AVAVAV by Beate Karlsson is one of a handful of brands that you don’t want to skip on your Milan Fashion Week calendar. For Fall/Winter 2023, it presented clothes that were falling apart, a sign for what was to come – when the show ended, the set collapsed. Spring/Summer 2023, which also marked Karlsson’s runway debut, saw models falling over on purpose (and at the time this was very apt, per many models falling over or not being able to walk in those cursed Valentino heels). For Spring/Summer 2024, the AVAVAV antics struck again.
Backstage, Karlsson said the collection was about “stress.” Culted was behind the scenes of the madness moments before the collection debuted, and it was as chaotic and haphazard as you’d hope from Karlsson’s cult label. We got up-close-and-personal with the models’ teary make-up, dishevelled wet-look hair, and smudged mascara, with all this pointing to a very stressed out group of models. Why were they stressed? Well, it’s Milan Fashion Week, you’re running out of time, shows are late, the weather is dreadful, and AVAVAV is about to start.
But the models, well, they were over it. Some came a few steps onto the runway before giving up and turning back. Others marched towards the photo pit, as if they just wanted to get it over with. Some were half-dressed, or not dressed at all. AVAVAV’s staff pushed another few models onto the runway – “come on, you’re going to be late!”
But it wasn’t all gimmick and no fashion. Sure, there were hoodies with writing on them insinuating the garment was incomplete, but there were also dresses purposely tacked together with pins – it being a commentary on both running late, and making a fashionable statement piece.
Likewise, post-it notes were used on a full suit ensemble, worn by Dorian Electra no less, and also appeared as earrings, like the masking tape you put over fresh piercings when swimming. More wearable moments ranged from leather blazers to a stunning dress cut asymmetrically with buttons done up incorrectly.
But throughout the collection was ample amounts of tongue-in-cheek attitude. One hoodie read (in crystal embellishment) “MADE IN ITALY,” and beneath (in tippex), “(OR CHINA, CAN’T REMEMBER).”
Likewise, T-shirts plastered with the phrase “Filthy Rich” were met with baseball caps that said “C*nt” on them, also in crystals. And how did it all end? With Beate Karlsson coming out in her own clothes, sporting face-tat tears that read “Filthy Rich” once more.
See: Ferragamo SS24.
Photo Credit: Eric Brain / Culted