Altewai.Saome Gets Technical

Altewai.Saome is a design team made up of  Natalia Altewai and Randa Saome of Sweden. I was backstage with them as they debuted their newest collection at Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. With the help of their family and stylists backstage, the women were full of energy, smiles and determination as they hustled to ready the models for walking. (See the video on our side bar to the right!)

The inspiration behind the collection came when a typewriter in their studio fell to the floor–housing broken and parts spilling across the room. It was the messy birth of a very clean idea: the A/W 2011 line treats both the clothes and their wearers like deconstructed technology.

Chunky accessories with fringe and computer parts, beaded mittens, exposed zippers (1, 4), panels of stiff organza (1) and dresses that opened from panels at the front (2): it seemed as though the women were automatons, ready to expose their inner workings.

The detailed beadwork resembled colorful, almost iridescent motherboards and microchips, and bibs of singed plastic half-circles resembling old sunglass lenses decorated tunics and dresses.

The intricate beadwork was handcrafted by artisans—but which artisans, we don’t know. The ladies refused to say anything more than “Italy,” despite my further questioning—“Near Milan?” Both sets of red lips simply closed tightly around their Coca Cola straws.

No matter. The important part is I can benefit from their creative inspiration…right?

The women stuck very close to their original theme, and every piece was like a walking work of conceptual art, though still very wearable, which made my job of choosing favorites very difficult…

So what would I put in my closet?

The white flat front trousers (1) with exposed gold zipper were exceptional. Cleanly tailored, they will be flattering on almost anyone.

The short white dress with the white plastic semi-circles at the hem (3) will be comfortable to wear, as well as wickedly sexy (just pull down the front zipper as you dare). I’d pair it with colored tights, long earrings and a simple heel.

Posted by: Caitlin Andrews

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