Libertine Spring 2019

Libertine creative director, Johnson Hartig has made his feelings on the current state of politics clear. He’s no fan of the current political administration, and he even once said that the state of the fashion industry reminds him of Trumpism, less than promising. However, Hartig has not let that stop him from churning out his usual maximalist, colorful, eye-popping collections. For his spring 2019 collection, Hartig didn’t leave his fans disappointed.

While Libertine is no stranger to sequins and embellishments, this season Hartig brought us something new with hand-painted and hand-beaded coats in a blue and white color palette. He also looked to the past to give us inspiration, as he also created a 60s–inspired Balenciaga coat with a pleated back.

There is something that sees almost universal about Libertine’s collections and the brand’s coterie of followers; followers that be easily spotted in Libertine’s eclectic mix of fabrications and silhouettes. Libertine’s collections are not for those shrinking violets or self-conscious folks looking to hide their fashion glory under a bush.

Each season at the brand’s runway shows, Libertine gifts all their seated attendees a kit of stickers, often used to adorned things like cellphones and electronics. These same stickers appeared on the models arms and legs this season, with Hartig showing us a way to wear his sticker art alongside his fashion creations.

It’s always a statement at Libertine, from the mixed-maxi patterns, to the heavily decorated jackets, and even the smoking baby print featured on jackets and blazers. Hartig has this approach about making a statement about consumerism without really making a statement about consumerism. For Hartig, particularly in this spring 2019 collection, more is more, a comment on capitalist excessiveness.

As we currently have a reality TV star with a gold-plated penthouse in the White House, so has the culture of flaunting your wealth returned. Moderation is over. In 2018, Libertine emphasis on excess fits right into the cultural landscape better than ever.

Images courtesy of the Krupp Group

While the end of goal of fashion is to always sell clothes, this collection was also a cathartic exercise for Hartig as he explored his cultural and political observations expressed through fashion, from capitalist consumerism to anti-Trumpism. Fashion is his form of rebellion, and onward Hartig marches.—Kristopher Fraser

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