The former is inspired by the outdoors, as the name would suggest, and ties together the few prints present for the up-coming season, inspired by camo and bark, with pieces inspired by performance-wear. The clothes are in muted tones and woodland hues but the silhouettes are dramatic, challenging. Not for the faint of heart.
The latter jumps from a starting point in a twentieth century art movement from Japan of the same name. This section takes up more of the collection and tames the wild organic shapes of Outdoor Creativity. It combines natural and man-made fibres, steely greys and salmon and peachy tones. It is pared back, raw, minimal. It is balanced, elegant, makes a statement without needing to shout. Wools and felt abound and, in an Irish setting, one can't help but see parallels with our own traditions in knitwear and outerwear. Though the palette may be unusually light, the fabrics are completely what one would expect for AW. They are dense, durable, very much investment pieces that will serve you well for years to come.
There is both drama and calm in this collection. There are many of my favourite colours to wear. There are highly challenging pieces.
And this is why I love COS.
Their collections are like being back at fashion week. They're inspired and inspiring. They respect the high street consumer by refusing to talk down to us, by reinventing and by giving us the tools to access style normally relegated merely to the highest end. Particularly in the case of menswear. There's a lot that is wearable. There are classics but there are also pieces that have proportions that are off, textures that are unruly.
But even while all that is going on there's room in the clothes, room to put your own stamp on it, to make it yours.
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