When you see her collections and hear her speak about the laborious process of creation, you have the feeling you just met a contemporary alchemist. Designer Ana Alexe nonchalantly pushes fashion in a realm where bits of mystic exuberance, some meticulous researcher’s accuracy and the defiance of the artist clash together. Each piece she makes is lined with mysterious stories, fragile beliefs that often contradict the boldness of the exterior. In the sophisticated silhouette that Ana Alexe proposes, the preconceived notions of beauty, femininity or vulnerability are ironically undermined, subversively challenged then set again on the pedestal in front of a connoisseur public.
“I SUS” collection is all about blasphemy-chic. Frail crosses are slashed here and there on black capes, uncovering the body in its most vulnerable parts. Ana Alexe alludes to man’s sometimes feeble faith, whereas in “Anatomy” (spring/summer 2009) she comments upon and annihilates clothes’ main function, that of protecting the body. Internal organs are extirpated and exhibited, the visceral comes to the surface. Hearts, kidneys and blood vessels are minutely embroidered on dresses and overalls that remain in a clinical chromatic area: medical white and skin beige.
In “Impressions I-IV”, the chromatic austerity one would expect subtly enlivens, confirming the pictorial allusion in the title. The colour itself becomes the central theme. It is treated like a palpable fluid matter, a ubiquitous presence, rarely acknowledged, emanating energy upon us. In a pseudo-shamanistic approach, the designer tries to grasp colour and decode its rhythm, understand its intensity and the way it influence our emotions.
Warm greys and beiges ensue after combinations of red and blue, orange, green or purple. The hues are dark, saturated, mature, as if detached from a Flemish painting. The cut becomes liquid as well, dresses and blouses have rounded, ample outlines that don’t constrict the body but loosely follow it. As usual, fabrics are natural; soft or rough wool and silk soften even more the collection’s contours, impressing a vaguely retro air on it.
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