Andrea Crews & The Living Dead A/W 2011


Andrea Crews & The Living Dead A/W 2011

In the Parisian outskirts, far away from the chi chi-neighborhoods and the established runways, Andrea Crews – The Parisian art, activism and fashion collective lead by Maroussia Rebecq – has seized power over the concert venue and salle de spectacle Le Trianon, built in 1894 in Paris’ XVIIIème arrondissement. The contrast between this renowned historical building and the strong enfant terrible-spirit of Andrea Crews’ label was striking. And during a windy Fashion Week evening, the fall & winter collection – “Les Morts Vivants de La Mode” – was presented.

To the stage, a runway had been added, and in the first few minutes a series of red-shaded gothic creations is presented, worn by Vampire-like blood teared vamps, in the finest Bela Lugosi-spirit possible. But then, something else happens… A mob dressed in black jumps up on the stage, the music accelerates and great white banners are draped down from the top balconies in the theatre hall – banners that are sprayed with black letters reading out “Andrea Crews”. The anarchistic mob runs out on the runway, lifts up one of the models and puts her in a dustbin bag. The red curtains, which were previously closed are opened, and uncover a fiery hell landscape where the dark rabble has come to burn the models at the stake.

The show began with well tailored evening gowns, down jackets and blazers in scarlet red, and a craftsmanship-theme kept on reappearing in the show, followed in short order by chunky nits and the Andrea Crews trademark: Haute Insanity accessories in the forms of shoes stacked upon one another, and knitted hats with fluorescent details. The show finishes off with a model dressed in a revealing turquoise on-ne-sait-quoi piece, swinging two heads in front of the audience. Knitted heads of course.

We are not in Salem, nor in the 16th century. The current location is Paris. It’s 2011AD. But the angry mob is very much present, and have never been more dark or furious. It’s the Andrea Crews witch trials.

The interesting thing about Andrea Crews is not always the collection itself, but rather its presentation. There’s no doubt that underneath the Insane Asylum-styling, every piece that is strutted down the runway has an avant garde-touch to it but is nonetheless very wearable. And like a high number of brands, A.C would have no problem resting on these laurels. But they instead choose to incorporate other Classy Uglification-elements into it, such as neon coloured details. And on top of that, since this was a veritable theatre performance, the hall was filled to the brim with smoke. It may have been something that would make most photographers weep – and it may not show the collection in its best light – but A.C simply says…“Catch Me If You Can.”

The collection is filled with pieces like knitted cardigans and a draped black dress, but the difference with A.C is that their draped dress will have you perform the final number of out Swan lake. You’re not wearing a garment; you’re wearing conceptual performance art. You’re a small part of a movement. Much like with other contemporary artists such as the musician Björk, you might never quite grasp the full meaning of what’s going on, and that’s part of the charm. A.C is all about personal creativity, bold experimentation and full frontal independence. Find your inner Andrea, and run with her!

Petsy vön Kohler – Images Petsy von Köhler and Giovanni Cittadini