Lets be real. Eckhaus Latta SS17

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Just clothing, in a sense,” Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta said backstage after showing Eckhaus Latta’s spring-summer 2017. With an art school background, Eckhaus Latta fashion, or rather style, is well recognisable – it’s all raw, and kept in a über-cool, DIY kind of way. The clothes, designed by the Los Angeles-based duo, are nothing without the attitude of the person wearing them – a non-model, or a friend, or just a person walking down the street. Denim skirts, deconstructed t-shirts, extremely exaggerated stitchings on pants: Eckhaus Latta isn’t into fooling around with themes and, eww, trends. Although the label used to be much more radical when it made the first steps in the industry, the newest collection is a statement – lets be real.

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Big Pants Tale

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Lena in her N21 flares

Although big pants / flares aren’t always pleasantly seen in the society, let’s be cool about them – if styled well, these pants can easily become an essential of your wardrobe. Noting that the floor-sweeping length is having its appearance everywhere, from Celine Resort 2016 look-book to Rosie Assoulin’s AW16 collection, flares (which not necessarily must be denim!) seem to be an old-school alternative of culottes, which unfortunately don’t suit everybody due to their very, very difficult silhouette. Worn with a lace, slip top or a DsQuared bomber with a badass, J-Lo fur hoodie, the big pants work with almost everything. And, what’s the most attracting about this unsung must-have, is that you can truly have fun with them. Make them look slouchy (Y/Project autumn-winter 2016), chic (N21 cappuccino shaded version) or on fleek (Balmain AW07) – and remember to free your inner Jane Birkin.

So, are the big pants having a 2016 tale?

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Fendi SS99

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Y/Project AW16

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Eckhaus Latta SS16

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Céline AW16

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Carla Bruni in her apartment

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Rosie Assoulin AW16

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Céline Resort 2016

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Balmain by Chistopher Decarnin SS07

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N21 SS16 on Lena

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Maison Margiela in the 90’s

Feelings. Eckhaus Latta AW16

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If talking of talented millennials, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, the lovely couple behind Eckhaus Latta, also top the list of New York’s talented young blood. The nodels (not-models) stormed dynamically along the runway, wearing the brand’s clothes which always feature a raw, unfinished touch. The cast, so the designers’ friends and New York cool kids (India Menuez, for instance) wore Mike’s and Zoe’s garments, which perfectly presented what the designers are best at – Eckhaus’ background in sculpture (note the unidentified folds and slouchy, elongated sleeves) and Latta’s in textile design. The “dresses” had asymmetrical, abstract silhouettes, while the velvetish textile which ornamented the midi-skirts still shines bright in my mind. “We don’t have an elevator pitch for you because I feel like we’ve never approached our collections with traditional ideas of concept or inspiration,” says Eckhaus, “but they become representations of what we’re experiencing at the moment, what we’re feeling.” When seeing Eckhaus Latta’s outings, I always have a feeling that they fittingly reflect the current, New Yorker style among the youth – it’s not easy to define, but it’s very, very personal.

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Photographs by Benedict Brink

Gender Fluid, Ageism and Raw. Eckhaus Latta SS16

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Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta know how to strike New York. They don’t need Marina Abramovic to make a performance, they don’t need a celebrity-crowded front row. Eckhaus Latta is the brand, that makes the topic of gender-fluid fashion more accessible, and somewhat, intriguing. Their spring-summer 2016 collection was arty and avant-garde, but surprisingly werable. Also, it said “stop” to ageism – the designer duo’s 50+ friends walked the runway in sheer, body stocking jumpsuits. Nudity was the topic of the show, too. The models wore all those transparent blouses and mini-dresses with confidence and original, free-spirited attitude. There is a catecorigal difference between a professional model wearing an almost naked outfit, and a person that really wears the clothes. The feeling of Eckhaus Latta’s nudity is raw, but absolutely true. Although we couldn’t notice a usual blogger pack, the undergroud influencers of New York,  (Dev Hynes, Juliana Huxtable, Alexandra Marzella, and Grace Dunham, among others) presented amazing, voluminous silhouettes and edgy tank-tops made from the strangest textiles I have ever seen. I must admit – after seeing the second Eckhaus Latta collection in a row, I am  much more amused and overhelmed with it, than with the massive Givenchy show that took place earlier this week. Sometimes, less is really more.

