Andrew Coimbra’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection, his fourth collection since launching his eponymous label in 2014, sang a notable song for his home country. The Toronto-based designer’s offerings were a unique blend of easy streetwear, with an emphasis on pristine tailoring. Pieces felt East London in rebellion, mixed with a downtown sense of sophistication. Turtlenecks were woven into a selection of fall shades of nudes, oxbloods, and gingers. Anoraks came in hues from an iridescent orange to an oily black. Outerwear was unstructured, with knee-grazing overcoats done in soft wool and neoprene cropped bombers. A bleached-out Canadian tuxedo was covered with hardware, giving the classic ensemble a surprising twist.
As much as his pieces were fresh and youthful in design, there was a significant, poignant note behind them. After hearing about the recent oil spill that devastated the west coast of Canada, Coimbra immersed himself in researching different forms of marine pollution and defense for marine wildlife. This research catalyzed a collection that not only shed light on the harsh realities of marine pollution, but also highlighted the beauty of the natural world. Coimbra injected the oil spill into his collection, both literally and metaphorically, translating the incident into anoraks with an oil-slicked glaze and t-shirts emblazoned with an oily photo print. A black neoprene bomber boasted a neon orange lining, not unsimilar to the six-pack plastic rings that have a tendency to make their way around sea creatures necks. A vibrant lilac squid was found on a simple black sweatshirt, giving an illusion of marine life swimming through a polluted charcoal sea.
Instead of creating a collection that comes across as a strong political statement, Coimbra threads his message seamlessly into his easy pieces – pieces that are laidback in air, but passionate in conceit. His collection rang true to the younger generation through the aesthetic of his youthfully-charged pieces, and through the increasing destruction of the aquatic world. As Coimbra strongly points out, it’s a “problem that will greatly affect the millennial generation.”