Naturally Imperfect: Cask Fashion Line 2017

Sunday, 10 September 2017

“The target audience is defined by the brand as being permanently trapped on the line between the ‘girl’ and the ‘woman’”, I read on fashion brand Cask’s most recent press release. “…Despite being confident and accepting their (the target audience’s) vulnerability, faces life with rebelliousness”. Sofia Coppola’s protagonists are conjured to the front of my mind, restless, kind of unruly and fun but a girl who isn’t really sure where she stands in womanhood. Ever prevalent in a post-feminist world where girls and women are constantly scrutinised by the media and their peers, especially in fashion. A woman is often seen as whatever she is wearing. Casqueiro addresses this in-between with a collection intended to show that the human body is unique and we all deserve to feel comfortable in it.

The first line of Cask found its focus in Casqueiro’s own Portuguese roots. The 2016 line, ‘Typical Portuguese’ was conscious of the rebelliousness that characterises the young Western woman but with a completely different approach to the most recent collection. A year ago Casqueiro was overtly playful with her fashion using bright colours and splashing patterns across her cropped tops and shorts. When I look at the line in my imagination I am running around the vibrant streets of Lisbon, flirting with my youth. Now I think Casqueiro’s designs have grown up with her. They’re a little more mature, more powerful and they have more to say. In fact, despite their simplicity, they can scarcely shut up.

Moving starkly away from the first collection ‘Naturally Imperfect’ showcases muted green and taupe tones. The occasional pattern used mimics foliage. This bring us much closer to nature, emulating Casqueiro’s message that we are as unique as our natural surroundings. The loose shirts and jackets are styled on models to frame vignettes of skin. This isn’t seductive, there is a delicate power to it. Casqueiro shows the beauty and strength of femininity. There is no weakness here as is often read in the projection of the feminine from both women and men. The pieces aren’t heavily structured and instead of clinging to the body or drastically changing the body shape they appear to sit, moving with the attired, becoming part of the body. A simple embellishment as opposed to a whole costume. Casqueiro was inspired by the Japanese traditional belief whereby broken objects are repaired with gold. She hopes that by wearing her clothes we are not hiding our imperfections but embracing them as a unique part of ourselves. Casqueiro tells us through her clothes that we are naturally imperfect, yes, but by no means are we less powerful, only… unique.

Casqueiro plans to continue creating clothes that women will feel comfortable but powerful in and also works as a sustainable brand, increasingly important in the progression of the fashion industry. I am already excited to see what is next for Cask and how Casqueiro’s views on fashion and society will develop through her designs.

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