Commission SS20

Meet Commission, a brand that you’ve got to have on your radar right now. The New York-based co-founders Huy Luong, Dylan Cao and Jin Kay set out to redefine their Asian heritage using Western style codes. Their third season – spring-summer 2020 collection – is a modern reinterpretation of what their mothers wore to work in the ‘80s – think boxy shirts, tailored jackets and retro prints. When Kay, Cao and Luong met a few years ago, they were all getting different commissions for work at various brands. When the three found that they shared a visual language, they decided to commission their own work. “It was time to commission something for ourselves,” said Luong. “For our culture.” And so they created Commission, a label that wins hearts with sophisticated, yet unpretentious clothing born of the 1980s and ’90s nostalgia. Kay grew up in Korea, while Cao and Luong hail from Vietnam. As Cao tells Paper, “we’re first-generation immigrants to the US. So around the time that we started there was this conversation we wanted to have, about Asian, especially East Asian, culture and representation in the visual world, and especially in the fashion industry. And for a long time we found it really limiting, and really literal.” When looking at family photos, all three designers realized that their mothers styled themselves in a similar manner to go to work in the late ’80s and early ’90s, dressing with the same “visual code,” as Cao put it. “The ’80s and ’90s, that’s sort of a period when not a lot of people talk about Asia, because there’s less to romanticize” he continued. “By then there were a lot of Western influences in the way people dressed in Asia. Growing up we’d see our parents go to work and tweak the Western-style codes in their own way. And just looking at our moms and the way they dressed – the big suits, the shoulder pads, the pants – but adding their own personal flares to the way they styled the clothes, that’s what kind of connected us.”  Commission’s spring-summer 2020 line-up’s highlights? To be honest, I love everything, from the refined tailoring to the ‘ugly chic’ colour palette. To discover more, check out their site.

vvccbbnnmm

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The King of New York. Marc Jacobs SS20

Traditionally, Marc Jacobs’ collection was the grand finale of New York Fashion Week. In a completely empty space, with different vintage chairs (painted white) standing in the middle as the guest seatings, a flock of paradise creatures emerged out of one side of the Park Avenue Armory, went across the audience, and disappeared. And then they came back, one by one, dancing and twirling according to Stephen Galloway’s choreography. A maxi velvet dress in orange, emberoidered with hippy florals; granny-ish knits with cats and kitschy landscapes; floor-sweeping gowns made for spectacular, late night dancing; patchworked denim flares; knitted mini-dresses that make you think of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate wardrobe; old school rockstar wife look as seen on Bella Hadid; another gorgeous ball dress and Savile Row-esque pantsuit… Describing each look in the collection is a non-sense, because they should all be seen. This was one of Jacobs’ most optimistic collections ever, full of dreams and emotions, love and happiness. For spring-summer 2020, the 60s, 70s and 80s were mixed and fused with Marc’s most beloved personalities and their bodies of work: think Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfelfd, Shelley Duvall, Anita Pallenberg and Marina Schiano. But simultaneously, it all feels… Marc. One more thing that should be praised in this line-up: it’s a mindful balance of wearable pieces that will actually sell in stores, and delightful fantasy. This is what the designer struggled with for the last few years. And he finally overcame it. Marc continues to be the ultimate king of NYFW. Dream a little dream of me

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The Law of Batsheva. Batsheva SS20

Within just a couple of seasons, a Batsheva dress became a classic in New York. No wonder why: her signature prairie dresses, often made out of vintage textiles, are comfortable, flattering and the wearer never really has to think how to wear it: they work with everything. Batshave Hay‘s spring-summer 2020 show at the New York Law School (fun fact: before starting her label at home, Batsheva was a lawyer) was an actual lecture. Jamieson Webster (a psychoanalyst), Chiara Bottici (a philosopher) and Melissa Ragona (an art historian and theorist), three academics in three diverse fields, engaged critically with Batsheva’s newest collection, while models walked through a lecture hall. Writer and podcaster Aminatou Sow introduced and moderated the panel. “They make me feel like a pioneer woman who can’t be fucked with,” Sow said of Batsheva’s garments. The lecture was called “Neck, Wrist, and Ankle: Recurrence in Batsheva’s Clothing” and each speaker presented her essay accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of pertinent details and helpful quotes. Hay’s panel of critics laid out lots of excellent points, including a description of her clothing as “defense of the tender areas of the body”. Fashion being intellectual is a rare, but great sight. Especially, when the clothes keep up with the theory. The prairie dress was present in the line-up for a few times, in tiny florals, polka-dots and print patchwork, but there were also some new additions: blazers with big, Victorian shoulders (speaking of the Victorian topic, the ‘Victorian Secret’ pun on the finale dress was brilliant, by the way), a ruffled day dress in a red zebra pattern and gorgeous shoes made in collaboration with Brother Vellies.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Old Classics. Proenza Schouler SS20

While a less sophisticated collection from Eckhaus Latta feels right once in a while, Proenza Schouler’s new season offering again misses something that used to make the label so in-demand. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are very good at tailoring, and even better at cutting a fluid-y, silk dress (the printed one worn by Adut Akech is the biggest highlight of the collection). But in the sea of great blazers and dresses we’ve seen last season and again this season in New York, this doesn’t make Proenza stand out. It seems to me that the Proenza Schouler identity is gradually getting blurrier and less distinctive. Not that the spring-summer 2020 collection is bad: it has lots of classics, like an over-sized coat or an XXL shoulder bag. However, those clothes don’t spark any feelings in me. Where’s the bolder, art-ier Proenza Schouler? Hope it will come back soon.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.