Industrial space in the heart of Brooklyn’s Bushwick. The sound of children’s instrumental performance, played on home-made tambourines and other metalware. One thing’s clear – an Eckhaus Latta show is about to start, which also means a radical leap away from typical, glossy Manhattan presentations. For Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, the runway is like a multi-faceted concept, that doesn’t only focus on clothes. It has to hit the senses, from sounds to visuals, and make you observe, not just stare at another dress. Even the model casting – one of the most diverse throughout the entire fashion month – has a lot to speak about the topics of age, size and skin colour. But don’t get it wrong. The fact that Eckhaus Latta works against the fashion establishment doesn’t mean that the clothes themselves are on the second plan. Somehow, the designers are able to always pull off this artistic edginess, but in a deeply sexual way – I don’t mean the sheer pieces only. Maybe it’s the rawness of those ‘unfinished’ tweed skirts or the oversized creased trousers. Not speaking of the distorted sweaters and the marvellous spider-web dresses made from wool (extraordinary knitwear is becoming Eckhaus Latta’s signature, from season to season). Other than the ‘everyday’ pieces, the designers also offered a few garments that could be easily put next to contemporary artworks in a gallery. The meticulously beaded tops for both women and men had cuts that sharply exposed the body. But Eckhaus Latta’s clothes are not complete without its wearer, that’s why it’s wrong to call them solely ‘art’. It’s the person’s character that make the clothes ‘breathe’ in a way.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.