Toronto-based designer Andrew Coimbra and Uncuffed leather designer Olga Barsky have teamed up for Fall/Winter 2018 to create a collaboration collection that fuses Coimbra’s classic esthetic with Barsky’s tough leather accessories. The results are a daring mashup of oversized wool coats and brightly hued hoodies with badass opera gloves, laser-cut scarves and harnesses. We caught up with the designers on Day 3 of Toronto Fashion Week to talk inspiration, power and collaboration.
So Andrew, what was the inspiration behind your collaboration?
Coimbra: “I wanted to explore the various nuances of power, like socio-economic power, sexual power, electric power, animalistic power. The way I communicated that was through little bits of subtle symbolism, like I used snake print as a very literal example of animal power as well as sexual power. And then there are the grid prints, which are inspired by neon lights. And in regards to socio-economic power, I took the idea of luxury dressing and brought it down to a streetwear setting, so using Italian fabrics and fuzzy wools but pairing them with hoodies and casualwear. I also really wanted to play with the power of having your own versatility and your own voice so a lot of the pieces have functionality to it, like the puffer jacket has the un-zippable bottom skirt and a lot of the outerwear pieces have backpack straps so you can kind of style it however you want.”
Olga, what was your inspiration?
Barsky: “I actually didn’t want to stick to one motif or one inspiration this season, so I have a couple of capsules going on. I have the motif with the hands, which is very playful. And then I was really into the idea of Byzantium body armour, so I love the idea of taking a floral, which we’re used to seeing more delicate and for spring, and incorporating that into pieces that look more like body armour. I think my whole brand is about the hard and soft playing together.”
How did the collaboration come about, and where did you guys get the idea to team up?
Barsky: “Actually, it wasn’t even something we came up with! Over the last year, we noticed that stylists were always using our pieces together in the same stories, so we were just constantly seeing our pieces together and realized they really work! So we decided to collaborate this season. The collections are separate but were styled together for this presentation. We did one piece together which was the toque with the laser-cut flowers, which we thought was an interesting way to bridge the two worlds.”