You could have cast a very good movie from the crowd at Rachel Comey's show. Rashida Jones, Parker Posey, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Greta Gerwig were all in attendance, among the many other notables who made the trek out to Pioneer Works in Red Hook for dinner, a little cabaret courtesy of Justin Vivian Bond, and a whizbang viewing of Comey's latest collection. It's worth pointing out the thesps in attendance, because they highlight the key thing about Comey, which is that she favors the unconventional. And in the dozen or so years since she launched her label, Comey has earned a firm fan base of women who appreciate her nonabrasive, elegant off-ness. To put that another way, Comey's best clothes are powerful in their specificity.
Tonight, for instance, she debuted a few new pairs of trousers that had a certain eccentric slouch, a Comey signature. Then there were crisp poplin tops and dresses with gathered cap sleeves, another unexpected detail, and the summery dresses in lightweight printed velvet. ("I just like the idea of trying velvet as a spring fabric," Comey said when asked about the choice.) Elsewhere, Comey did particularly well with her denim looks: The designer launched denim last season, and this time out, she wasn't shy about pushing the possibilities of the material, both in terms of the myriad ways it could be distressed and in terms of silhouettes. Standouts here were her culottes with tortured, super-frayed hems. Under the circumstances of this show, wherein the models paced among the tables as Bond sang and guests dined on kale salad and scallops, it was perhaps a bit much to ask for a cohesive message to come across. But Comey really is that rare designer who can get away with being eclectic. That's no backup plan, for her; when it comes to odd and mixed-up chic, she's authentic.
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