I was on fence with Chris Leba’s R13 for a while. Until this season. The designer’s spring-summer 2019 felt different from his previous offerings, as it wasn’t plain recycling of apparel trends and grungy styling. The collection told a story, maybe that’s why. And the story was all about Montauk and Chris’ teenage years there, growing up surfing and spending time around the seaside hotel that his mom owned. Montauk used to be wilder then. And that was perfectly captured in the new collection, that had it all: t-shirts that looked as if somebody wore them to the beach for years; loosely fitted blazers and shirts with the cheesy-chic palm-tree prints; tie-dyed sweatshirts in Rasta colours. You might not be into this aesthetic (like me) but we should all agree that this kind of nostalgic and youthful carefreeness of U.S. beach towns takes Leba on the good track. The spirit is authentic. He feels this.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.