Organic by John Patrick
February 08, 2011 New York
The designer introduced Amanda Reinke, a young FIT grad who'd hand-knitted some of the cozy, groovy sweaters, and explained how he took her to buy wool at the Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool Company in Red Hook, New York. You got the lowdown on the quilted faux fur of a long and lean belted admiral's coat. It's made from wool (instead of a non-sustainable synthetic) by Draper Mill in Massachusetts, a textile maker founded in the nineteenth century. In one corner, a short film documenting all of the above played on loop. "We have to have this transparent dialogue about how we're making stuff," said Patrick.
That's not say that this was parody. Far from it. Now more than ever, this is important stuff, both to the industry and to customers. That's provided the product passes muster, of course, as Patrick himself is quick to point out: "Organic is fashion first," he stressed. The buttoned up and layered look he's proposing for Fall—finished here with high, laced-up Hunter boots and best described as the chicest schoolteacher on the prairie—succeeded in that. You could almost see Katharine Ross' character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid pulling on a gored navy lace skirt over a filmy chiffon dress and topping it with a smart plaid blazer. Little leather shorts and a play on proportions with cropped knits kept it all modern. And like any good designer, Patrick is looking to the future. "I'm considering now what my next move is," he said. "Whether it's a beauty product, shoe, or intimate apparel."