Clothes To Love and Live In. The Elder Statesman SS20

Post-fashion-month, now there’s time to look closer at the labels that aren’t looking for fashion show spotlight. The Elder Statesman is one of my favourite labels that are under the radar and its spring-summer 2020 is all about good vibes (yes, really, I used this expression – but it matches the collection perfectly!). Greg Chait has turned The Elder Statesman into the coolest of cool and the luxe-est of luxe: the proof is in the many copycats of his tie-dye knitwear and slouchy casual spirit. For summer, Chait offers body-cropped hoodies, shirtdresses in woven, dyed jeans, and the mentioned tie-dye knits. Chait takes great pride in the cashmere, cotton, and wool blends he uses, many of which he develops himself with his team. These products are beautiful, but they are also made to wear and to be lived and loved in.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Malibu. Saint Laurent SS20

Like other fashion shows presented in far flung destinations this month, Saint Laurent‘s spring-summer 2020 collection for the boys (and resort 2020 for the girls) had its ups and downs. Ups: the runway’s spectacular venue, which was an ebonized boardwalk runway atop a Malibu beach, against a stormy horizon. Keanu Reeves sat front row. Anthony Vaccarello‘s ideology behind the collection, which well related to Yves Saint Laurent. The starting point for the collection was Marrakech in the ’70s (Yves’ ultimate favourite place to visit) reimagined as 21st-century Los Angeles, a city that resides on Vaccarello’s own emotional landscape. While that’s some geographical leap, it’s not an unimaginable one; both locations have that certain bohemian, free-spirited, almost mystical escape. “You come to L.A. for vacation,” Vaccarello said. “You can disconnect from the rest of the world.” And finally, Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones musician gave Vaccarello access to his vintage Saint Laurent, for inspiration. Yes, it all sounds dreamy. But again, the problem of clothes hits – they seem to lose their priority in such events. Except for the abrupt comeback of super-wide, super-fluid pants (in gauzy knit or a crushed pleated silk), billowing and flowing from a high and often belted waist, there was barely anything exciting about this rock & roll-ish wardrobe. It all was a remake of Hedi Slimane-era YSL. And I guess you really need that Malibu heat to grasp the essence of this collection, and not only the imagery.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Cool As Usual. The Elder Statesman Resort 2020

Greg Chait‘s The Elder Statesman look is signature: a tie-dye top, a slip-dress, a knit (and not just any knit, but a cashmere, hand-woven sweater of the fleeciest texture). Sounds like today’s trendiest street style? Well, Chait was much, much ahead of the fashion crowd when he revived this Calfiornian, dreamy look. The Elder Statesman’s recent collections have touched on topics like self-realization and talismans, which got the designer thinking about life and the fine line between “darkness and light“. “I realized, it’s really like a game,” he said during the New York presentation of his resort 2020 collection. So he dove into how games simulate life, for better or for worse, from Saga and Nintendo circa the ’90s to ancient Indian board games like Snakes and Ladders and Pachisi. This resulted in the silk checkerboard prints, the crewnecks with jacquard stars and gaming symbols, and the very bold color palette. He didn’t go to literal for the theme, and in overall this is a laid-back, cool The Elder Statesman wardrobe we all need.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Off-The-Radar Goodness. The Elder Statesman SS19

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The fashion month has just finished, and one can’t forget about the brands that usually stay off-the-radar during those four weeks of runway marathon. They need their spotlight, too! Re-seeing The Elder Statesman‘s look-book few days after all that Paris fashion week fuss is a true pleasure. The Los Angeles-based label, found and designed by Greg Chait, is known for its incredible cashmere goods and love for everything that’s artisanal. But lately, Chait seems to enjoy introducing new additions to his extremely luxurious, yet niche brand. While the Swiss silk, the designer’s discovery from the last season, appears in the form of a gorgeous tie-dye dress, it’s linen that’s lately on Chait’s mind. Sourced and produced in India, the pieces made out of that often underrated material stun with summer-ish colour gradiations. What else is new to The Elder Statesman? Corduroy pants. They look so, so good with a matching yellow sweater. Love.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.