COS X Snarkitecture Popup Collaboration at Austere

Most will agree that fashion presentation and spatial design are inextricably linked, and there is no more compelling a showcase of this alliance than the COS collaboration with Snarkitecture currently on exhibit at Austere in downtown Los Angeles. This must-experience pop-up exhibit is the second collaboration between COS and Snarkitecture’s Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen, beginning with their installation at Salone del Mobile in Milan this past Spring. Designers Karin Gustafsson and Martin Andersson have curated a selection from the COS Autumn/Winter collection that celebrates the streamlined and less-is-more Scandinavian aesthetic and is perfectly complemented by the design that Snarkitecture created for the space.

“This must-experience pop-up exhibit is the second collaboration between COS and Snarkitecture’s Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen.”

Arsham and Mustonen created the design for the Austere space based on two main elements from the most recent collection, strong silhouettes and distinctive color hues. A floor-to-ceiling mirror dissects the monochromatic room in two and visitors find themselves reflected in the almost identical halves. Large metal clothing cutouts are placed around the room through which customers can look into reflections of themselves immersed in space and color.

When asked about the collaboration with Snarkitecture, COS designer Gustafsson states that, “It began when [they] looked at the direction we took for the collection

and the color harmonies we had created for the line.

They chose to highlight that and the garment silhouettes in their design, which gives people a way to talk about the draping and folding [of the garments]. And the pieces do actually fit in the cutouts when you lay them flat!” Andersson adds, “When we do these collaborations we tend to give the guys [Snarkitecture] a carte blanche… it’s very important that we work with someone who understands our brand dna and who shares our brand values, and we knew from our previous collaboration that we could have trust and confidence in them.”


Citing ‘outdoor exploration’ and the Japanese Mono-ha art movement as the inspirations for this season’s collection, the COS designers incorporated subtle elements of kimonos, origami and birch trees into some of their most notable pieces, including a grey and white collarless “Birch” coat constructed of softly structured cotton-wool with modern zip details.

The line has a timeless yet modern aesthetic that is reflected not only in the construction of the garments but also in their draping, texture and functionality. Andersson says that, “Growing up in Sweden you are trained that all good design should be functional and have a sense of

purpose, and that is really how we see the designs for COS.

And when you talk about function it’s not only utilitarian things like pockets, it is also making sure there is something for every occasion in the collection, and also how you treat the garment and how you care for it.” Wardrobe staples are a key part of the COS line. Items such as the white button-down shirt are reworked in a variety of ways every season. Other details such as inventive pleating and draping, and garment reduction down to the shell, truly set the line apart. Each piece becomes a statement, a conversation starter.

The collaboration will be on view Sunday – Thursday from 11am-6pm and Friday & Saturday from 11am-7pm from November 6th through November 14th.

Written by Alex Winston