2 posts tagged "Dustin Horowitz"
Dustin Horowitz is admittedly a Philo-phile, but his admiration for infallibly cool, stripped-down elegance dates back to mid-nineties Helmut Lang. “It’s an aesthetic we grew up with, everyone from that era,” said Horowitz, taking a break from his lookbook shoot last week. “It’s something that’s really not gone away for a lot of people, but it’s also kind of just back in the air again.”
That brand of imminently wearable minimalism informed the new Fall ’11 direction of his under-the-radar dress label Pipit. Though Horowitz has always worked within a few clean silhouettes, focusing on fabric and texture, what was once quirky (overdyed and pleated tartans, dresses made of Tyvek) chez Pipit is now clean, quiet, and color-blocked. A piece like the straight-cut shift in bone Ultrasuede with its sleeves and back pieced in black cotton—reportedly a favorite of his main stockist, Barneys New York—has grown-up, no-brainer chic in spades. He’s also introduced a new bag, a kind of unconstructed drawstring hobo.
There’s a distinct seventies feel to Pipit’s Fall range in its apronlike simplicity and, of course, the Halston-y Ultrasuede. Horowitz had a copy of Helmut Newton’s Page From the Glossies close at hand. But his slightly off-color palette of grays and earthy yellows comes from contemporary furniture designer Roy McMakin’s subversively classic work. And while Pipit’s new look—with its sensible and on-trend hemlines—is undeniably less girlish, it avoids being overly serious or preciously ladylike. Happily, so do the prices, which hover between $260 and $290, and aren’t going to be nudged up by the more sophisticated outlook. “I like working within this co-op price point where you have to stretch and come up with stuff within that price point,” he says. “It’s challenging and fun.”
If it wasn’t for the roving eye of a few chic, young gallerinas, Pipit designer Dustin Horowitz might be painting portraits instead of making dresses. After he left his longtime post as creative director at Tommy Hilfiger in 2007, Horowitz launched the dress label as a side project, but his main focus was fine art. After all, that—not fashion—was his major at Parsons. “I invited these galleries to see my work,” explains Horowitz in his spartan Garment District studio. “But all they wanted was the dresses.” Two years later, those dresses are in 30 Barneys New York stores (they have an exclusive in the U.S.) and 20 more boutiques in Japan.
But Pipit is certainly not without its arty elements. With a number of exceedingly simple silhouettes (the racerback tank, the T-shirt dress, the apron) as canvas, Horowitz experiments with industrial fabrics and various screening and dyeing methods, like a cool stenciled lace print or last spring’s amazing pleated over-dyed plaids, which recall Junya Watanabe. Many of his pieces are produced at a studio in Brooklyn that works exclusively with fine artists, but the dresses are still priced quite affordably—around $250 to $275. If all goes well, Spring 2010 may also see Pipit’s first jacket, modeled on the classic jean jacket. For now, we’re happy to have that laser focus on perfectly simple frocks with an artful soul.
Pipit dresses, $250 to $275, at Barneys New York, www.barneys.com.