As soon as the curtains lifted at Rains' latest runway show in Paris, a procession of models dressed like powerful goth creatures emerged, made all the more dramatic by the splendor of a gilded theater in the backdrop.
The setting's contrast was intentional as Rains sought to emphasize this season's hero theme and magnitude of the moment, which the Danish brand called its most ambitious production to-date.
Known for its waterproof outwear and fashion-meets-function approach rooted in Scandinavian design, Rains takes a more creative and conceptual approach on the runway under head of design Tanne Vinter.
"This season was very much about finding that inner hero within yourself, and creating the uniforms to do it and really work with the characters and the individual in the scenery," Vinter said backstage afterwards.
Some of the looks channeled the hero trope more literally, like a duo of models joined together by extra-long sleeves. "When I think about the forces of superheroes, I think about these extended arms or legs, and then I tried to play around with connecting arms and legs that didn't work and when you need to walk, and then suddenly, this most simplified way of connecting your arms just felt very, just felt right," she explains.
With each look the hero theme evolved as an idea about forward momentum, grounding and positivity. Silhouettes spilled to the ground in columns of technical fabrics and extended beyond reality. Other superhero iconography include theatrical capes, extended collars and new branding with a HERO application.
Sleeves reference straitjackets, and, according to the show notes, speak to the need to "embrace our inner demons to fully flesh out the hero within." There's more silhouettes, fabrics and colors than ever before.
Some of the show's more conceptual pieces will actually be a part of a special collection where pieces are transformed into a more commercial version. And some of the runway looks are produced for a small selection of clients.
Another standout was the footwear, a collaboration with 3-D-printed sneaker company Zellerfeld based in Germany. Rains confirmed they have plans to produce the sculptural, artificial shoes.
"What I really like about working with Rains is that you have the commercial [range] which is really like having an answer for everyone," she says. "It's like they can access the brand. And then when you build the universe up like this, you're really showing them where the brand is heading. I think it's quite interesting to have both as a brand. And I really liked doing something more artistic like this, that are still accessible for everyone."
Photos courtesy of Rains