It’s been almost a year and a half since I wrote about The Plateu, but not without good reason. When I first came across the brand back then I described them as a label that keeps its cards to its chest and that description remains apt. Their Fall/Winter 2012 ‘Late’ collection was a brief but confident introduction to the label, proffering understated adaptations of classic British garments such as waxed cotton parkas and shirting whilst accompanying materials remained sparse and unforthcoming.
After a bit of snooping, I spoke to some friends of the brand’s owner and learned that it wasn’t so much a veil of secrecy as a desire to continue refining their craft before entering the spotlight proper. Of course in any creative process there’s always an urge to put something out there but in the context of fashion – home of the reclusive Rei Kawakubo, the monolithic Margiela collective and Aitor Throup’s 7-years-in-the-making debut collection (versus several rushed Kanye debuts!) – a hermetic nature with a steady hand hardly seems like a bad move.
So it goes that The Plateu has been comfortably quiet, ticking along in the background. It was a pleasant surprise, then, to turn on Twitter this morning and find a link to the brand’s Fall/Winter 2014 lookbook. Titled ‘Run & Hide’, we can see clear developments from our last encounter and lots to talk about.
Where the ‘Late’ lookbook was accompanied by photos from the late 60s Woodstock era, the shots in ‘Run & Hide’ are punctuated by a mixture of organic and geometric images such as grids and treetops, alluding to the interconnectivity of the two.
We can see this concept seep through in certain pieces; the simple precision of the suiting combines with a relaxed fit reminiscent of 90s Britpop and Snatch. Similarly, the collection introduces staple casual pieces such as crewnecks and t-shirts whilst styling remains comfortably set between sharp and sportif.
Shirting sees the return of The Plateu’s relaxed button-up silhouette, offered in a subtle polka dot motif in several colourways. Again, open-collar and un-tucked styling gives the fits a laidback feel typical of 90s casual trends.
The most impressive developments, however, can be seen in this season’s selection of outerwear, continuing the Plateu’s minimalist interpretation of iconic British silhouettes. The hunting jacket sees external ornamentation stripped bare, accented with a standing collar and camo lining while another iteration of the classic waxed jacket sees 2012’s model slightly adjusted and refined.
Similarly, a slick and understated trench is introduced with hidden slash pockets and concealed button-placket, resulting in a quintessential casual piece with minimal interruptions. Most notable, however, is the implementation of a zip-detachment around the waist of the jackets, allowing the user to remove and interchange components according to taste. As a result, the stripped silhouettes are accompanied by a unique versatility that lets the wearer experiment and variate around the central silhouettes. Ambitious? Yes. Impressive? Very.
Returning to The Plateu after almost 16 months, it’s primarily a relief to see the brand rear its head again, but I remarked how more time spent exploring its reference points and stimuli would surely bring more quality and this certainly seems to have been the case.
If last season’s punctuations of long-haired hippies and jet fighter planes were suggestive of a cultural anchor from which The Plateu branches out, then perhaps this season’s cocktail of grids and greenery alludes to an interconnectivity of the natural and numerical, something reflected in the brand’s pinpoint precision and laidback fits.
In any case, it’s a genuine pleasure to see The Plateu back with promising developments. Hopefully we’ll soon see it develop into product for purchase, but otherwise it’s enriching to watch a brand with real promise taking the time to present itself properly.
As far as I’m aware The Plateu remains unavailable for purchase, but as always you can follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and their website for the latest updates straight from the source. Enjoy the photos and have a nice week.