For the uninitiated, the New Romantic movement emerged from the year zero cultural landscape created by punk. A reaction to the anti-fashion, spiky look and sound of punk, which, by 1979, had developed into its own form of regimentation, New Romantics embraced a theatrical sense of the elegant. The ultra-suave, late night jet-setting of Bryan Ferry, the cosmic high fashion of Marc Bolan and glam-era Bowie, along with the elaborate, decorative fashions of actual, 19thcentury Romanticism were the visual lynchpins of the New Romantic movement. The eminently catchy sounds of the future, of synthpop, by the likes of Duran Duran, Visage and Spandau Ballet, provided the musical accompaniment.
After spending a couple of seasons exploring a back to basics approach, Engineered Garments are prepared to fully fade to grey, but not necessarily in the way you might think. The Engineered Garments Autumn/Winter 2019 collection heads to post-punk, late 70s London, at the dawn of the New Romantics, for an alluring dose of after dark dramatics. In practice, the Autumn/Winter collection sees the Engineered Garment aesthetic pillars of military, workwear, and utilitarianism are livened with ornamental features like animal and intricate floral patterns, and in some cases, dramatic proportions. Pieces offering a more classic, familiar Engineered Garments look are also sprinkled throughout the collection.
There's something inherently grand, and maybe even a little imposing, about draped velvet. Maybe it's just the spectacle of using a luxurious fabric in physical excess. Engineered Garments' velveteen Balloon Pant repackages that feeling for contemporary fashion. It's dramatic and fashionable, but without the "Charles Dickens novel antagonist" vibes.