Summary: If Joy Division is blaring, you could send models out in industrial garbage bags and they would look fabulous. Happily, however, the clothes lived up to their musical accompaniment at this downtown designer show, held in downtown NYC's Altman building. (Q: How do you know it's a cool show? A:Look for the fabulous, and Fashionweek-ubiquitious Patrick McDonald in the audience.)
A black belted mini trench dress opened a show filled with skinny legged pants for gals & guys, sexily slouchy trousers in gray menswear fabric (with a paperbag waist in one case & suspenders), and a gorgeous jersey cowl neck minidress which was belted at the natural waist and had a slightly longer hem in back. With a somber palette of black, charcoal, army olive, and white, and fun screen prints - Lord Byron's face; the German words "neue jugend" (new youth) - these are clothes you want to wear when you want to look cool, not be too "dressed up" or, for that matter, too dressed down. Interesting details included a cutaway vest worn with a slouchy chic jacket, and pairing a short black going-out dress with black fingerless gloves - which perhaps sounds kitschy, but actually looked fresh & fun. The menswear was a standout, in particular a 60s-Carnaby-Street-meets-80s skinny silhouette with cropped pants and wool vest worn over a button down and a tie, and a dashing short black cloak which closed the show, with dramatic shoulders and an arms-close-to-the-body cut, which even a (fashion-minded) straight guy could pull off.
Color Palette: black, charcoal, champagne, army/olive green
Textures & Details: black angora & cashmere blend; cotton twill; felted wool; fine whale corduroy; hand prints of Lord Byron's face & "neue jugend"; paper-bag waists; exaggerated epaulet shoulders; super skinny pants for both sexes
Key Looks: black cashmere & mohair cowl neck mini dress with asymmetrical hem (longer in back) & belted at natural waist; champagne wool turtleneck dress with Lord Byron screen print; men's 60s-Carnaby-Street-meets-80s cropped skinny pant, buttondown, tie & vest ensemble; short black men's cloak with oversized shoulders & arms-close-to-the-body cut
- Lesley Scott