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The Names To Know

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Stella Jean AW15

SS16 is coming with big steps, guys! The fashion month will begin really soon. The first week of September will be all about New York’s bliss and sophistication. Then, we will all have a jet-lag in London. Have a large plate of pasta in Milan and eat breakfasts at the new Fondazione Prada. Go to the sleaziest night-clubs of Paris for fashion shows. Also, this means a constant Instagram overload, long evenings spent on writing reviews and this fabulous / exhausting feeling you have during the fashion month. As we are all still charging our batteries on these last days of summer, here is my list of designers to KNOW & WATCH during the spring-summer 2016 marathon.

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Eckhaus Latta / Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta from Los Angeles don’t care about their model’s size, age, gender. Their street casting and friend-models wear their clothes on runway as if they were having a stroll around Downtown. Raw domesticity is explored and modified, as imperfections are made beautiful and comfort found in the most unexpected of places, due to spontaneous fittings and very soft textiles.

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Rosie Assoulin / Many designer who do evening-wear think that an excessive amount of Swarovski and flesh-exposing-cuts is just it. But thankfully, Rosie Assoulin is the woman who says a loud “NO” to that. The New York-based designer creates dresses which are mostly categorised as “evening” ones, but surprisingly look as good with white sneakers as with heels. By looking at her previous, autumn-winter collection by Rosie, it’s easy to conclude, that these simply cut, boldly coloured dresses look at their best with sweatpants and yes, even with hoodies.

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Marques Almeida / They were the ones who discreetly made frayed and cut denim cool again; they made 90’s vibe strong and most noticeable this season. And there is something about their cool, ghetto attitude. The Portuguese duo rocked London just a few years ago and from the beginning smelled with success. Winning the LVMH Prize Award this year, Marques Almeida is now excepted to be really IT, after the luxury group, LVMH, takes them under their wings.

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Faustine Steinmetz / In Steinmetz’s label, each textile is solely hand-woven by one person using their traditional hand looms.
And, each piece is meticulously made by hand, with some pieces taking over a week to weave. “In our East London studio we spin, dye and weave all our own fabrics. We reproduce iconic pieces, the kind everyone has or has had in their wardrobe at one stage, except we make them all by hand.” Faustine Steinmetz creates and designs denim which isn’t really denim- it’s a new apparel vision, but on upper level. And I just can’t wait to see how her amazing vision is going to evolve.

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Stella Jean / The brightest star of Milan Fashion Week, I must admit. Stella was born in Rome, however its her Creole roots that make her fashion so unique and open-minded. From season to season, she offers her clients a mix of ethnic prints and references with a chic, Italian heritage. Although this might sound quite avant-garde, her clothes are a combination of “hand-made” tradition and European comfort – beautifully embroidered trousers evoke the warmth of India; a kimono from Tibet looks like a dream. Stella Jean should be praised not only for her breath-taking clothes, but for her idea of giving women and men around the world a chance to do their craft, work in good conditions and being paid for their talents.

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Vetements / Lately, I have written a long post about this eponymous, yet provoking label from Paris. Vetements in French means clothes – but Vetements goes far beyond the meaning of clothes in today’s fashion industry. It exaggerates clothes. It elongates the sleeves, gives volume to cowboy boots and makes floral grandma dresses look scandalous, and kind of sexy. Led by Demna Gvasalia and six other anonymous designers, who met while working as design team at Maison (Martin) Margiela, Vetements is the new force which makes fashion rules feel even more useless than ever. Even their AW15 fashion show wasn’t a typical event where clothes were celebrated in a traditional way. But don’t think it was done in a buzzy, Chanel way – oh no. The “creative network” of the brand took their guests to Le Depot, a dark sex-club, where everybody felt a mood of anti-fashion. At first sight, you might not really understand the collection – but in reality, it is not that deep in its meaning as you might think. These clothes, even though look pretty grotesque, are wearable. Gvasalia claims “as long as we can make clothes that people want to wear and they find them cool and relevant, that’s my understanding of hype”.

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Eckhaus Latta vibe. Forget the fashion rules, it says.

This is my list of designer “to watch out for” during the SS16 season. Would you add anybody else?