Organic's John Patrick insisted today that his new collection was anything but casual. "Casual, to me, is not what I'm interested in or where we're going. I think that it's an overused word. It's almost trying to seduce the customer, like, oh, it's easy. Easy is an adjective for turning on a faucet. I think that our identities are intrinsically hinged on getting dressed, and I think that dressing up is where it's at." His muse for the occasion was the admittedly obscure art writer Edit DeAk, the co-founder of the seventies art zine Art-Rite, on which she collaborated with the likes of Joseph Beuys and Suicide's Alan Vega. "We would be getting her ready, and she would be going to the Interview dinners with Andy," Patrick remembered of his own time with DeAk. "She'd just kind of whip it together, but she was dressed."
It was a little hard to square the emphasis on dressing up with the collection on the runway. There was a greater emphasis on tailoring, admittedly, and a bustier dress and a jumpsuit that could easily move from day to night. But there were just as many pieces that seemed to grow out of the long line of Organic collections past: little tees, shorts, cropped sweaters, balloon skirts, shown with flats or (at most) mid-height heels. A skirt and dress embroidered all over with daisies were special standouts, but even they had a sunny, daydream quality you'd be surprised to encounter after hours. Dressy or not, it all looked perfectly ready to be whipped together at a moment's notice, DeAk-style. (Hannah Bronfman, a sort of label muse, had, according to Patrick, shown up at 8 a.m. and done just that.) Farther than that, it felt like business as usual, in the most complimentary sense. The shot of the new came courtesy of five men's looks, returning after a long absence to the Organic fold.