Monday, 26 December 2016

ReSet: ICEBERG


Iceberg’s reset button has been hit again; James Long, the label’s London-based menswear designer, was recently appointed womenswear creative director, succeeding the Austrian Arthur Arbesser. Pre-Fall was the first collection in his new role, which will be followed in February by a show of both lines during New York Fashion Week. “It’s a new chapter,” said the designer.


Iceberg has a substantial knitwear archive, thanks mainly to the genial pop imagery envisioned in the past by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. “Of course I’d like to celebrate its spirit, the cartoons, and the sporty vibe. Yet I’m trying to add true Italian sophistication and luxe, not turning the imagery into a joke,” said Long, whose homage to De Castelbajac was injected with a distinctive punky edge stirred with a quite glamorous Hollywood feel.


The choice of Catwoman as the main character for cartoon prints and knits tellingly refers to Long’s penchant for sexy, powerful women. Yet he’s not thinking of abstract muses when designing a collection: “I have real people in mind, not a fantasy,” he explained, pointing to an oversize scarlet knitted cardigan with fringed details with a smiling Catwoman on its front. Worn with a striped skirt with an asymmetrical hem, it made for a feminine look with a slightly provocative tilt.  


Long is known for a certain flamboyance, which he kept in check here; yet Lurex, which he has often used in his menswear line, added sparkle to sporty multicolor striped sweaters emblazoned with the Iceberg logo. Elsewhere it came knitted into geometric motifs on a luxe tracksuit, highlighting the lineup’s sportswear flair. Denim was stonewashed and distressed, yet lavishly splattered with glittering stars that added a touch of pop Hollywood Boulevard–inspired appeal. Paired with a short jacket printed with black and white comics offset by bright colors, the look was sleek with a dash of fun. Long’s stance seems likely to giving the label the jolt of energy it needs; his ebullient, irreverent style could be further refined by the exacting production techniques that Gilmar, Iceberg’s Italian owner, can provide. “The quality of what they’re able to achieve is amazing. Their headquarters are so pristine and efficient, they look like a Stanley Kubrick movie,” Long said in admiration.