Former skate heads bring that rough-and-tumble vibe to their women's line
From the magazine: ISSUE 93, August/Sept 2014.
Disrupting the high-end womenswear landscape is Aries' raison d’être. The two-year-old label was founded by Sofia Prantera and Fergus Purcell, designers who met in the ’90s while working at the seminal London skate brand Slam City. After going their separate ways and designing for brands that included Silas and Palace Skateboards, the duo had grown frustrated with the watering down of independent streetwear culture by major corporations and reunited to create Aries, a womenswear line that seeks to merge smartly tailored fashion and underground style. “With this being my first opportunity to do a women’s line, I really wanted Aries to be explicitly streetwear-based,” says Purcell. “I wanted to combine qualities of high-end design with clothing associated with subcultures.”
The resulting line is inspired equally by the rough-and-tumble streetwear they made for skaterboys in the early ’90s and the subversive punk style of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Sex Shop-era fashions. Aries’ fall 2014 collection couples Prantera’s hand-dyed fabrics and cut-and-sew tailoring with Purcell’s original graphics, frequently including eye-popping iconography like decomposing rats and temple ruins. “In design, there’s always this search to create perfect items,” says Prantera. “I really love the one element that makes design slightly wrong. That’s really inspiring to me.” Prantera and Purcell’s dedication to relating womenswear to the streets has resonated with full-grown tomboys and found the label a home among ritzy international retailers and upstart independent shops alike, bringing their worlds closer, one ripped jean at a time.
All clothing Aries available at MatchesFashion.com. Styling Dennine Dyer. Model Jessica Novais at MUSE. Hair Illy Lussiano. Make-Up Rachael Ghorbani for Laura Mercier Cosmetics. Photography assistance Sergiy Barchuk.