Thank goodness for the kids. Just when you start to lose faith and question the meaning of it all, along come two friends who want to make things. Not blindly consume them, snap them and forget about them, but make them. It sounds simple and that’s why it’s so rare. Zoe Latta and Mike Eckhaus have not only caught everyone’s attention but they seem to have sparked something in their collective imagination too. Their eye for interesting materials and resourcefulness in sourcing them is admirable but it’s what they do with them that’s intriguing. It’s not necessarily the de- and re-constructing that sets them apart but the manner in which they do it, without much fuss. The final results are not some freakish Frankensteinian monsters but, you know, clothes. It’s their desire to make, say, a slip dress out of something already in existence that’s, well, touching. If the post fast-fashion-boom generation revolts like this, then hang in there, everyone, there’s still hope!
This was the third bi-coastal collection from these two who continue to produce everything in New York and LA, save for some knits hand-loomed in Peru. Set in Ralph Pucci’s (not Rucci) stunning furniture showroom, it was fun to see friends of the label mix with Mr Pucci’s guests and anyway, the cold and hard fashion bench will seem colder and harder after Mr Pucci’s collection of mid-century designs. Models, artists, musicians, poets, actresses and an architect walked the show, occasionally looking self-consciously down at the floor. Iridescent chartreuse and navy slip dresses, jeans and linen vests were slashed at the waist, the leg and above the knees. Among the standouts: a floral 'burnout' velvet top and dress, sheer powder pink fine knits, peach velvet jeans, cropped and slightly flared and a series of midnight denim. A puzzle of a top and a vase-like dress, both seemingly sculptured out of papier-mâché, were part of a collaboration with the artist Annabeth Marks and the pale mauve and red pleated dresses, gathered and tucked, signalled at great things to come. The cheer coming from backstage at the end was one of the loudest and most genuine I’ve heard.