July 10 2014

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2 posts tagged "Telfar"

The Morning After: Our EIC Recaps Yesterday’s Action


Donna Karan

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.

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.

Photo: Newscom

The Next Big Thing: Telfar, Fall ’14


Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month rolls on, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.


Label: Telfar, by Telfar Clemens

Need to know: The theme was “Extremely Normal” at menswear designer Telfar Clemens’ art-star-heavy New Museum show yesterday afternoon. By “normal,” he meant “pretty much like Midtown, the mall…kind of normal things”—the street style of the 9-to-5 masses, if you will. One look at his oversize, manipulated micro-suede hoodies; khaki-styled front-slit bell-bottoms; and elongated, almost clinical mid-thigh-length white coats and it became clear: This collection may be inspired by normal, but it’s not for the average Joe. (But perhaps one only needed to look at the front row, which included Boy Child and the ever-downtown-ubiquitous ATL Twins, to realize that.) An Ugg-like pale brown leather boot cut into three portions and held together by looped up detachable pieces underlined the everyman motif—just adjust for height, take off a piece, pull a tie, or add a link. Any man (or, as Clemens highlighted through the use of two female models, woman) can wear these with a little adaptation. As in the case of the creations of his HBA pal, Clemens’ apparel was largely genderless in nature. The proportions were large—shorts were roomy and hit below mid-calf, dresses were high-necked and loose fit, revealing little of the body. A subtle palette of navys, earthy reds, and muddy browns kept the tone controlled. There’s no need for crazy colors when you toe that fine line between challenging and celebrating the presumably blasê or everyday. The only complaint came in the form of one editor’s rather cheeky hope and suggestion: It would be nice if Clemens had more money so everything wasn’t made out of Snuggies. Yes, a switch in materials wouldn’t be the worst move in elegance—but don’t those slacks look comfortable?

He says: “I’m really inspired by kind of normal things. That’s why we named this installation ‘Extremely Normal.’ You know? Cause it’s like if I was in Kmart, this is how I would do it…Luckily enough, they partnered with us to do this. Really cool.”

Where to find it: Opening Ceremony, VFiles, and coming soon…Kmart.

Photo: Angela Pham/