Things to Come
One of the first things i remember thinking upon handling a few pieces from Collateral Concept's second iteration was just how far the line had developed in its second season. Already impressed with the ideas and techniques displayed in it's initial collection, I saw the follow-up expound upon some of these ideas to a greater extent and introduce a number of entirely new approaches as well. Over the past few installments of this blog we've been privileged to offer you an intimate look into the workings of Collateral Concepts, and would like to explore the creative process of developing Collateral's next iteration with this final part of our series.
Going over some thoughts on the upcoming collection, Albert Huang admits to having his hands full. "Although I do not see design as a race, I am driven to create pieces and take the field of design to another level, where each aspect has been carefully thought out and fully developed. " The upcoming collection's approach is closely tied to Huang's own definition of good design, "Handwork, knitting, metalwork and other treatments will coalesce into a number of pieces that have much of their details on the inside. I want my work to be something for the wearer; not for showing off, but to feel right." The process is an indirect and admittedly torturous one.
For Collateral, each collection utilizes the scientific method in research and development, something carried over from the designer's pursuits in other fields. Multiple theories, material processing methods and ideas for pattern construction will be iterated upon to ultimately see the light of day in form of finished products. Hands-on patterning is something that Albert feels to be an integral part of his creative efforts. "Patterns are a perpetual challenge to the designer; something that many pass on to the pattern-makers they hire. I prefer a hands on approach allowing me full control over ensuring that what I envision is translated perfectly." Some of the returning motifs will include innovative uses of darting and anatomic construction to create garments that consist of the fewest separate elements possible. "Real challenge of it is creating the patterns that carry a sense of plausible simplicity when realized in the final piece, things that appear effortless until viewed under close examination."
This collection's beginnings are created around an idea of origins, both in the sense of tracing back the origins of materials used in its fabrication and the personal meaning held in the ideas used throughout it by the designer. Such themes have seen previous use in Collateral, perhaps most notably with the coat made out of world war 2-era army blankets and rings treated with the oil from the designer's wrecked car, but the forthcoming effort is conceived as a way to take such ideas to truly take such ideas to their next level. One theme in particular deals with the many different faces of silk fabric, a broad range qualities taken on by that material as it undergoes a variety of treatments in its most early formative moments. The fibers and fabrics have been sourced from all over the world; from a small village in India, where naturally-coloured raw silk is hand-woven on a shuttle loom, to American farmland, where rare animals are raised by caring people in small herds. Leather offerings are said to figure into the upcoming work quite heavily as well, with some treatment techniques which underscore the connection with the animals it had been taken from. "I want the materials and the forms used to both speak for themselves on first-hand examination and wear, but at the same time to embody such a story and such depth as to have another facet and meaning to them" Says Albert, explaining what he hopes to accomplish with Collateral's next installment. Though yet to see the final results of this latest endeavor, the strides in both technical and conceptual refinement seen in Albert's previous work definitely make the next installment of Collateral Concepts the one to look forward to with unbridled excitement.