APUJAN’s AW19 collection was an original story of detection and mystery represented in the investigative elements of this stunning new line and live music.
Channelling his inner Sherlock Holmes, Apu Jan’s collection was inspired by the Victorian stories of detection and secrecy.
Like a modern twist on the detective game Cluedo, his story began on a train with dinosaur fossils, a painter, a gambler, a thief, the police and a buyer. As well as this colourful array of characters, there was also a record-keeper; who had returned from the future after attempting to solve the mystery; flamboyant women; preparing for a big event; and detectives studying a diagram detailing the relationships between persons of interest.
What is especially clever about Apu Jan’s plot is how the detective elements and storyline in the catwalk will also be brought to the storefront and brand events when APUJAN launches the AW19 collection. This will allow visitors to continue solving the mysteries whilst they browse the collection.
As an avid reader, Apu Jan has often paid tribute to classic literature in his previous collections. This season he turned his attention to crime and mystery novels which included the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, Ellery Queen, Anthony Berkeley, Raymond Chandler and of course, Arthur Conan Doyle.
Elements from these novels were represented in the prints and jacquard materials of each design including opened letters, black cats, train tracks, playing cards, pipes, chess pieces, puzzles, pocket watches, flowers, chocolate and lambs.
The detective story also included elements that Apu Jan often expresses in all his pieces such as time, time-travelling, fantasy, dinosaur fossils, fantastical creatures, flowers, keys and open pages.
Although these elements are the bare bones of the brand, some of the finer details and flourishes in the collection seemed a tad forced. There was nothing particularly original about printing trains on fabric or covering a model’s face with a woven fabric veil.
That said, the floral hat that looked entirely made of real plants was stunning. Paired with a sheer black jumpsuit and white platforms, the look was simplistic yet managed to embody the creative elements of the brand and its detective story.
APUJAN displayed an impressive 33 outfits during the show which continued the brand’s signature oriental details and western contours. Fantasy and imagination were explored through traditional costumes such as hand-woven woollen hats, scarves, silk-knit open-front jackets and irregular hollow-style knit tops.
One of the best details of the collection was the use of fabric pages from detective novels as pocket squares on some of the garments. This was a unique touch to the collection which conveyed Apu Jan’s interest in detective novels.
A sporting theme, which was also the focus of last season’s collection could also be seen in several of the items on display this season, including the trainers used in the show in collaboration with NIKE.
The latest Air Max 720, 2019 new style Air VaporMax, Air Max 90 and 95 series were on display with a special planetary shoe clip developed by APUJAN also used to accessorise the shoes.
APUJAN also collaborated with Architchen, a company that specialised in parametric designs to create a series of 3D digital print detective story symbols including keys, pocket watches, pipes, trains and other motifs.
The most impressive aspect of the show was the original music produced by APUJAN’s music director DJ QuestionMark (Chi-Shuan Ying).
The score featured dynamic, theatrical and minimalistic sounds drawn from a range of genres including new classical, jazz and experimental music. Many sound-design pieces included the sounds of trains and crowds which were used to echo elements present in the collection.
A model steam train was also placed on top of the grand piano to serve as a hidden forth band member to reflect the season’s theme.
Live music performed by London-based pianist Belle Chen, double bassist Refa Wang and flutist DJ QuestionMark were also included in the show.
The APUJAN collection can be found on the official online shop.
Did you like APUJAN’s game of detection?
Text: Millie Bull