The vibrant Eckhaus Latta spring-summer 2023 show took place in one of those lush and beautiful gardens that you can’t believe actually exist in the middle of the city. As models walked out in geometric metallic knit tops that glistened in the sun like tinsel, their faces shiny like doughnuts (turns out it was a peel-off face mask), it was clear the buoyant mood felt before the presentation wasn’t just on account of people running into each other after not seeing them for a while, but it was what Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta actually wanted everyone to feel. “I think this season we felt rather optimistic and wanted that to be expressed within the clothing,” Eckhaus said backstage after the show. “I feel like there’s been this general sense of apathy that we, our community, or just our friends have been feeling,” Latta added, picking up the beat immediately. “This is kind of an attempt to be like, ‘It is still chaos. The world still feels a little fucked, but let’s have fun.’” There was joy in Hari Nef’s cream slip dress, adorned with embroidered threads covered in beads that click-clacked this way and that as she walked through the grass. Musician Ethel Cain, wearing a proper ecru cropped bouclé jacket (and matching wrap-around skort) with a “Fear no plague” tattoo right in the middle of her sternum, was cheeky. No, wait, actually cheeky was Jacob Bixenman’s burgundy bubble polo shirt, worn with what looked to be a one-leg pant that exposed exactly half of the model’s buttocks. Silhouettes were slightly oversized and gave the illusion of being askew; attention was paid to the back of the garments as much as the front with image placement, interesting pockets, and other details. “It’s a sense of wanting that fullness,” Eckhaus said. “I feel like we’re so accustomed to images now – the front image – but clothing is 360, and we wanted to have that juxtaposition of what you’re experiencing on the front of the body versus the back, having it feel more rounded or having different types of energy that move back and forth.” Every look appealed to the senses, with textures that were begging to be touched and played with, like cool netting turned into a long dress with a straight neck and ruched detail on the front, or floral-embroidered trousers with what looked to be a built-in skirt on top and tassels running down the sides. “We wanted a lot of tactility in the collection with the textiles that we’re using across the board,” Eckhaus said. “Whether it was how images were placed on clothing, how materials transformed, like in the knotted pieces and the bubble fabrics, but not getting too – as we always joke – ‘project-y,’” he said, laughing, before adding, “But then I feel like, if it does get project-y, whatever. We’ve been doing this for a while, and we feel really confident in the times when we do have those gestures.”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!