Memory is the faculty of the brain by which information is stored and retrieved - but the term also refers to an individual item of the past a person remembers. Bad memories may be reminders of trauma, while reminiscence may evoke nostalgia. Recalling past events and associated sentiments such as pain or joy is the key instrument of learning. Without memory, evolution by building on previous experience is impossible: no discernable pattern may be recognized and future decisions lose their empirical justification. Memory operates on both individual and collective levels, and forms the basis of digital technology as well. Intelligence, be it organic or artificial, requires stored and assessed information for the purpose of prompting action. In this capacity, memories serve as vital intermediaries between the past and the yet-to-come.
THEFOUR’s Memory collection, therefore, explores the power of retrospection. In times of involuntary re-routing, it glances backwards in fashion, history, and the brand’s development, thus retrieving elements to be shown in a changed context, bearing new layers of meaning. The past teaching us what to avoid and what to carry on: this is how memories assist us in improving ourselves, staying resilient. The transformative effect of memories entailed revisiting the messages on THEFOUR’s ever-recurring t-shirts and sweaters too: this is how MOTIVATED became STILL MOTIVATED and why EVOLVE appears.
In this vein, the collection’s aesthetics are reflecting things that are both memorable and continuously relevant. The shapes and cuts are inspired by the campy and futuristic approach of the ‘80s, the sexiness and nascent empowerment of women in the ‘90s as well as the ‘anything goes’ attitude of the millennium.
The salient features of previous THEFOUR works return in the AW21 collection. The bold, seemingly randomized mix and match of fabrics is in fact the result of a carefully implemented pairing process: the edginess of the pattern design mirrors the blurring lines between past and future, analogue and digital.
Artificial materials like softshell are coupled with natural fibers like cotton, silk and wool, with surprise occurrences of ethnic patterns such as the jacquard cheongsam fabric. Memory equally enables the use of selected deadstock materials like the paisley-patterned silk velvet, serving as a canvas for the designers’ characteristic overprints.