The past several months have been something of a roller coaster for Swaim and Christina Hutson. First there was the giddy high of being CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists for their lines Obedient Sons and Daughters; then there was the low of losing an investor and having to hit restart on a business that had been gathering momentum and recognition. But the husband-and-wife pair appears to have found strength in adversity, showing their new and refocused incarnation, now simply named Hutson, in a small presentation at the Bowery Hotel.
Last season their womenswear line, Daughters, had begun to move away from its roots in his-and-her suiting with more dresses, knits, and softer separates among the masculine/feminine fare. With Hutson, the team intends to widen that gender divide. For Fall they used more substantial fabrications and stiffer constructions than they had for Spring, like a boiled wool stiffened with a canvas lining and a thick croc-stamped leather that Christina described as "armored versions" of the thirties looks that had been their inspiration. Though quite beautifully executed and perfect for a picture, such strict pieces may not be an easy sell. More likely to make it on the sales floor were Poiret-esque coats in faux fur or a microfiber that approximated feathers. The suit was still here in various forms, from a back-zipped mohair jacket and little shorts that pushed the limits of the form to a more traditional boxy angora jacket with wide-cropped pants. The Hutsons are top tailors, so it's natural that their suiting will draw the most attention. But they have respectably moved out of their comfort zone, and might just be headed back up to the top of the hill.