In New York, everyone seems to be thinking about the future. It occurred to me while I was looking through the pre-fall collections a few months ago that we’ve finally reached the point where we’re beginning to dress like what we thought future people would dress back in the 50’s or 60’s.
They call that retro-futurism, but that’s not really what’s going on now, just a starting point.
I think it started all with Celine, you know. Rip all the artifice and embellishment from everything. Leave only what’s necessary. Sleek shapes can be layered, muted colors even everyone out. We all know Phoebe Philo set the new pace, and everyone else noticed and then everything started sprouting from there. (Well, not everyone, but I’d bet if Karl at Chanel had noticed, there wouldn’t be Cowboys and Native Americans running amok in that runway, but that’s neither here nor there). But the point is, she took it back to zero and that is a great place to start.
Minimalism is the ideal of future living so this evolution is natural, and while there are hints of the 90’s, I think we are doing a new kind of minimalism that derives pleasure in textures and artful layering. You couldn’t possibly take anything off before you left the house because the everything that you are wearing is essential. Derek Lam did a little showing, with sleek ribbed knits that weren’t skin tight and a wrap-around the neck sweater that was not in the slightest 80’s preppy. Against my better judgment, I have come around to dresses over pants situations, mostly by default because I have been so into oversized dressing lately. Is that a skirt or a longer layer underneath the top? I don’t care either way, I’ve found.
Thakoon went for the stronger colors and a bit of print, but the subtle drapes and pleats in the slim dresses seemed to say more than the fire print. The turtleneck/scarf thing with one arm home is at the height of simple accessories, even if it takes so many words to describe it. At the end of the day, it’s all very throw it on and go. Alexandre Herchcovitch went there too, and even if his interpretation was feminine, there was nothing saccharine about it. A boredom with the current cold temperatures has forced to start experimenting with layers and so I fully support frilly fitted trousers worn under cropped wide ones. Haphazard layering always screams apocalypse! Even if done in very delicate lace or eyelet. It’s all about protection, changing environments, exploring. Especially when worn with sturdy shoes for unknown terrains. Are we all ready for a mass exodus for mars come September? (It’s the ghost of global warming). Even at Del Pozo, beneath all the fantasy layers, there was still a sense of the every day. The pink oversized patent leather vest that paired with slate trousers and a tight-fitting black top had all the makings of armor. I can’t imagine stepping out into the street in it and feeling anything but safe. (Mostly because the avant scares people, but you know what I mean.)
There were urban explorers at the row, whose chunky layers were borderline ridiculous, but I’ve never been one to shun anyone for oversized ridiculousness, especially when it comes from an Olsen because let’s all admit their NYU oversized-hiding-under-clothes days were perfect on a million levels. At Organic by John Patrick, the inspiration was straight up moon exploring, so there’s no surprise there were touches of silver and grey, but it was their white turtleneck layered under a sheer sweatshirt that really made me weak at the knees.
Maria Cornejo was also thinking exploration at zero, and although hers took place here on earth (Chile, to be exact), there were hints of space-age exploration everywhere, especially since she’s always been so good at thinking in practical layers and action-ready fabrics. At Edun, new designer Danielle Sherman made me die a little for the second season in a row with her stretched out knits and velvet pairings. It’s got a hint of Gwen doing her wide pant/Adidas thing, and well, I will always, always, fall for a Gwen moment.