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LFW: Natasha Zinko’s optimism for outer space

By Amber Chow


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Fashion |Interview

Natasha Zinko AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Easily recognisable for her thick, red cork curls, or maybe the playful yet grunge manifesto of her brand ‘For Aliens and Bunnies’, Natasha Zinko has become a prominent figure since graduating in Art and Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martin’s. The London-based designer, originally from Ukraine, officially joined the British Fashion Council (BFC) in June 2015, and has been making a huge impact on the industry.

In the heart of London’s fashion scene in Soho sits Zinko’s two-floored shop, on Brewer Street. And as self-proclaimed ‘Queen of the Boxes’, the designer’s metal warehouse-like store brings life to upcycled cardboard boxes filled with inventory of womenswear, sitting on storage racks.

Natasha Zinko AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

The surrounding boxes not only offered crucial support through tough times but acted as a fertile source of inspiration for the silhouettes she created for her spring 2022 collection. Located downstairs is ‘Natashkino’, a charming café that combines the whimsy of pink with a commitment to zero waste, serving gluten-free and dairy-free desserts alongside their signature banana matcha lattes.

A uniform for outer space?

Zinko has been showing on the runway at London Fashion Week (LFW) every year since 2017, and this year is no different, raising the bar with her latest AW24 collection.

Designing a uniform for our future travels to space perhaps? The designer tells FashionUnited: “There is the idea of hope that one day maybe we’ll fly to space, and I’m full of optimism that it’ll happen.”

Natasha Zinko AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight
Natasha Zinko AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

In SS24, she turned her focus inward to explore our ‘inner monsters’ and then downward to the ground; now, her gaze is directed upward and forward, envisioning styles for a future era where the extraordinary becomes commonplace. Her collection ‘Space Race’ reimagines the 60’s mod-inspired aesthetic and reflects on the era of the space race between the Cold War rivals, the US and the Soviet Union. Space suits were recreated into structured jackets with large sleeves, and baggy pants with strips of padded fabric.

Alternatively, off-duty astronauts sport padded ‘tighty whities’. Flight attendants wear neat, zip-up white and beige-pink dresses in mini and midi lengths offering a contemporary take on 1960s air hostess uniforms. Vintage cargo pants were transformed into baggy trousers paired with matching jackets that draped at the front. Even the priority of comfort in outer space was taken into consideration with platform-less leather boots and no heel too high.

Natasha Zinko AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Models were presented in minimal makeup along with their scalps wrapped tightly in a mesh hairnet, with hair either dishevelled or wrapped in a structured balaclava. Masked in futuristic narrow Cyclops 3D printed sunglasses.

Everything from the industrial venue, set in Shoreditch’s Truman Brewery, to the booming techno soundtrack set the scene for our future uniform in outer space. One thing we can all take from this is a “hope for a better future, with so many environmental problems going on, we need hope” says the cult designer herself.

Natasha Zinko AW24. Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight
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Natasha Zinko