February 07, 2013 New York
In many other designers' hands, such questions often lead to arbitrary exercises in fashion flimflammery, but Cox's technique is so strong that Duckie Brown has always been able to transmute his most arcane notions into strong—albeit utterly idiosyncratic—revisions of masculinity. Today's collection may have been a career high. One key silhouette was a bomber over an overcoat, compounded by a double pant. Such layering is standard garb for the men who work in London's markets—and God help the individual who impugns their butchness—but Cox turned the long-under-short idea into a meditation on proportion. There were no shirts, just utility-influenced coats made of shirting that sat under shorter outerwear, or an elongated sweatshirt under, say, a denim jacket. And however skewed it all seemed, a fundamental sobriety tied it all together, always with an eye to the classic Harris tweed or camel.
But it wouldn't be Duckie Brown if there wasn't some element that took that sobriety, flipped it on its pointy little head, and fucked with it. In a collection that was strong on items, one of the strongest was a back-buttoning coat (more like a tunic) in a deep violet. It had that bad old Saint Laurent "do me up, baby" frisson. Which was a reminder of how much of their own story Cox and Silver have managed to infuse their work with. If you think you saw a Hudson's Bay blanket in a coat today, you did. And that was Cox tipping his cap to Silver's Canadian roots.
The collection was made with passion—and it showed.