ZENTECH - SEASONAL BRAND MESSAGE
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, inventor of the iconic Porsche 911 and founder of Porsche Design, expressed the following conviction: “Design should have a connection to the heart of the function”, a distinctly minimalist ethos which has steered the brand ever since.
This season, we were compelled to take a closer look at DNA of the Porsche Design brand and the origins of minimalist design as a whole. Why are we drawn to minimalism? Is there a deeper meaning to be found in minimalism?
The word “minimalism” has been around for quite some time. It was expressly used by the artists and architects in the early 20th century. Mies van der Rohe, a German architect and the last director of the Bauhaus school, famously declared that “less is more” in 1947, not unlike F.A. Porsche’s conviction soon after.
This new 20th century minimalist design principle was certainly not confined to Europe. The American aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson coined the term KISS in 1960, an acronym for “keep it simple, stupid”, a design principle which states that simplicity should be a key goal in design, and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
About five hundred years before the Bauhaus movement, Zen priests and artists in Japan were already applying minimalist concept in Zen arts, most widely known in the form of Zen garden (karesansui).
Becoming a minimalist is a life style choice to stop relying on your be- longings to pursue happiness. Minimalist arts and design find beauty and satisfaction in “less,” or “emptiness/nothingness.” Although the motivation behind them seem different, there is a common enlightenment they share: there emerges something – a surprisingly large and profound something – in the void created when things are subtracted from “more” to become “less” or “empty.”
The aesthetics of Zen/minimalist arts are still very powerful and effective today, and are often embedded in modern design. They continue to inspire and excite a life with “less,” because design elements that are rooted deep in “less is more” philosophy work as a catalyst to find profound happiness.
The team and I were intrigued by the convergence of modernist minimalism and Japanese Zen. We agreed to tackle designing a collection which somehow merged these minimalist notions, in the context of a 21st century world now transformed and transfixed by technology.
ZENTECH - COLOUR PALETTE
Zen gardens are highly evocative of serenity and relaxation, so our seasonal palette is dominated by gentle neutral colors. Stone, bamboo, sky and sand all quietly emphasize the shape of our Porsche Design silhouettes. Parchment white adds a technical edge, and indigo brings a quiet rhythm to the collection.
ZENTECH - SILHOUETTES AND CONSTRUCTION
This season we applied the most up-to-date construction techniques to what are deceptively simple silhouettes. As a matter of fact, many of the garments in this collection were made entirely without the use of traditional sewing techniques. Be it seamless circular knitted sweaters, or woven garments made entirely by bonding and taping the seams, this implementation of new technologies in garment-making gives this serene collection a very contemporary edge. It should be said that these modern techniques are rooted in practical considerations: bonding and taping of seams provide the wearer with a garment that is functionally water and weather resistant.
Also of interest this season is our tech take on “trompe l’oeuil”: be it collars made with bonded inlays of sheer PVC, or pockets and buttons embossed to a coat with gelatin, the intent was to streamline our silhouettes as much as possible.
ZENTECH - FABRICS
In the spirit of our namesake seasonal theme ZenTech, we wanted to play fabrics woven in natural fibers against more contemporary technical fabrics. Latex with linen, cashmere with sport mesh, PVC with parachute silk. Our intent was to combine the ease, drape and com- fort which natural fabrics provide with the modern advantages of man-made textiles, such as wind resistance, moisture wicking, temperature control and water-proofing.
New to the collection this season were so-called “Storm System” Loro Piana triple layer membrane fabrics we used for more tailored styles. In this way we were able to design structured styles that offer the look of formal luxury garments with the practicality of garments which are packable, wrinkle resistant and fully weather proof. These ZenTech Storm System styles are perfect applications of the Porsche Design ethos that form should always follow function: our sleek tailored styles can transition seamlessly from country to plane to board room.
ZENTECH - LEATHER
Leather is core to our apparel business, and this season we saw an opportunity to work with fresher and more forward thinking techniques. Case in point, we broke new ground by making our leathers ultralight and highly durable with ultramodern bonding techniques.
We also played with leading edge and quite baffling leather finishes:. imagine skins with a lightly powdered touch, rubberized textures and high-shine patent. This season we blurred the line between natural and technical, real and fake.
ZENTECH - KNITWEAR
Knitwear is a classification of apparel strongly associated with colder weather and maybe more traditional fashion brands. This season we wanted to break that mould and shake-up perceptions of what Summer knitwear can be.
Our yarns this season are rigorously technical, light weight and innovative. As proof, we designed circular knit, seamless layering styles that surprise with plays on sporty mesh and rib textures, sumptuous silk-cashmere blends which feel light as a breeze and stretch viscose blends knit in contemporary cable patterns.
Our freshest take on a sweater this season was a hybrid satin-faced silk chiffon and merino wool knit cable dress, hand-sewn in our Berlin atelier.