It's not really fair to call it an insider's secret, but Loden Dager isn't exactly a household name, either. (That might be because it's a mouthful, or because it comprises a collective of at least three partners—designers Paul Marlow and Oliver Helden, and the more back-of-house man Alexander Galan.) But there was J.Crew's Jenna Lyons front-row at the label's presentation today. A few seats down, the Opening Ceremony crew. Nearby, an ensign from Net-a-Porter's soon-to-launch menswear shop, Mr Porter. In July, Loden Dager was named as a finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award. Is this the season the label breaks through?
There's no predicting the retail weather, but the clothes that hit the runway prove the label deserves the attention. Marlow and Helden were thinking about Band of Bikers, a collection of sixties photographs of bike gangs, when they began working on Spring. They were guided, too, by their new Italian factories. "Punky Italian dandy" is how Marlow described the result. In other words, these were some sharp bikers (more likely fixie-heads than hog-riders, but never mind that). There was plenty of Italian selvage denim throughout, in moto vests and classic jean jackets, all snaked with zippers. Relaxed cotton suiting—a staple of the LD collections for years—came this season in what Helden called "ice cream colors": berry purples and pinks, coral, and sky blue. It made for Loden Dager's strongest showing in seasons. Props, too, to the pit crew: Philip Crangi, who made biker-chain bracelets and belts, and George Esquivel, for the fine suede double-monk-strap shoes.