The Morning After: Our EIC Recaps Yesterday’s Action-------
There’s a new movement in New York. It encompasses labels like Hood by Air, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, and the Been Trill collective; intersects with the digital platform-cum-real-world retailer VFiles; and includes someone like Telfar Clemens. These designers play in the high-fashion space, but they don’t need it because they communicate directly—in both an emotional and commercial sense—with their audience, a peer group who doesn’t so much celebrate difference as shrug it off. The performance artist Boychild, sitting front-row here, is the movement’s, well, Poster Boychild. Clemens showed his new collection—workwear tweaked in proportion and fabrication, including a cool riff on an Ugg boot in detachable leather sections—at the top of the New Museum, but the real action was downstairs in the lobby, where he was simultaneously selling his sweatshirts to a heaving sea of hipsters. Collectively, there’s an energy among this group that the city hasn’t seen since the eighties, and mainstream fashion ought to pay attention, because as VFiles’ Julie Anne Quay will tell you, this is the future.
At their best, Thom Browne’s shows walk a tightrope between horror and humor. I felt a bit of that tension was missing in yesterday’s religion-themed potboiler, but the last look, a gold dress with a train so heavy that the model looked like she could topple off the raised catwalk at any moment—a true fall from grace, as it were—had that echt Browne frisson. Was the girl a victim or a knowing co-conspirator in this act of cruelty? I doubt I’m the first to say Browne is the Hitchcock of fashion.
It seemed almost as cold inside the raw space on Wall Street that Donna Karan chose as the venue for her thirtieth anniversary collection as it was outside. To be fair, Karan’s team presumably scouted the location months ago, when the Polar Vortex was just a twinkle in Al Roker’s eye, but for a moment it seemed as if the designer might lose her audience. She won them back at the end with a series of sensuous dresses that were a fitting tribute to her unique and highly influential gifts. I got goose bumps—or maybe it was frostbite.
BARNEYS CELEBRATES ITS “BROTHERS, SISTERS, SONS & DAUGHTERS” CAMPAIGN
The highlight of the Barneys dinner in honor of the seventeen transgender models who are featured in the retailer’s new ad campaign was a film by Bruce Weber. Weber tells the campaign stars’ stories straightforwardly, movingly, and with his inimitable offhand grace. His movie ought to be compulsory viewing across America.