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Josh Goot’s collections have always been about the duality of freedom and rigour the ease of sportswear cranked up a notch with the elegance of fine tailoring. For spring-summer 2012, Josh pushes this dichotomy even further, exploring a series of new shapes, proportions and structures that don’t so much show off the body, as envelop it in a luxurious fabric carapace.

Across the board, shoulders are rounded, their graphic arc creating a focal point for silhouettes that extend to on- or just-below the knee, or plummet all the way to the ankle. The form is round over the hips, floating on the thigh and tapering to the hem. Cap-sleeved or sleeveless, often without collars, the effect is that of a girl floating inside a soft, sensuous shell.

Goot’s love of sportswear is still strongly in evidence: In a tracksuit tuxedo, for instance, this season constructed from 100% silk treated in the weave to sit stiffly, like shimmering paper, on the wearer. In a sleeveless navy blue dress cut from feather-weight wadding; high performance being synonymous, in Josh’s hands, with high elegance. Or in a high-waisted skirt, sliced into vertical panels of light grey cotton marl, cobalt blue and reflective silver nylon, that directly reference active fabrics and key colour ways of collections past.

While shapes are used to create graphic forms in space, prints are employed to add further depth to the garments themselves. Inspired by Gerhard Richter, who takes to his lush oil paintings with a broad palette knife to literally ‘blur’ the viewer’s reading, this season’s prints, developed by long-standing Goot collaborator, Shane Sakkeus, play with positive and negative space to create an interplay of density and emptiness.

Like Richter, Goot is interested in interrogating conventions of beauty, and for Spring-Summer 2012 the question is very elegantly posed.

For-Tomorrow Archive – Josh Goot and Who Am Eye, 2008.

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