It's freezing in New York this week, so climbing the stairs to Gilded Age's Fall presentation and finding an arctic inspiration—well, you sympathize. You also, handily enough, want to wear plenty of the clothes. Designer Stefan Miljanich often looks to travel and history to inspire his collections, but occasionally his journeys lead him astray. Last season's South Pacific Spring struck an off note. But Fall's offering, inspired by Admiral Robert Peary's voyages to Greenland and the North Pole, found Miljanich back in fine form. "We wanted to get this sense of expedition that comes across in the layering—having this warm clothing and putting it all together," he explained. "We call it expedition grunge."
Between the piled-on styling (courtesy of Jason Rider, and owing a fair bit, perhaps, to Japanese hipster chic) and the younger, cooler casting, there was a freshness to the whole. Styling this aggressive is a gambit; then again, so is a trip to the North Pole. Pull it apart, and there were fine pieces: alpaca hand-knits, distressed leather jackets, and—the label's bread and butter—Japanese selvage denims. Good Admiral Peary would be surprised to find himself inspiring looks like these (though you could walk on an ice floe in those crushing Chippewa hiking boots). But as inspirations go, Miljanich got it right this time.