COS launches Bauhaus-inspired capsule collection
Simplicity is a keyword for COS’ Christophe Copin and Nicole Bischofer. The designers rely on clean, essential lines, almost minimal in their purity, but there is nothing basic in their rather conceptual approach. Having an appreciation for craft and the sophistication that goes into the minute details they favour, their style is tinged with an almost architectural attitude.
In fact, Copin, who directs the brand’s menswear line, and his co-designer for womenswear Bischofer, have worked on a Bauhaus-related re-edition of archive pieces, marking the school’s 100-year anniversary. ‘We don’t have this kind of history behind us, but twelve years is already something’, Copin acknowledges and adds: ‘When we changed the fit a little bit, and edited fabrics, we realised: the pieces are still relevant’.
The design principles of the Bauhaus have been at the forefront of every COS collection from the beginning. The capsule of 12 remastered archive pieces, which is set to be available in early November at select COS stores and online, picks a unique aspect. ‘We really wanted to work around form and function this time,’ says Copin. ‘You need a coat to protect you from the cold, but maybe you don’t need all its additional detail.’ Stripping things away, Copin and Bischofer arrived at a very pure silhouette and then played on defining fabrics and details.
Accordingly, they propose a stone grey felted wool coat for men, eschewing the lapel, and a white poplin shirt with just the outlines of a plastron. ‘We were focusing on the art of closure’, Copin explains. ‘You won’t find any decoration to distract from the functionality’. Monochrome shades of crisp whites and toned-down greys, reminiscent of the first Bauhaus school buildings in Dessau, are studiously austere and, as often as not, neutral too.
A notable effect of the Bauhaus influence on the looks: geometric shapes. To give them a compelling twist, Copin and Bischofer used the brand’s technical expertise. They fine-tuned silhouettes so that they appear noticeably constructed without appearing heavy or stiff. Case in point, an asymmetrical wool dress with an elongated strap that falls down the back is undeniably graphic in its form, but suggests an alluring accessibility.
Copin refers to their approach with the words of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school: ‘Design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society’. It’s something that is valid more than ever before. §