Photography/GIFs: Kathryn Chadason
Since its inception in 2013, we’ve come to expect a certain kind of look from AREA: shiny, sweet and sexy—and usually embellished with rhinestones and fur. This year, however, design duo Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk decided to focus on the daytime side of the AREA girl, resulting in a ’80s aerobics-meets-’90s streetwear-turned power suit collection with really good hair.
That might sound really weird—and it was, but it worked in the tacky luxe that is AREA. From their signature oversized hoops to their gratuitous use of going out tops, the New York-based brand has perfected an actually cool kind of clubwear. So, to see them move towards daytime this season was pretty surprising. The fact that their daytime clothes look like a lot of designers’ answers to party looks, wasn’t.
But what does an AREA work outfit look like? Think ’90s hip-hop style jumpsuits, ’80s fabrics and a ’70s glam, all put together to make something effortlessly modern. Using neon colors and a hybrid of professional athletic wear, Fogg and Panszczyk have seamlessly evolved from the sexy sorority sister with daddy’s credit card to the girl at the office who always looks good, even hungover at the board meeting. And while I personally wouldn’t wear any of the pieces to work (or really anywhere during the day whatsoever), I’d definitely be jealous of the girl who would—and pull it off.
The verdict? With this season, AREA overcame the curse of a lot of emerging designers. As soon as any of them get attention for doing any one thing, they keep doing it, season after season. And just as we were about to write off Fogg and Panszczyk as an albeit cool one-trick-pony, they ended up really impressing us. I wouldn’t necessarily say the brand has matured, but they have shown they can do more than what they’ve been doing, while simultaneously perfecting the kind of slutty quirkiness that’s at the heart of their DNA. And that makes us want to see more.
View photos from the AREA S/S ’18 presentation, above.