Designers have shown a recent penchant for busy prints: ones that keep the eye occupied with multitudes of vibrant colors contained within complex, multidimensional patterns. The Spring 2014 runway shows were full of them; bold, art-inspired prints were a major trend.
Amidst the popularity of these elaborate prints, Mumbai-based brand MIUNIKU comes as a refreshing addition to the fashion palate. Founded by sisters Tina and Nikita, the brand's name derives from the nicknames their parents gave them: Miu and Niku, respectively.
After growing up in Mumbai, the sisters studied pattern cutting and womenswear at the London College of Fashion, graduating in June 2013. In July 2013, they received the Fashion Innovation Award from the London College of Fashion. The sisters were semi-finalists for the 2014 H&M Design Awards and were recently named one of 12 finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
The designers describe the brand's aesthetic as "a balance between clean lines and graphic details, mixing minimal and maximal elements." The AW14 collection showcases color blocking on a series of oversized yet structured separates, including a magnificent array of coats.
"Our first collection was mostly monochrome, so we thought we should take a risk and experiment with colour on our next one," Tina stated in an email, referring to the choice to use such bold colors in the AW14 collection. "So this time, we kind of stepped out of our comfort zone and played with colour and it turned out quite well!"
The pieces evoke a fresher, cleaner facet of modern art than that seen in the Chanel and Céline Spring 2014 shows. Although Chanel and Céline's maximalist looks have their own distinct appeal, MIUNIKU's designs, such as an ankle-length coat with a Mondrian-esque color scheme, are attractive because of their restraint. The hues are subtler than those seen in the recent hey-day of color blocking in 2011, and many of the pieces use white in order to soften the bold juxtaposition of brights. The result is far from quiet, but it is calmer than the maximalism to which fashion has recently become accustomed.
All images courtesy of MIUNIKU