I’m starting to like this pattern: great designer holds the reins of design at a fashion house, starts off with a contemporary minimal approach, establishes the style and aesthetic with several signature pieces already in two seasons, then introduces crazy colors and prints (and cuts) into the equation. To top it all, Ports 1961 is getting ready for a runway show in Milan in February (they were just releasing images of the new collections during London Fashion Week before) so it seems like everything’s going alright for the brand under the creative directorship of Natasa Cagalj. And for us.
I almost had a mini heart-attack two days ago when I realized that London Fashion Week ended with no new Ports 1961 collection in sight; and thanks to my tiny panic disorder, like the legendary no-show scene at Amelie, I started imagining the worst and came to the conclusion that they are out of business, right when everything started to go great. It’s weird how with one designer change a brand can become one that you can’t stop thinking about. Thank God today I saw that they moved up the business ladder and opted to show their collection in Milan this season, with a more laid back and breezy vibe than their previous rather stiff and structured winter looks, (partly) modeled by none other than one of my favorite all time cool girls, Julia Sarr Jamois. At the end, it was worth the wait.
At the hands of Central Saint Martins graduate Natasa Cagalj, Ports 1961 turned into an artisanal brand with cohesive collections (there has only been 2 – fall and resort – but even that is enough to give credit to the designer) from one with a split personality and no message. “I wanted to celebrate the haphazard beauty of the design process, embracing its trials and errors, all those bumps in the road that sometimes make for unpredictable yet creative results.” she said and made her point through details such as the shirt with moodboard like color schemes on or the chunks of thread wrapped around garments or model’s wrists from time to time. As for my personal point of view, I’m deliriously happy to have found a new brand to look out for each season and will surely be trying to expand my Ports 1961 collection just as soon as I get my hands on those knot sneakers.