28 Rooms – ZUO Corp.
The 2011 autumn/winter collection ZUO Corp presented at Łódź Fashion Week paved their way onto the Polish fashion scene, or rather, established a completely new arena within the industry for them. Not many shows by the avant-garde designers had been publicized until recently, when Maldoror brought them to a wider public.
The collection is inspired by Little Edie and Big Edie from the Maysles brothers' 1975 documentary film Grey Gardens which told the story of Jacqueline Kennedy’s cousins, who in contrast to their first cousin, did not lead a luxurious life amongst the elite, but in poverty and isolation in a beautiful yet derelict mansion in the woods, surrounded by meadows and trees. The film centres upon the toxic relationship between mother and daughter and how they deal with living in the dire conditions which are a result of their poor decisions. They were reclusive yet eccentric upper-class women who dressed in an original and unique way.
Little Edie was compelled into originality due to a rare genetic condition, alopecia universalis, which caused all of her hair to fall out. From then on, scarves around her head become an indispensable accessory and her signature look. These scarves were a ubiquitous theme throughout ZUO Corp's show. Models wore sweeping silk scarves with long tails and nun-like stiff scarves made of polyurethane foam, along with gold necklaces. There are also plenty of kitschy necklets and neck straps (Little Edie’s favourite accessory); variations on woman’s dress suits (it’s hard not to think of Jacqueline), and references to the trends of the 40s and 50s. They owe the shape of their silhouette to a combination of polyurethane foam with wool. The prevalent colours are navy blue, grey, and black, as befitting the ‘Grey Gardens’ name.
There is one exception – a print designed by Robert Kuta that presents fingers with black nails and auburn hair in the background. The show finished with a brass band parading on the runway, and a model dancing in the centre dressed in a silk scarf, waving a golden belt and the Polish flag in the air – a reference to a memorable scene from the film in which Little Edie performs a military dance with the American flag.
Author: Karolina Sulej, August 2015, Translated by: Zuzanna Wiśniewska, September 2015Culture.pl