On the evening that Tony Cohen presented his SS17 collection named “Restrained & Release” we were in awe of the simplicity yet complexity of the designs, featuring outfits that partially restrained the body with tight wraps of fabric, covered by loosely flowing layers on top. Some of the designs represented the feeling of total freedom, whereas others represented the feeling of merciless restraint. Inspired by bondage, the striking shapes and materials among the couture pieces provided the perfect edge to the more commercial pieces that are the essence of the pret-a-porter collection. With a palette of mostly black and white to symbolize and accentuate the contrast between ‘light’ and ‘dark’, just a few splashes of soft pink reminded us of the soft transition from feeling restrained, after which liberation feels like pure exhilaration.
The concepts of holding on and letting go can be freely interpreted, but this collection is mostly a very intense translation of the emotional process that I have been through in the past months. Never before have I let a theme that was inspired so deeply by my emotions, manifest itself so strongly within a collection. Everybody knows the feeling of circumstances trapping you into a situation that you just can’t get out of, like it’s grabbing you by the throat and forcing you into a straightjacket. This causes an unbelievable amount of stress, but brings that amazing feeling of euphoria once you feel released. That alternation of emotions, that concept of restraint and then release, it’s such a beautiful notion and I wanted to put that into my collection.Tony Cohen