COS x Serpentine Galleries Park Nights 2015


 With the launch of the Serpentine 2015 Pavilion, the Summer festivities also mark the beginning of the COS x Serpentine Galleries Park Nights. Collaborating for a 3rd year, COS and the Serpentine Galleries work together to host a series of art, music, theatre and literature events in the SelgasCano-designed Pavilion.  It is a welcome collaboration between two masters in their fields, bringing like-minded individuals together to experience alternative and original events in the green landscape of Hyde Park.

One again, COS have created a limited edition item to celebrate the Park Nights series, this time in the form of a classic black backpack. Cotton canvas with leather details ensures the item is unisex, and above all practical and durable.

We speak to Head Designers at COS, Karin Gustafsson and Martin Andersson about their collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, their inspirations and what links COS to art, design and architecture.


How does the collaborative product also reflect the Serpentine Pavilion and/or the Park Nights other than choosing a unisex style “with a democratic nature”? 

KG: We created a limited edition back pack to celebrate the Sumer Park Nights series. We feel the backpack is a quintessential summer item – it is ideal for exploring the city, a day out in the park or cycling around sightseeing.

MA: Through creating the backpack we are able to further support the Serpentine as proceeds from the sale of the backpack go directly to the charitable trust.

 Have innovative (in terms of sustainable and forward-thinking) fabrics, just as the Pavilion has used, been applied for the collaborative item?  Can you tell us more about the design details of the collaborative backpack? 

MA: The backpack is very simple in its fabrication; durable and lightweight cotton canvas with a dark grey leather trim. The backpack is designed to be light and wearable and features adjustable silver buckle fastenings and an interior zipped pocked.



 Credited as being a great inspiration to COS, can you tell us more about your views on the latest Pavilion by SelgasCano? 

MA:  It is always exciting to see who the Serpentine Gallery pick each summer for the Pavilion; each year is so different! What makes working with the Serpentine so appealing to us is that they make art completely accessible to all in an amazing setting – Kensington Gardens in London.

KG: COS is not involved in the discussions regarding the design or the theme of the Pavilion but we like SelgasCano’s design. There are so many different elements, the translucent and iridescent fabrics used really appeal to us. There is also a tactility to this year’s Pavilion; the weaved fabrics add texture and life to the structure

What links COS mostly to art, design and architecture? 

MA: At COS we are constantly inspired by the art and design world whether through our seasonal collections, in-store designs or collaborating with artists and designers.

KG: We believe that our customer shares our interest in the arts and design world and because of our relationship with the world of art and design we value the opportunity to give something back and share with our customers.



SelgasCano’s design has incorporated an innovative material (a translucent fluorine-based plastic called Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) for its woven technique that considers and reduces its production carbon footprint. What approach does COS take in also incorporating innovation, especially with such consideration for the environment we live in, into its designs? 

KG: The design team places much emphasis on sourcing fabrics and researching new techniques elements we believe contributes to timeless pieces. Sustainability is an important and ongoing consideration for the brand and we are continuously working to be more sustainable.

What can we expect from COS coming up this year towards 2016? 

KG: The upcoming AW 15 collection takes inspiration from Japan, in particular the mono-ha movement. The influence of the kimono, draping and textile folding details can be seen in shirts with folded detail backs and a coat featuring a kimono style tie belt and envelope folded pockets. 

MA:  The photography of Olaf Otto Becker is another key inspiration in the collection; the glacial landscapes and shades, inspired the design team to bring the outdoor life to the collection. ‘Outdoor life’ is a key theme as technical drawstrings are incorporated into the hems of jackets and shirts and sleeping-bag style padded textures are incorporated into an oversized ivory sweater.



With this being the third collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, will you continue to support for following years and perhaps extend any collaborative items?

MA: COS has always looked to art and design as a source of inspiration both for the seasonal collections and more generally to enrich the ‘COS world’. As well as working with the Serpentine Galleries, this year we have been fortunate to have worked with highly respected individuals in their unique fields including architect Andre Fu as part of our AW15 presentation in Hong Kong, and following this Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen of Snarkitecture for Salone del Mobile, Milan. 

KG: Whilst we cannot confirm any future collaborations we feel that the creative world is extremely relevant to the brand and from a design perspective. The Serpentine Galleries has been a continuous source of inspiration and I look forward to enjoying the Park Nights at the Summer Pavilion over the coming months.


 The COS x Serpentine Park Nights 2015 have already begun, ensure you don’t miss their wide range of events.

Full list on the Serpentine website, here.



 31 JULY


Fleur Melbourn is a London-based artist who works across sculpture, film and installation. Her work explores the catastrophic as an attempt to unpick the peculiarities of the human condition. In this new commission incorporating film, theatre and philosophy, Melbourn presents a performance in which figures from the afterlife discuss mortality and the notion of blasphemy.




In an evening exploring bodily integrity and invasive procedures, artist Marianna Simnett presents a musical performance accompanied by footage from her recent films, The Udder, Blood and Blue Roses. Working with video and drawing, Simnett’s recent body of work explores themes of sexuality, innocence, corruption and martyrdom. Her videos often involve collaborative processes with non-actors playing themselves in heightened, suspended realities.




Artist Jesse Darling presents a version of the tragic play Antigone as an immersive environment, community theatre and symbolic ritual, reflecting on remembrance and empire. Based in London, Jesse Darling is an artist working in sculpture, installation, text and ‘Dasein by design’ – where performance meets unmediated experience. Their work addresses the human condition and how it is moderated through the structures and narratives that govern life as we know it, considering the social and physical body as a site where they manifest and become transformed.




Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou presents a new version of his lecture-reading, Dying on Stage, which investigates the hierarchical order of literal, metaphorical and symbolic deaths on stage as well as the concept of tragic irony through readings, videos and dance. This new version of the performance features dancer Jean Capeille in a choreography by Panayiotou.  This Park Night performance is programmed in collaboration with Fiorucci Art Trust on the occasion of their festival In Favour of a Total Eclipse in Stromboli, Italy.




Composer Christian Wolff presents a musical performance together with Apartment House. Based in the USA, Christian Wolff is a composer, teacher and occasional performer. Mostly self-taught, his music allows performers various freedoms, delivering numerous results for any one piece. Created by the cellist Anton Lukoszevieze in 1995, Apartment House has become an exponent of avant-garde and experimental music from around the world. The ensemble’s recent double album of music by Laurence Crane has received critical acclaim – described as ‘compellingly beautiful’ by The Guardian.




Choreographer Mette Ingvartsen presents a discursive-practice-performance addressing artificial nature, catastrophic constructions and the autonomy of objects, where imagination, speculation and description all play a role in the encounter with the spectator. Mette Ingvartsen is a Danish choreographer, dancer, PhD student and editor. Her practice involves writing, making, performing, researching and documenting work. Ingvartesen also teaches and delivers workshops related to developing methodologies within choreographic practices. Questions of kinesthesia, perception, affect and sensation have been crucial to most of her work and she continues to think about choreography as an extended practice.


COS’ Pavilion imagery by Luke Hayes

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