MARIA: 032c READYTOWEAR Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 Collection Campaign

BERLIN – September 2, 2021
032c launches MARIA, the Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 collection from 032cReadytowear, with a campaign creative directed by Joerg and Maria Koch, photographed by Max von Gumppenberg, and styled by Marc Goehring.
This collection deals with the world of fantasy. It is a fairytale for grownups. It explores the realm of the mirror and the dream.
The Autumn/Winter 2021/2022 fantasy takes place in a game of chess, on the contrast-checked board on which all things that happen in life and in mind are symbolically transformed, but no less real. On one side is Antonio Gramsci, an Italian Marxist philosopher who wrote urgently and died young. On the other is Marcel Duchamp, the French Dadaist-turned-chess fanatic who deliberately spent decades on a single work. These historical contemporaries never met IRL. In 1915, Duchamp left Paris and moved to New York, where he was received as a celebrity and turned the art world upside down; Gramsci left university and came into his own as a political voice in Italy, where he was received as a radical but silenced for his ideas. Their match is a game of strategy between very different revolutionaries of culture: one favors irony, the ridiculous, and the individual; the other humanity, Marx, and historicity. Duchamp finds poetry in the game of chess and views its pieces as blocks in an “alphabet that shapes thought.” Gramsci defines culture as an “exercise of thought,” as the acquisition of ideas and the habit of making connections. Both hate the status quo. Both saw culture as a means of challenging it.

As in all dreams, unexpected characters turn up and take over. The surrealist Maria Martins – Duchamp’s lover and muse, to whom he inscribed chess-themed readymade artworks and addressed countless letters – enters the board and takes the place of the Queen. Helmut Lang appears to give her a shirt inscribed with her name.

Chess is a system for organizing material and a tangle of deep myths – a play of relationships and an intersection of archetypes that transcend linear time and meet in impossible ways. Chess shares these qualities with fashion. Fashion is an exquisite corpse drawn remotely by people who haven’t met or overlapped in time. Its design picks up threads left behind by creators past, inviting another hand to weave them into something new or to pull at them and unravel that lineage. The bishop is a bias cut, a diagonal opponent of the perpendicular grid, the grace of the drape, the hang of the hemline, the outer curve of the hip. Latex is the knight, the shining shield held close to the body. The rook is the mock-neck, the midi, the in-between – a container, a fastener, a bolt. The pawn is versatility and aspiration – the capacity for simplicity and iconic transformation, from day to night, garden to podium. The checkered print pattern is a king asleep, buttoned-down, safe. The queen is the mirror, and the signature is the queen.


On scarves and accessories, men’s shirts, and women’s tops and eveningwear, square-patterned fabrics in blue and taupe are a formal nod to the chessboard leitmotif. Mock-neck, black patent, and “trompe-l’oeil” printed dresses embody the collection’s roguish spirit. Soft wool knitwear and dense cotton essentials surround the wearer/dreamer in plush familiarity and potential. Bias cuts and delicate midi hemlines are counterbalanced with protective lambskin and suede in layerable outerwear.

A playful conceptual approach to menswear, womenswear, and unisex apparel meets rigorous standards of design, tailoring, and fabrication. Twenty-first century silhouettes, environmentally conscious materials, and cutting-edge techniques combine for clothing conceived to both stimulate and safeguard the wearer.


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