Creatures of the Wind's presentation started bright and early this morning, and the editors and buyers who roused themselves out of bed to see it weren't disappointed. The line's designers, Shane Gabier and Chris Peters, live outside the fashion mainstream, in Chicago, which means they're immune to the group-think that has turned the New York runways into a blizzard of parkas. This despite the fact that a trip to Nantucket got them thinking about sailors' wives and what they called the "romanticism of waiting for a husband they don't know for sure is coming back."
The duo's starting point gave the collection a Victorian, time-worn tinge, but it wasn't too literal. Densely knit sweaters had a snug, modern shape, and their tweed skirt was a brilliant aqua, not boring brown. A mohair tartan jacket was eye-catching too, with red beading at the hips that was actually latex extruded through lace. "It's kind of like the Play-Doh Fun Factory," Gabier said of the process. Special, personal details like that are becoming a hallmark of the collection, which is now about three years old. Lace handmade in Calais, France, overlaid a trim charcoal coat; and an otherwise simple plaid button-down came swathed in black tulle. On the other hand, a long-sleeve, floor-length dress was unadorned and lovely. This is a label to watch.