In Pictures: The Optical Illusions of Kiko Kostadinov A/W20

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Kiko Kostadinov Autumn/Winter 2020 Laura Deanna Fanning
Kiko Kostadinov Autumn/Winter 2020Photography by Paul Phung

For Kiko Kostadinov’s Autumn/Winter 2020 womenswear collection, twins Laura and Deanna Fanning looked to 20th-century theories on the way we see things

For Kiko Kostadinov’s Autumn/Winter 2020 womenswear show, a large orange and blue patterned backdrop was placed in the centre of the Hellenic Centre’s great hall. The spiralling optical illusion provided scenery for a collection – the fourth offering from Laura and Deanna Fanning, who began designing Kiko Kostadinov womenswear for Spring/Summer 2019 – inspired by Gestalt theory, or the ‘law of simplicity’. The 20th-century philosophy centres on how we see things placed in front of us, and the way that different visual cues can work together to create the illusion of a whole other phenomenon. The patterned set created the illusion of a vortex-like tunnel of apricot and baby blue stripes.

As such, Autumn/Winter 2020 saw “new explorations in texture and dimensionality”. The Fanning twins were considering the interplay between 2D and 3D; a diamond pocket motif, for example, reappeared throughout the collection, slightly sunken on the knees of houndstooth and satin trousers or running the length of slip dresses, the roomy, pouch-like effect created by enlarging traditional smocking techniques. Raised panels of earthy brown and terracotta faux fur were added to cropped jackets and frock coats, a textural contrast among jacquard tartans, satin, tweed and suedette. 

Knitwear – a staple since Laura and Deanna’s start at Kiko Kostadinov, Deanna having studied on the BA Knitwear programme at Central Saint Martins – cast a similarly striking silhouette. A series of oversized V-neck jumpers boasted stripes that appeared to zig-zag, with small pyramid-like peaks across the garments’ surfaces; elsewhere, a vivid checked dress mostly clung to the body, except for smocking that created bulbous excesses of fabric. The varying patterns and textures of the collection, which was styled by AnOther’s senior fashion editor Agata Belcen, were captivating against the somewhat-psychedelic, swirling backdrop. Some models’ hair was even coiled to echo the patterns, in snaking buns.

As in previous seasons, Laura and Deanna collaborated with sportswear brand ASICS for Autumn/Winter 2020 (the ongoing collaborations have proved fruitful for Kiko Kostadinov’s mens- and womenswear). A slightly pared back design was revealed this season, with a chunkier shape and contrasting upper and sole colours, in combinations like forest and bright green, or gold with white gel and rubber soles. 

Circular optical illusion patterns also appeared on a series of bags, created in collaboration with Milan-based brand Medea – which is also helmed by twin sisters, Camilla and Giulia Venturini. Large boxy totes formed a sharp contrast to curving textures and patterns of the clothes, and smaller iterations featured straps spiralling up the wearer’s arm. The leather, suede and croc bags were emblazoned with the designers’ recurring “vortex motif”, and made for yet another covetable collaboration from Kiko Kostadinov.