Ter et Bantine F/W 2015

Kostas Murkudis is back on the runway with Ter et Bantine

We have good news. One of the most talented German designers, the Berlin-based Kostas Murkudis is back on an international runway. As we all know, with Jil Sander gone and Helmut Lang in art exile, there are very few German-speaking designers who present collections during the international fashion week marathon between New York, London, Milan and Paris. With his first collection for venerable Italian fashion house Ter et Bantine in Milan, Murkudis proved that he is still one of the coolest designers around.

Known for his preference of rubber fabrics, flesh colors and military tailoring with a large dose of sex, he reimagined the Ter et Bantine woman as a modern pilot. „I was doing research on pilots on the Internet and by accident found Sarla Thakral, the first female pilot in India who flew missions in World War II“ explained Murkudis before his show. „Interestingly, I could only find two images of her so the whole collection was me imagining what she would look like now and what she’d wear.“

Murkudis had only six weeks to put this collection together and moved from Berlin to the company’s factories in Bologna to get the job done. What we saw was a fresh take on tailoring as in a double-breasted striped grey suit and clever dressmaking. Murkudis likes to combine fabric panels for his shell dresses and mixes broad stripes of cotton or silk with rubber; often finished with loose turtlenecks. Multi-colored see through lace tops added a subversive sense of sex and the tops were combined with tight pants or shiny skirts. Murkudis also has a weakness for asymmetrical silhouettes so most tops have shoulder pads on one side and expose the skin on the other. In his evening wear, fabric bands snake around the body from the back to come out as a long panel in front held together by high-waisted belts; perfect for an art gallery opening. Considering the pilot inspiration, Ter et Bantine also offered strong outerwear in long coats like the opening made from black leather.

Seeing that Jean Colonna is back in Paris who shares a similar aesthetic of flashes of nude, bright colors and fabric mixing, it seems that a moment is building where formerly successful 90’s designers are having a comeback. Murkudis will also have a solo exhibition dedicated to his body of work at Frankfurts Museum für Moderne Kunst starting July 2015, a big honor. So his runway return was perfect timing.