Parcours Modo: Essentiel x OMSK x SOLDOUT!

People Parcours Modo: Essentiel x OMSK x SOLDOUT!

17 oktober 2013


Next weekend, on 25 and 26 October, the yearly Parcours Modo will take place again. It's a fashion contest where young designers get the chance to showcase their work in collaboration with a well-established brand.

Essentiel has a special collaboration in petto this time: the designers from OMSK and the Belgian electronic pop duo team up to spice up the Essentiel store in Rue Antoine Dansaert!

Want to know more about OMSK and SOLDOUT? Read our interviews with both!

Parcours Modo


Known since 2007 under the name GIRLS FROM OMSK, the label has evolved, from street wear to casual-wear to become what it is today: a label strongly rooted in its time proposing a casual line with a fresh and accessible twist. Strong prints and embroideries, structured and straightforward cuts are the essence of OMSK collections. The OMSK universe is about travel and Russian culture. The imagery used in OMSK collections is linked to the heritage of russian art and culture, confronted with every day western influences. Each collection is a journey to a new destination, an imaginary exploration of a city, travel as a metaphor for cultural diversity and the wandering of the mind.

Philippe and Valeria, can you tell us a bit more on OMSK? What is the concept behind the brand?

Well, OMSK started out as GIRLS FROM OMSK, which was our brand name until 2012. Meanwhile, the product evolved, we also evolved so we decided to change the name in order to escape a little from the pre-conceived image that people had when they heard the name GIRLS FROM OMSK: flashy, young and colorful clothes, which was not really the permanent image we wanted to project. We decided to focus more on quality and a more "clean" image without losing the OMSK DNA which is travel and Russian history and culture, all of this with a touch of humour. We are now focusing on our stronger pieces and OMSK bestsellers such as sweaters, trousers and t-shirts.  OMSK today is a fusion between what was known as GIRLS FROM OMSK and the new OMSK we had in mind: embroideries, graphics, and basic woven with a twist. We want to project a smart looking young-woman-in-the-city: sporty, urban yet elegant enough for work and daily life.

How important is Russia in your work? What inspiration source does it represent?

Omsk is a city in Siberia where Valeria's father was born. The Russian connection can be felt through the name of the brand already. The idea is that for every collection we take a different city as inspiration. This fall, OMSK goes to St.Petersburg. One will find many references to the city in the embroideries and prints. Russian culture has always strongly been connected with heritage: photography, paintings, literature…there is an endless pond to fish in! We also like to use elements from traditional folklore but we try and make it "cool" and modern. We aim to represent a mix of modern culture and heritage with a strong urban undertone.

In what sense do you feel that Essentiel and OMSK are related when it comes to brand image and in what sense are they different? How do you see cohesion between the two during Parcous Modo?

We think that our starting point is very similar: affordable urban fashion, upper scale design and an international allure. I think Essentiel doesn't have a conventional Belgian feel in the sense that it's all about fresh style, graphics, color, being daring and bold! Essentiel is a mix of casual and chic, just like OMSK. We also focus on our online shop and deliver to customers all over the world for five years now. We know ESSENTIEL has a top-notch online shop. We all have to move with the times and open our borders! The difference is that OMSK color schemes and monochrome silhouettes are more minimalistic and abstract compared to Essentiel. Also in OMSK the theme of the collection is very important and practically every artwork has a story behind it.

Of course, we are very curious about our shop window that you will transform into your own thing during Parcours Modo! Can you give us a sneak peek into your ideas for this collaboration with Essentiel, Parcours Modo and SOLDOUT?

The theme of this year's Parcours Modo is STYLE ICON. Each season OMSK has a print dedicated to its own ICON: a famous person from Russian history, culture or music. For Parcours Modo we have conceived two windows installations with silhouettes including sweatshirts featuring OMSK ICONS from our current collection "OMSK/St Petersbourg". We will use OMSK ICONS such as the founder of St Petersbourg Peter the Great, the poet Alexander Pushkin, the Soviet film and book character Ostap Bender, and the cartoon character Cheburashka. One window display will have a more historical feel and the other one a more fictional feel. Both windows are also going to be a mix and match of OMSK and Essentiel clothes:  OMSK sweaters and trousers mixed with Essentiel accessories and skirts. We hope all of your fans will like it! And ours too!

The attraction of the nocturne on saturday night is of course the live concert of the band SOLDOUT in the ESSENTIEL store in the Antoine Dansart store! We are actually close friends with SOLDOUT and love their music! They are known in the french part of Belgium and abroad. It's great because we always wanted to do something together and now is the perfect opportunity!  Working together with Essentiel is really fab and hopefully a successful experiment for Parcours Modo!



OMSK Belgium

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SOLDOUT is the electronic duo founded by Charlotte and David in 2004. “MORE” is the band’s third studio album after the initial electro pop album “Stop Talking” (2004) and the more radical and experimental “Cuts” (2008).
From the onset, Charlotte and David explored, with passion, the possibilities offered by electronic music, and sought to express a contrast, a collision of sounds, and feelings springing from their separate particular universes. With “MORE”, SOLDOUT returns with a singular sound and an identity that is increasingly asserted. In their songs, obscurity is mixed with tenderness, and violence with fragility. This enables us look into their private lives through personal stories, and makes us want to find out more. 

Charlotte, can you tell us a bit more on SOLDOUT? You exist almost 10 years now, calls for a celebration? What are the up-and-coming projects for SOLDOUT?

We started a long time ago when David and I met in a bar, and now ten years later, a lot of touring and 3 albums out, we're still here. 

We keep on working on our sound, I feel like we've learned a lot about who we are, and our sound is becoming more and more our own identity.

Our new album "More" was released this year, we toured mostly in Europe, but we've just been to NYC and Montréal for shows. It is great to be able to travel and discover new music scenes in other countries. They have a very different way of working over there. 

We also wrote the soundtrack of a movie (feature film called PuppyLove) which will come out next spring, and the whole soundtrack will come out as an album too. So I'm quite excited about that, cause the songs we wrote for the movie are very different from our albums. We followed the director's will, so it led us to path we had never taken before! It was very inspiring.


You have been asked to throw a mini-showcase in our store in Brussels. How do you feel about this collaboration with Essentiel, Parcours Modo and OMSK, what’s your take on this?

I know Valeria and Philippe from OMSK for a long time, actually I met Valeria at the same time that we started the band. I always supported their work, I think they have a natural talent, and their clothes are great. So we always thought about doing a showcase for them one day.

I had heard of ESSENTIEL before, but it is when Valeria came up to me with this project that I really discovered your clothes. I am very happy to collaborate with you too! It's also cool to meet new people with great projects and to come out of the music business sometimes to see another world. 


What can we expect from the showcase, how will you integrate it in the concept of OMSK?

It's not going to be like a show in a venue, we're doing a special show in the store, so we're certainly going to play songs that we're not used to play live. It's going to be pretty different than what we do on tours, that’s for sure!

Make sure not to miss Parcours Modo on 25 and 26 October!