Jackie And Carolyn. The Row Resort 2023

After two years off the runway, Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen brought their resort 2023 collection for The Row to Paris. They weren’t doing interviews and the brand didn’t release a statement, but when American designers have swapped New York for Paris in the past they’ve typically talked about the city’s more international audience and elevated playing field. The Olsens need little help with their profiles, so let’s assume they thought they had something new to say about their fashion. As it turned out, they did, and it speaks volumes. The line-up finds them in a more playful frame of mind than we’ve come to associate with The Row. The elegance and sophistication remain, but they also dabbled in hyperbole, in the form of extra-long sleeves and neck grazing, exaggerated 1970s collars, and explored surprising retro flourishes like pillbox hats, muffs, and top handle bags in the crooks of arms. If Jackie Kennedy and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy joined wardrobes, this The Row collection would be it. Some looks, including an evening dress made with a chartreuse-colored wool blanket wrapped and draped from the torso, reminded you of the Japanese designers who made their own transitions to Paris in the 1980s. Is the Olsens’ minimalist phase over? Not exactly. Most of these looks were head-to-toe monochrome or black-and-white, and there were no prints or much in the way of other distractions. The silhouette was still rooted in tailoring and the shoes were low-heeled and grounding. The difference was this collection’s looseness. Not in terms of volumes, but in terms of the fun it was willing to have. See the fine cashmere sweaters that twisted in back to reveal the white poplin shirts below them, the jabots as oversize as the pointy collars they accessorized, the back-to-front coats, and those long sleeves. Graceful fashion that makes you smile feels like the right instinct for the current moment.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

The Row’s Vintage Selection

It’s no news that vintage is taking over the fashion industry. Sites like Vestiaire Collective and The Real Real are growing competitors for the big on-line empires like Net-A-Porter or Farfetch, while vintage Westwoods and Muglers are historically (and aesthetically) worth more than any trendy, “new season” arrival. Even some brands are opening up to the possibilities of vintage. Dries Van Noten’s Los Angeles store has an expansive section of the label’s archives, all available to buy. And now, The Row is the latest to join the conversation with their newly opened, on-line “Galerie“. I’m pretty much sure that those are Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen‘s personal treasures: an Issey Miyake trench coat from 1979, Chanel haute couture navy total-look from the 70s, John Galliano’s black kimono dress from his iconic spring-summer 1995 collection, some Comme Des Garçons singular items from the 80s and 90s… all items are upon request, but I guess they won’t sit there for long. Hope the Olsens are planning to update their vintage selection from time to time with new, unique garments! Oh… and just imagine wearing those gems with The Row’s investment pieces (maybe even from the second hand?).

Photos via therow.com

The Look(s) – The Row AW20

The Row‘s autumn-winter 2020 collection is a line-up you want to return to once in a while. Especially, when it’s getting colder outside. As the models skimmed quickly by in flat slippers and boots, the thrill behind Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s line-up was in the finesse of the cuts, precise but relaxed, especially with the addition of turtlenecks layered under silk button-downs or worn solo under jackets. The tailoring is refined and subtle in shilhouette, and the outerwear is a sure winner of the season. It’s quite clear that the designers looked at Martin Margiela’s Hermès years for inspiration – especially the layered knits and long, grey gloves that seemed to blur with the clothes. But I’m fine with that.

Collages by Edward Kanarecki

Can’t Go Wrong With Classic. The Row SS21

In tough times, you can’t go wrong with picking the most classic of the classics. The Row is an example:  Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen‘s spring-summer 2021 line-up is all about their brand’s ultimate core, which is comfort, quality and understated luxury. The Row has always been a go-to label for women who favor discretion over bold display. This season finds the designers working especially within their minimalist framework, pushing new cuts and trying out unique materials. The suit of the season is oversized and mannish, with a double-breasted jacket worn over full pleated pants. Emphasizing ease and wearabiluty, they did a similar silhouette in knit. A V-neck vest makes multiple appearances in the look book, worn solo with a midi-skirt or teamed with a crisp white shirt and trousers. The palette is mostly monochrome neutrals, though there were two flashes of color in the form of button-downs in teal and rust. How about handspun organic silk made in single batches in Japan, which is exclusive to The Row this year? The white and black knit dresses they made with that silk are a sexy, body-limning counterpoint to the relaxed shapes of much of the rest of the collection. There is news in accessories. A 105 mm French heel pump counts as The Row’s highest ever, and a new Massimo drawstring backpack comes in that raw silk, as well as leather and suede. Naturally, there’s no logo-ing or hardware in sight. Timeless, investment pieces that will serve and please for years to come.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Monumental Lightness. The Row AW20

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In the sea of meaningless or overly sophisticated (which, in the end, means the same as meaningless…) collections in New York this season, The Row stuns with confidence and actual sense of real desire put upon us, the viewers. As the models skimmed quickly by in flat slippers and boots, the thrill behind Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s line-up was in the finesse of the cuts, precise but relaxed, especially with the addition of turtlenecks layered under silk button-downs or worn solo under jackets. The tailoring is refined and subtle in shilhouette, and the outerwear is a sure winner of the season. It’s quite clear that the designers looked at Martin Margiela’s Hermès for inspiration – especially the layered knits and long, grey gloves that seemed to blur with the clothes. But I’m fine with that. An installation of sculptures by Beverly Pepper, an American artist who worked in stone, corten steel, and iron until she was 97, was the centerpiece at The Row’s show. Pepper died just last week, and the New York Times’s obituary described her as a “sculptor of monumental lightness.” The Olsens’ work definitely identifies with that description.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.