisiting their iconic Symbiont 2 sneaker and introducing a new model, the Avril sneaker, the brand also dived for the first time into eyewear, presenting the “modular” sunglasses with interchangeable frames. If the spirit is irreplaceable, everything that surrounds it can be replaced; you lose parts, you add parts.
In what is an often stale landscape, 44 Label Group’s invitation for fashion to go on the road might be a simple yet revolutionary act. To take a uniform and rough it up becomes an essential gesture, to reinvent your own identity through a change of scenery and collage of different semiotic universes the first step towards the creation of a truly collective space.
Tap the sticker to jump in the metaverse and experience fashion week first-hand!
Creative director: Max Kobosil @kobosil
Styling: Marc Goehring @marcogoehring
Casting: Simobart Casting @simobartcasting
Hair: Franco Gobbi @francogobbihair
Make up: Patrick Glatthaar @patrickglatthaar
Production: Urban Production @urbanproductionevents
Video: Videogang @videogang_
Photo: Vitali Gelwich @vitali_gelwich
Music: R Label Group @r_label.group
Pr: Agency Eleven @agencyeleven