Kristina Schmygarjew

While I know it’s a necessity both financially and career-wise (and a welcome distraction for some), I can’t help but feel a teensy bit disappointed when I read a designer’s bio that ends with “…Today she works as a freelancer.” I obviously want designers I like to be successful in the fashion world, but I love at least imagining that my favorite fashion grads and indie designers are dreaming up their own new fantastical things as we speak/type. Not that I want to add to the pressure experienced by designers with today’s fast fashion trend and the instant online consumption of (and subsequent boredom with) collections before they’re even in stores. My mind just jumps to the conclusion that, if a designer’s bio states that they now work as a freelancer, they’ve given up the dream of having/continuing on their own label. And that’s simply sad.

So it goes without saying that I hope that’s not the case with Berlin-based designer Kristina Schmygarjew, whose last two collections, under her label name Sthenno, coincide perfectly with my current styling sensibilities. As I had previously mentioned, I’ve been going for a slightly more minimalist look since my return from NY. However, I don’t feel like myself if I don’t have that little bit of extra detailing/avant garde-ness. Hence why I love these pieces by Kristina. From her latest Silhouettes (F/W 09/10) collection, classic garments are reinterpreted with the simple use of incisions. A pair of trousers receives a jutting hip detail and blooming pant legs with two strategically placed (and lined) lacerations (above left). A plain shirtdress gets both pockets and a draped skirt with two straight cuts (above middle). A modest trenchcoat suddenly deserves a second look with some skin-revealing slashes (above right). (…And I’m out of synonyms for ‘incision’…)

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Then in Kristina’s ‘Scheren.schnitt’ collection, the garments’ shadows were recorded onto the pieces so that the shadow becomes both a pattern and a detail throughout the collection. I especially like the long-sleeved sweater with armholes cut into the back (above) so that the sleeves can either be worn or left to hang in the shadows… Kristina, for my sake, please continue.

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