Florin Dobre is the only fashion designer in Romania whose focus is exclusively on menswear. His seemingly nonconformist creations reveal the true art in fashion by showcasing a reconversion of the male dress code and independence in reconfiguring styles. “I value the feeling and the freedom more than I value trends. The clients come to me for ideas that match their lifestyle.”
Unlike the rather pessimistic vision of the “Panta Rhei” collection, presented last year in Paris, “Follow de White Rabbit” is really optimistic and reveals Florin Dobre’s hopes in a world returning to authentic values.
Inspired by his trip to London, the designer comes forth with a collection dedicated to the typical Londoner. This is a character caught in the city’s fast pace, surrounded by the modern world’s chaos or surrendered to daily compromises, nonetheless in need of new truths. This portrayed man falls free into the high-speed mundanity of his own life and feels he’s led astray. He dislikes the 100 emails to be read and to be replied to on a daily basis, nor does he like the material world suffocating his spiritual pursuit. Therefore his focus returns to the London rhythm, characters and heroes of his childhood. He promises to himself that he’ll change starting tomorrow, that he’ll give up to his mobile phone, his laptop and his car, but not before he’s had again and again the 5 o’clock tea. This “Back in time!” way is the only way he rediscovers innocence, the joy in life and his restored balance in a search for truths and rights.
Inspired by “The Matrix”, the collection perfectly displays Florin’s vision on getting it right: follow the White Rabbit to get the Matrix blue pill, follow the White Rabbit to get the potion of truth and take a shot. Today’s speed only makes us speed up tomorrow through a never-ending doom and dull-days gloom. Life’s journey mustn’t be blunt-edged, but fuelled by the excitement of finding our inner self and lived at its fullest.
The collection includes 21 recreated outfits, all of which bear Florin Dobre’s artistic touch and personal vision on codes of elegance. Each outfit includes an overcoat, trousers and boots with almost identical cuts in terms of shape and structure. Neutral colors for the upper body and joyful gradations of colors for the lower. The ordinary male silhouette is animated by the childish adventurous essence of a modern style dynamics emerging from designer’s personality, sense of humor and subtle irony.
The peculiarity of the collection resides in the conformity of the horizontal cut for all the outfits. One other thing that gives uniqueness to the collection is the distortion of the widely accepted and intuitive semiotics: the upper part of the body is usually associated to the spirit and the lower part to the representation of the matter. But Florin relates the upper part of the outfits to the material thus symbolizing the burden of the objective world on the individual. Fashion-wise, this translates both into neutral colors and rigid sharp cuts of the overcoat. By using strong warm colors for the fine cut trousers and also for the fantasy painted leather boots, the lower part of the outfit becomes the spiritual, the idealistic and the visionary one — portraying ideas, freedom and play.
These creations act as a metaphor for the designer’s utopian vision on the male elegance rejuvenation that should not be suffocated in the mass market.
Fabric and colors
The collection’s concept consists of clashing fabrics, textures and colors.
In preparing “Follow the White Rabbit”, Florin Dobre decided to engage the Fashion Department students of Bucharest’s National University of Arts. The 21 unique design patterns were all manually made by using lively colored and light cotton fabrics in accordance to themes that either the designer or the students themselves saw fit. However, all trousers in the collection do wear their juvenile touch, optimism and joy. Credit goes to: Stoica Mihaela, Gătej Roxana, Carp Nicoleta, Simion Alexandra, Ciungan Andreea, Petrușcă Sandra, Stoica Crina, Basarabeanu Arina, Erdoș Maria, Dumitrașc Lorena, Cazacu Elena, Chelaru Ștefana, Chivu Franzisca, Ursu Aida, Damian Mihai, Ciuștea Ioana, Preoteasa Maria Luisa and the University professor Norbert Matei, under whose coordination the students worked.
The classic overcoat’s fabric is made of natural wool and cashmere and comes with a dense texture in a variety of neutral colors. The designer continues to promote Romanian fabrics strenghtening his partnership with one of the oldest and most prestigious textile factories in Romania — Dorobantul S.A.
Colecția masculină Follow de White Rabbit, Toamnă/Iarnă 2014-2015 a fost prezentată de Florin Dobre la Londra
Art Show Event
The event was hosted by the Red Gallery (www.redgallerylondon.com) in London, well known for their continued efforts to promote authentic emerging artists. The organizers are keen on showcasing international avant-garde art and organize exhibitions, performances, film screenings and live concerts, explaining why Florin’s fusion art concepts were noticed.