When it comes to loud, bright colored, graphic prints on tight fitting and sexy silhouettes, designing brothers Eri and Philip Chu pretty much define the style. From their first collection in 2008, they have been consistently boisterous in their designs and have done some seriously ground breaking work when it comes to printing bold, colorful graphics on a variety of fabrics. Youth oriented, to be sure, and unapologetic in their tone, this isn’t a collection for the faint at heart. One is going to be noticed when wearing even the most tame of Ground Zero clothing.
Given that, the boys had a surprise for us this season when the first several looks were not skin-tight, nor were the graphics overwhelming. Sure, they eventually got around to that look, but they started this collection showing us they could do more, and do it in a way that was still within their unique DNA. Suddenly, we see padded, rounded shoulders, loose, gathered silhouettes, longer hem lines, higher necklines, and even a few ensembles that, gasp, had no print on them at all! The brothers have definitely been influenced by some minimalist elements and blend them in with their trademark looks for some very impressive ensembles. What’s most exciting are the creative origami folds in some of the skirts. Who knew the guys had that kind of skill?
Of course, there are still plenty of skin tight, super-short, too-sexy-for-your-parents looks that are bound to get a rise from mom and dad and a lot of attention from would-be suitors. The dominant print this season uses bending thunderbolts that curve in and around each other, sometimes to the point they look a bit like barbed wire. There’s almost a tattoo-like effect to the print on some of the pieces and certainly this is a very appealing collection for those who like the look of inked body modification but don’t necessarily want to make that life-long commitment.
Impressive, though, is the way they have merged their alternative look with the minimalist elements to create something new, something still well out of the mainstream, but markedly different from what they’ve done before. This is definitely not the same set of silhouettes we saw last season. A lot of thought and consideration has been given to exactly what elements from the minimalist set work with some of the more fitted and graphic looks that are part of the label’s history.
If we were looking for something different and innovative in Paris, we’ve definitely found it in this Ground Zero collection. Eri and Philip really stepped up and took some serious risks with their designs, risks that seem to have paid off very well. Don’t dismiss this as a juniors line; these guys mean business and are going to impact the future of fashion with their designs.
Photo credit: Guillame Roujas