"Dressing in the dark, for the dark," was how Assembly's Greg Armas described his Fall men's and women's collection. He was inspired by cabals—groups of people who meet for mysterious reasons, often amid intrigue—and what their members might throw on for these impromptu, midnight rendezvous.
It was a romantic concept that Armas realized to varying degrees of success. Men were dressed in dark uniforms with religious undertones, the best of which comprised relaxed navy wool trousers, a beautiful merino shawl-collar sweater, a matching knit scarf and cap, and an eerie wide-brimmed rabbit fur and felt hat, the result of a collaboration with Albertus Swanepoel. For the women, Armas played with vampy, layered looks and pajama dressing. A tiered black and white striped silk top was paired with skinny black pants and fantastic white lizard-stamped-leather creepers (a collaboration with Underground). Also a standout? The elegantly cut, navy cashmere overcoat—a surefire staple for many a downtown girl come Fall.
The snafus here came in the form of fit, fabrication, and the wares' ability to translate from occult fairy tale to real life. To the first point, some misplaced details caused a few otherwise sharp garments to appear awkward. For instance, a double-breasted black jumpsuit would have been a total knockout were it not for some ill-placed buttons. Light cotton twill also seemed an unlikely choice for Armas' jackets, trousers, and pajama ensembles. It felt a little too flimsy, and an option with more warmth and weight might have served him better. On the desirability front, something about Armas' twisted silk tops, plaid suiting, and three-quarter-length skirts didn't feel very modern. However, his silk and velvet polka-dot shirtdress? That cropped alpaca jacket with a single leather lapel? His skinny goth-tinged velvet trousers? Those are the kinds of pieces that Assembly's quietly cool woman will want to live in.