Kiko Kostadinov OTTO 95.8
Morán Morán is pleased to present an exhibition by London-based designer Kiko Kostadinov, titled OTTO 95.8. Kostadinov’s practice, inspired by everyday uniforms and utilitarian work wear, includes objects that he creates to run parallel to his design work. Incorporating readymade and functional items, the compound constructions in this exhibition illustrate Kostadinov’s attraction to alien rather than familiar elements, a recurring theme informing every aspect of his practice.
At the core of his interest in utility and his attraction to peculiar forms is Kostadinov’s journey through personal history, pinning aspects of cultural identity along the way. For example, a series of organic objects that reference abstractly composed soft-sculptures, with humanoid characteristics, are assembled from slightly modified Bulgarian Bags – a specific type of weight training system that originated in Bulgaria where Kostadinov was born and spent his formative years, and where wrestling is a top sport.
An installation in the front gallery space is comprised of Japanese chalk-line devices and mugs from Travis Perkins and Jewson (the British versions of home improvement superstores), as well as local radio stations. These mugs, typically used by laborers to drink their “builder’s tea,” represent the working class ideal of community. Here, Kostadinov is compelled by the convergence of two countries and two cultures, both in relation to their identity as they pertain to space and customs, but also to the intersection where his own experiences cross these two places – so far removed from each other, united by a singular gesture.
His grouping of five, underground devices, converted into free-standing, extraterrestrial looking stands for his Burr Snap Coats, which are assembled from composite fabric elements, some sourced from Travis Perkins and Jewson sponsored rugby jerseys – illustrate the relationship between his clothing designs and his objects, as well as his fixed consideration toward both endeavors. In a further exploration of material, a pair of wall pieces that conjure the nostalgia of beaded curtains from the 1960s, Kostadinov intricately assembled and weaved together items that are general yet specialized, such as fishing weights and soundproof material, into elegant, variegated wall screens.
Throughout the examples of all these works, you can find this exhibition not as a categorization but as an identification – a recognition of a broad visual undercurrent, or a contemporary commonality as it relates to an aesthetic dialogue.
Kiko Kostadinov (b. 1989, Bulgaria) is the menswear designer behind the acclaimed eponymous label based in London. His work, focused on innovative pattern cutting and intricate garment construction, aims to challenge and contribute to contemporary menswear aesthetics. Kostadinov studied Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins completing both his BA and MA. In February 2016, Kostadinov was the first Menswear student awarded the New Gen Men British Fashion Council Support directly after graduating. His debut collection was presented at London Collections: Men in June 2016. In November of the same year, Kostadinov was appointed by luxury British heritage brand Mackintosh, taking the helm at their new designer line, Mackintosh 0001. Early in 2017, he was announced as one of Forbes Europe 30 under 30 within The Arts category and in 2019 he was nominated for The Fashion Awards under British Emerging Talent, Menswear. In summer 2019, Kostadinov was invited to participate at the Serpentine Pavilion as part of the COS x Serpentine Park Nights, in collaboration with vanillajellaba. OTTO 95.8 marks Kostadinov’s first gallery exhibition.
All images: OTTO 98.5, 2019. Photography courtesy of Morán Morán