Pitti Uomo: kolor SS14

Junichi Abe moved his Paris show to Florence and introduced a Hawaii print into his collection of casual tailoring

A new environment can be a breath of fresh air, not just for a fashion label but for anyone who finds themselves in a foreign setting. For brands, though, it means new surroundings and a new audience – the perfect opportunity to try out untrodden grounds and set yourself a challenge. That’s exactly what Japanese brand kolor did at Pitti Uomo this week. Invited to move their SS14 show from Paris to Italy, the Tokyo-based brand’s usual catwalk home, designer Junichi Abe decided to add print into his normally sombre and sober collections. If anything, the name ‘kolor’ is an oxymoron. Through the years, kolor has made a name for itself by using a discreet colour palette to draw attention to advanced silhouettes and luxurious fabrics. Showing at Sferisterio del Parco Cascine, Abe tried out a Hawaii print on the audience. The focus on casual tailoring continued but Abe added generously cut shorts this season, and played around with the idea of multiple waists on his trousers.

“This was my first time at Pitti. I like the idea of showing to a new audience. We started talking to the Pitti organisers in March and we came over in mid-April to scout for locations. We went with this sports venue, it’s like an arena for football. The show format, location and collection are all new and special, at least for kolor. I don’t normally use prints but I wanted to try it our for this season. It’s a Hawaii print, but it’s not very aloha… I like Hawaii but not Hawaii prints!”

“Showing at Pitti is a good experience, it’s a nice challenge and a good way of developing the brand; this time around I was able to express a new image. Normally kolor is very elegant in beige and dark with colour blocking but I wanted to change the feeling of the collection. The SS14 silhouette is big baggy shorts combined with slim tops. A few of the trousers were narrow and slim from the front but wide on the sides. One key kolor element is mixing different fabrics in one garment – it’s like adding a bit of noise to the sartorial silence. One of the most important fabrics from this season was a nylon yarn that is normally used for curtains. It’s over-dyed and washed in 170 degrees, so that it shrinks. It gets stiff like hard paper, it feels very crisp. But still there’s a very relaxed feeling to it. That’s what kolor is all about; relaxed yet luxurious garments… “

Words David Hellqvist