A.W.A.K.E on the Cover of our Borderless Issue shot by Iakovos Kalaitzakis

Words by Katie Farley

An innovative and prevailing example of beautiful, idiosyncratic fashion, A.W.A.K.E is a
fast emerging brand that is catching the attention of industry editors and style influencers
alike. An abbreviation for All Wonderful Adventures Kindle Enthusiasm, the name resonates
a captivating appeal that confidently stands tall amid a fusion of upcoming fashion brands.

The previous fashion director of Harpers Bazaar Russia, as well as a former stylist,
photographer and Art Director, Natalia Alaverdian originally founded A.W.A.K.E in 2012.
Naturally, she has applied her many years of fashion knowledge and expertise to craft a brand
that champions a contemporary and directional aesthetic. Natalia’s objective for the label is
to create an intimate and individual expression through collections of clothing that
delightfully evoke conceptual, storytelling aspirations alongside echoing a sense of
commercial capability.

Each garment is wonderfully distinctive, thus adopting a life of its own, a quality that has been injected through the designer’s passionate handicrafts. Staple designs throughout the collections include signature timeless shirts, wonderfully tailored coats and must-have dresses that all embody a strong yet balanced vision, whilst attaining an organic and natural edge. Ultimately, A.W.A.K.E’s focus is on classically elegant tailored pieces with the additional charm of instilling evocative details throughout.

A sense of compelling eccentricity contributes to the unique brand, where one will notice an amalgam of references that are seen on many of the contemporary pieces that include animals, historical figures, and characters from the world of art and film. Further inspiration is delivered in the form of Japanese art and culture, where a cohesion of imagery represents timeless land, ancient customs, and contemporary living. Adopting a strong feeling of Orientalism, Natalia’s collections are infused with a galvanizing dose of Eastern Asian essence.

Standout garments include beautiful tunics which feature expansive sleeves, with broad, waist-clasping belts and daringly alluring suits with elevated armholes that melodramatically skim the wearer to create a voluminous silhouette that captures attention from the shoulder to the ankle. Further items comprise of waffle sponge obi style capelets, which is extracted from Japanese style dressing and is seen emblazoned with traditional woodcut prints. This addition is indicative of Natalia’s ability to incorporate interesting elements to an otherwise western aesthetic, differentiating A.W.A.K.E amid a sea of fellow fashion labels.

Among the latest autumn/winter 2017 collection, the fundamental inspiration is sourced from the eight-armed mollusc of the Cephalopodan family, otherwise acknowledged as the octopus. The designs essentially reflect the fluidity and overall movement of the creature in question, with many pieces particularly focusing on exaggerated silhouettes, roached gatherings of fabrics and elongated lines. Case in point: a luxuriously sumptuous beige tailored two-piece that features an asymmetric hem with extended sleeves that were beautifully roached and layered upon one another to reflect the fascinating variability of the sea creature.

Other garments included long double-faced skirts with panels placed over the top that mirrored the model’s stride, a tapestry-esque jacquard two-piece that again featured the statement roaching details, along with gathered puffball skirts that were pleated and added interesting shapes. Ethereal octopus prints adorned many garments, including a woolen dress and the lining of a floor-length coat.

The collection requires a certain amount of poise and posture in order for the clothes to beautifully hang off the body and to be truly appreciated for Natalia’s unparalleled dexterities. Unquestionably, A.W.A.K.E is a brand to keep an eye out for in the future.

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