Gothic romance: Patcharavipa and Undercover's collaboration is coming up roses

The partnership between the Japanese label and Thai jewellery brand emphasises the darkly symbolic nature of the rose

A close-up of an ear with a small gold loop chain ear-ring dangling from the top outer part with a red diamond-shaped pendant. Above the ear is a hand with a gold-coloured ring with red flower shaped pendant on the outer finger.
Rose ring; hoop earring; long earring, all in 18ct gold-plated silver, Swarovski crystals and painted enamel, by Patcharavipa x Undercover. Fashion: Aylin Bayhan
(Image credit: Rebecca Scheinberg)

A Clockwork Orange’s violent delinquents, The Shining’s creepy Grady twins, Suspiria’s sadistic ballerinas – a medley of malevolent characters in classic horror films have played an influential part in the previous collections of Jun Takahashi, founder of cult Japanese label Undercover.

Now, for S/S20, Takahashi has turned his spine-tingling view to Thai jewellery designer Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura’s usual fine-jewellery offering, which typically incorporates organic forms and precious elements like mother-of-pearl and texturised 18ct Siam gold.

‘I wanted to add something poisonous to the label’s creations,’ Takahashi says of their collaborative collection, which is formed from lengths of uneven sterling silver chains and thorny tendrils, this time plated in 18ct gold, and dripping with blood-red Swarovski crystals or blossoming with crimson painted-enamel roses.

It’s a stylish swerve from the punkish panache of Undercover’s catwalk jewellery approach which, for the A/W19 menswear show, saw DIY brooches and necklaces formed from safety pins, fabric corsages, spoons and keys. Indeed, it was the antithetical delicateness of Patcharavipa’s approach that first fascinated Takahashi.

‘It started with the chain pieces in my recent Clues collection,’ explains Bodiratnangkura. ‘Takahashi particularly liked their handcrafted texture.’ For Bodiratnangkura, the designs were a series of firsts: it’s her debut fashion-brand collaboration, and her first time using sterling silver and vibrant resin enamel. ‘The pieces are lighter,’ she says. ‘They offer better wearability.’

Patcharavipa’s gothic creations fittingly complement Undercover’s current collection, with its highly saturated shades and tailoring emblazoned with unearthly illustrations by American writer and artist Edward St John Gorey. ‘The colour in the pieces makes real sense with the clothing,’ says Bodiratnangkura. ‘Roses are beautiful, but also have poisonous connotations,’ adds Takahashi of this darkly symbolic floral form. §

As originally featured in the May 2020 issue of Wallpaper* (W*254), available to download free here


The collection will be available in Japan, at Undercover stores in Aoyama (Tokyo) and Sendai, and at Isetan Shinjuku (Tokyo)

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