Modern Minimalism

COS delivered elegant wearability in the heart of Rome
By Ella Joyce | Fashion | 29 March 2024

In the spirit of history meeting modernity, COS took its minimalist creations to Rome, taking over the 15th-century hospital Corsie Sistine and using its opulent Renaissance interior to present its SS24 collection. The London-based brand is synonymous with wardrobe staples, offering nuanced interpretations of timeless pieces and iterations of the perfect white t-shirt in equal measure. Meanwhile, this season saw design director Karin Gustafsson transform her wearable ethos into a collection which debuted mainline pieces alongside Atelier creations – a refined branch of the brand created in 2022 – in an exploration of fabric and form to elevate the everyday wardrobe.

“When we started off, we looked at the work of a Korean artist called Do Ho Suh who replicates architectural structures in see-through materials and it led to this idea of chiffon and transparency. How things look under a spotlight, how beautiful fabric looks when it folds, the lines and the pleating,” Gustafsson told us post-show. Those notions of lucidity were executed in billowing silhouettes, encasing the body in fluid drapery and sculptural lines, most notably in the immaculately pleated dress worn by iconic Italian supermodel Mariacarla Boscono to close the show.

These intricate techniques underpin the core of COS’ Atelier offering as delicately sliced leather, which Gustafsson called “a modern take on lace”, arrived as sumptuous bomber jackets and fine mesh knitwear underneath oversized suiting. Lapels and collars were turned inward in favour of building a streamlined silhouette while shirting was artfully tucked into trousers and crinkled-silk separates built elegant monochromatic looks. Speaking on the seamlessness with which mainline and Atelier orbit one another, Gustafsson said, “Both lines are rooted in wardrobe staples, but with the Atelier, we work more with traditional craft and techniques that make the product elevated and slightly more dressed up.” Accessories rounded off each look with oversized pouches, angular shoulder bags and showstopping sunnies – marking the introduction of eyewear into the Atelier collection.

Minimalism is a constant in COS’ brand identity and this season saw the defining 90s trend stand front and centre. The palette remained neutral, punctuated only by hues of fiery red, chartreuse and another 90s staple: denim. “The work by Helmut Lang in the 90s was incredible, it was never forced or over the top, and it was always clever. That’s a core inspiration to me, that mindset of reducing and reinventing classic things but never making them complicated,” says Gustafsson. A lack of complication allows for the timelessness of COS’ pieces to offer an enduring wardrobe, as SS24 equips the modern wearer with a look for every occasion.



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