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War Games: Alexandre Plokhov Spring/Summer 2016 NYMFW

Men, Fashion, Runway

Russian-born, American clothing designer Alexandre Plokhov has had quite the run: before creating his own brand in 2011, he designed for Cloak and Versace. However, Plokhov wasn’t set for fashion greatness. Originally, he trained as an interpreter and served that within the Russian Strategic Missile Troops. It was in the nineties that he made a career change, and with that said, Plokhov moved to the United States.

Alexandre Plokhov’s Spring Summer 2016 collection was grown on the start of being influenced by The Mongoliad, which is a transmedia franchise developed by the Subutai Corporation and written by Neil Stephenson. In this fictional narrative, feuding monastic and military members are identified via symbol or by the color of their surcoats. Thus, an ultra-linear color separation was birthed into “Chapters,” (‘Black Prologue, Crimson Chapter, Light Sulfur Chapter and Optic White Epilogue) and this translated into monochromatic dressing for the collection.

Black, ink, sage, crimson, sulfur and optic white gave way for a color collection that consisted of darker and lighter hues (however each shade had massive impact). Cotton, silks, linens and vegetable-dyed leather that was paper thin was what Plokhov chose to work in to serve a single purpose: whether it be lightness, coolness or durability, there was in fact a must for that specific material.

Plokhov’s silhouettes bordered on the extreme: tops had exaggerated volumes and were paired with slim cut trousers. Oversized shorts were matched with snug blazers. Plokhov was playing with our minds, and in this case opposites do in fact attract. At DH, we are pretty keen on black, so the high points for us were the Prologue: a black silk caftan-like silhouette that is remotely sheer is worn over leather tailored pants. A well-tailored vest with an off-set asymmetric shape is paired with leather trousers and is brought together by individual finger gloves for each finger. This is Plokhov at his best; aka the master of black (who notoriously would work strictly in black).

But really what was the most unique was Plokhov’s handy work in terms of construction. Patchwork, in the form of a few different materials were pieced together and then over-dyed. It was taking goods from a previous season and making them into something for now. It was the discipline, the rigor, the dominating hand of Plokhov to make something that seems incompatible be able to work in unison. In all, it was a complete success, [avant-garde] gore and all.

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