February 10, 2014 New York
Adams and Gill are often inspired by contemporary art, and today it was Kasper Sonne's carpet-woven color fields that set the backdrop—literally and figuratively—for Fall 2014. In the wrong hands, this concept could have produced a shaggy seventies patchwork, but not here. Instead, the designers combined neoprene, deerskin, variegated knits, and glossy black shearling in zip-up moto jackets, vests, and coats likely to become have-to-haves for women in colder climates. And what to wear underneath? Try a neoprene-backed shell, fronted entirely with what appeared to be glazed feathers. "We started out calling that fabric waxy pony, but then it began to look more like feathers," said Adams backstage after the show, adding that she and Gill worked with a Japanese mill to develop the material, which is entirely synthetic. Although the designers seemed rightfully thrilled with the results, they were restrained in their use of the fabric, which appeared in smallish doses in both oxblood and black, and was echoed in a tonal feather effect in the models' hair. Another textile innovation was black fuzzy wool roving that had been needle-punched into fabrics. The roving gave a matted, felted look to the top of a crisp, white pleated skirt, to great effect.
Many short dresses and skirts (and even skinny trousers) were paired with thigh-high leather boots. Extending to the very tops of models' legs, their silhouette seemed less like the second-skin thigh-highs that have appeared in recent seasons and more similar to stovepipe pants or, in the case of a metallic silver pair, space-age waders. There were chunky black heels with silver backs, too, which Adams extolled backstage as "super-wearable." Judging by the way the models marched, they probably were. The metallic element was repeated in foiled rib knits, and although the surface of those pieces may have appeared futuristic and tough to the observer, they sat close to the body and were soft to the touch—the ultimate in urban armor.