COACHLAND PLEASURE PALACE
When 032c began to follow COACH’s pre-Fall 2018 story, we chased it out of our home city of Berlin and followed it straight to Pfaueninsel’s surreal nature preserve, where peacocks range free, indistinguishable from a dream. Photographer Christian Werner captured the cast of future fairies and city heirs, for an American Gothic hallucination styled by 032c Fashion Director Marc Goehring.
Chapter 1: PLEASURE PALACES
Once upon a Golden Age, in the Walt Disney universe, painterly animated musicals retold aged European fairytales and perfectly choreographed and engineered theme parks sold an American dream, in which a mid-century “Main Street, USA,” somehow lead to a romantic Bavarian castle, and Prince Charming was always on time. Motifs from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Sleeping Beauty (1959) appear throughout COACH’s pre-fall 2018 collections – visuals taken not from the classics’ fairy godmothers or handsome royals, but from the films’ psychedelic backdrops of nocturnal creatures and witchy temptations. Because the twenty-first century needs heroes at home in the dark and excited by the wilderness: young people who aren’t afraid of exploring the shadows, who would never wait around wishing for love in a tower, and who would only bite into a laced apple if they knew it would expand their minds.
When it debuted in 1950s Burbank, CA, Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle – built in false perspective, to look bigger than it is – materialized a fairy-tale rooted more in the sound stages of old Hollywood than in the legends of the Old World. But Europe has its share of fantasy-facades, too. Just outside Berlin is Pfaueninsel (“Peacock Island”), an islet sat in the Havel river that in the eighteenth century became home to Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II’s Lustschloss: a small “pleasure palace” built for the divertissement of kings, where they were free to play away from the duties of court. Next to it he placed a miniature farm and a dairy shaped like a gothic revival church, to which his successor added a menagerie that once boasted hundreds of species of exotic animals. In the 1960s, when Prussia was long gone and war had put an end to the follies of the aristocracy, the island provided outdoor locations for a spate of German crime films – a testament to the area’s history of illusion, and its unsettling atmosphere.
Chapter 2: NOCTURNAL BEAUTIES
Once upon a time in America – in a loft on Manhattan’s 34th street, to be exact – there was a family-run workshop where artisans made leather goods by hand. Their materials were so distinctive in quality that the workshop grew, and the company took a horse and carriage as its insignia. But no matter how much they produced, people wanted more. So one day, the house of leather turned to the help of a visionary: Bonnie Cashin, a creative director who would expand the brand into the realm of women’s fashion. The house of COACH as we know it crystallized, defined by Cashin’s signature leather totes, satchels, and bucket bags, and functional “turnlock” hardware and hangtags.
Soon, the sun never set on COACH’s global lifestyle and retail empire – but what was missing was the energy of the night. So COACH turned again to a seer: Stuart Vevers, a creative director with a talent for celebrating the essence and excellence of heritage labels, while energizing them with a sense of the new. Vevers began by drawing on the brand’s American lineage and time-honored approach to materials and techniques – then he subverted them with an infusion combining magic and mischief, magnetism and rebellion. This pre-fall 2018 season embraces “handmade”-style imperfections through fringing and patchwork, adding rock-and-roll fringes to the Wagnerian repertoire of Sleeping Beauty, and urban savvy to Snow White’s forest enchantments. Its ready-to-wear and accessories are adorned with eye-catching studs and charms – talismans to conjure dark dreams and surreal spirits, or stars to wish upon to take a chance on youthful desires.