Sunday 22 January 2023

The Tomato Has It: Henrik Vibskov's Autumn/Winter 2023/24 Collection

Conceptual and creative, Henrik Vibskov's new Autumn/Winter 2023-24 collection, presented during Paris Men's Fashion Week, was a welcome injection of brilliant colour and whimsy. The designer's avant-garde aesthetic is also underpinned by his commitment to producing fully sustainable collections, writes Antonio Visconti. Photography by Elli Ioannou

HENRIK Vibskov launched an intriguing and engaging collection in Paris. At the presentation, held at the Hotel Normandy Le Chantier, he created a forest of mechanical trees, that seemed to breath with long-fingered harvesters as they raised and lowered the "branches". 

Sprouting deep red and pink leaves, they formed shadow patterns, as if on a forest floor, and crops hung ripe and heavy, ready to be picked.

The Danish designer says the theme and shape of the collection was originally inspired by the tomato fights of Valencia in Spain and then became a celebration of the tomato itself and its history. Taken from the Americas and disseminated by the Spaniards around the world, the tomato also ended up in the garden of the Medici where it was a decorative part of table arrangements and grown among flowers, but not eaten, rather appreciated for its colour, shape and variety. 

The designer's fascination with the tomato only grew as he began to explore its cultural heritage. "This is a homage to the golden apple and to the hands that plant and harvest, that feed people and cultures," he says. Looking beyond the brilliant red colour of the tomato which is a motif throughout the collection, chefs' uniforms and workwear as well as tomato cans and boxes became the inspiration for silhouettes.

The designer says the themes of the collection were originally inspired by the tomato fights of Valencia in Spain and then became a celebration of the tomato itself and its history. 

The collection's prints also drew on the tomato plant and its hues for the palette: luminescent red, lime green, orange, sand tones and deep gold contrasted with the dark blues and greens found in the shade of tomato orchards. While the artworks all refer to the shape of tomatoes but have an abstract aesthetic.  

Most of the fabrics in the collection (up to 72%) have all been sustainably produced, with the aim to ultimatley make that 100%. Organic cotton, recycled polyester and recycled PET bottles for padding in outerwear have been incorporated into the designs along with Tencel, made from cellulose fibers, European linen and virgin wool as well as using nontoxic dyes and prints. Henrik Vibskov's work affirms that sustainability can be joyous and fun and doesn't have to signify a unform utilitarianism.

 See highlights from the collection below.

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