Having studied at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Barbara recently wrote her Master's thesis on the current state of fashion journalism. With her academic expertise, she (critically) assesses the runway and upcoming trends in the fashion hemisphere.

MASHAMA Spring Summer 2019

MASHAMA, known for her futuristic feminine aesthetic, wanted to reflect on the continued repression of women’s voices in China. Not a day too soon, considering today’s omnipresent #metoo-movement in other parts of the world. Not a trivial topic either, but Ma managed to produce a strong and confident collection that resonates with everything she has to say about it.

A continuous search for one’s true self is at the core of this collection. Ma saw that same pursuit in the movie Annihilation, where its protagonist Lena is on an expedition and learns more about herself along the way. By also referencing to the movie’s surroundings, the designer exchanged her regular urban club-scene inspiration for tropical nature. Ma drew parallels between Lena’s mutating environment, a.k.a. ‘The Shimmer’, and modern China as well. According to Ma, everything that enters China, doesn’t stay the same.

 
Ma Shama Spring Summer 2019


 

Enfin. Seems a lot of territory to cover in one collection. However, Ma succeeded in developing a clear language through her designs. Tailored safari jackets and zipped-cargo pants in military and khaki hues, combined with emerald green knee-length socks in heels. Shimmering sequined bomber-jackets and acid yellow waterproof raincoats, all to protect the female body from outer danger and in order to survive. Protective, but not restrictive.

Again, Ma harvested instant attention for her sci-fi chic signature by incorporating scarfed dresses and shiny satins. Highlight was a mutated black dress into off-shoulder white shirtsleeves, showing a little laced under piece at the model’s bare shoulder. Nothing sweet or fragile about this look, thanks to its strong cuts, chunky white earrings and shimmering zippers. Another stunner was the black satin dress combined with a black blazer, layered with a caped dark blue bomber-jacket and coloured fringed hat. Sounds wild, but it worked together seamlessly and created a modern silhouette regardless of their differing shapes.

The designer’s desire was to nurture the strong identity of women by ‘creating a collection that acts as a soft armour, both protecting and elevating the wearer’, as the official statement reads. And it sure did.

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