By Any Other Name

The word ‘basics’ rarely sparks much interest, especially today, when the fashion industry is flooded with ‘everyday essentials’ and ‘must-have classics’ we’re all meant to have. But when Rosie Assoulin surprises your Instagram feed with a launch of her daywear line, you just can’t expect it to be anything close to typical, ‘casual’ apparel. Which doesn’t mean that the first capsule collection from By Any Other Name isn’t a kind of wardrobe (a set of 15 pieces, to be specific) that has this sense of comforting, ‘on-the-go’ feel we all seek everyday while running errands. As the designer clarifies, it’s not a diffusion line of her namesake brand that does some of the most fantastic eveningwear in New York (simultaneously keeping it joyous and unpretentious). As Assoulin told T Magazine, “our collection and our customer is very attracted to the celebratory elements, they call it ‘occasion wear,’ and the reality is that there is also this other part of life that needs and deserves to be celebrated in its own way.” A striped shirred waist dress in cotton; the ‘lazy blazer dress’ (this name is so good it needs a trademark!); blazer with an arty, knotted lapel; a loose-fit blouse in white poly poplin which really is the ultimate essential; office-ready plaid, pleated skirt. Yes, those pieces celebrate morning, afternoon, and even evening moments that need less outside attention and more comfort, a sort of tactile support. Looking at the lookbook, I can actually hear Soul II Soul’s eternally calming Back to life, back to reality… 

To better capture By Any Other Name’s easy coolness (I know this sounds like one of those clichés, but the brand defines this sense really well!) check out the site filled with gorgeously spontaneous images starring the clothes, the girl and the city. Oh, and every single piece is already available to buy!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki; photography by Natalie O’Moore; styling by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.

Balance. Marc Jacobs AW19

Marc Jacobs closed New York fashion week with one of his best collections in the last years – or even, career. While the past few seasons were brilliant, they slightly worried with being too exaggerated, too show-y. The autumn-winter 2019 collection is just the perfect balance of Jacobs, and what his brand stands for. New York edginess combined with this cool, ‘off’ glamour. There was drama, of course: the yellow gown worn by Adut Akech looked insanely gorgeous, just as the dresses covered in feathers, as seen on Christy Turlington (by the way, it’s her major runway return after 20 years and let me tell you – she is so, so beautiful). But there was something calm about this collection. Even sober. The venue was dark and absolutely minimal. Classical, live music played throughout the show. No killer platform boots or crazy hair – most of the models looked make-up free and wore beanies topped with a feather (that’s how Stephen Jones does ‘casual’). There was stuff that will sell, like the voluminous, lady-like coats in leopard print, stripes or checks, and hopefully this brings the brand back to the buyers. You might say that the collection is inconsistent: how does Sara Grace Wallerstedt’s minimal pistachio dress works with Guinevere Van Seenus’ ruffled, retro ensemble? They shouldn’t. And Jacobs is fine with that. “They’re all very beautiful, but they’re all different. We have 40 girls and each one is slightly different… our vision of who each of these women are,” is what the designer said about both, the collection’s diverse model casting, and the aim behind the entire line-up. A ‘wardrobe’ would be a bad term to describe this, as this is something much more broader. It’s rather a set of personalities, in the fashion aspect, but not only. Shortly: big, big bravo, Marc.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, feauturing Richard Avedon’s photographs.

Joyful Calmness. Rosie Assoulin AW19

What surprised me the most about Rosie Assoulin’s autumn-winter 2019 collection was the colour palette the designer resorted to this time. While we all got used to see Rosie’s unpretentious, fantastically big eveningwear and glamorously-on-the-go daywear in bold, strong colours, this season she kept it more earthy, I would even say: calm. Of course, there was a bit of vibrant yellow and orange, a pop of electric blue and bright purple (I specifically mean this sleeveless gown with a pulled bow on the back – so beautiful), but they were all in the details. The black, mid-length dress with a corset-like detailing was a standout, just like the beige suite styled with a sheer shirt covered in big mirror sequins and the delicious look that featured a cropped, pearl-beaded turtleneck and a floor-sweeping, ball skirt. Assoulin’s collection rarely rotate around specific references or moodboards. She rather designs wardrobes, featuring clothes for different kinds of women (they share common love for joyful artiness in style, something Assoulin embodies in her fashion) and different occasions. Some are here to make an entrance, and some are designed for running everyday errands, in style. While other New York-based designers seem to give away uncertainty, Rosie stays on her track.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Back to Life. Creatures of The Wind AW19

Ok, that’s something new: two brands in one collection, with a feeling of anonymity – like ‘what’s what’? Chris Peters and Shane Gabier decided to show their Creatures of The Wind and Peters’ other label, CDLM, together. While everything should have a brand and a logo seen from the distance these days, Chris and Shane made the viewer take guesses. Isn’t it better to forget the labels, and look at the garments objectively, without knowing the tag? Wouldn’t our buying choices change dramatically? In case of Peters and Gabier we had a line-up of very, very good clothes. And I’m objective! The designers are known for their recycle and upcycle practices – they use existing vintage and deadstock fabrics. They can do wonders with those. Examples? A ’30s slip-dress, a man’s tux collapsed into a coat, ’40s fake furs clashed into one (ok, Martin Margiela did that decades ago, but still this idea looks so brilliant), another coat that had its deconstructed lapels made from a football merch scarf… Then, the look I had to look at twice to be sure I’m not wrong. A blanket scarf worn with a white shirt, navy pants and white paint splattered caban boots were modeled by a woman who rarely stands in front of the camera today, but has influenced American fashion like no other: Vogue’s fashion editor, Tonne Goodman. She’s the person who created the so-called ‘sporty elegance’ look that’s all about reality and relevance. Which actually is the style ethos that got quite naturally inherited by such designers as Chris and Shane. Tonne is also deeply committed to sustainability – and, as visible, a friend of the brand. She looked as if she was on the street, off to the office or the next fashion show in her typical ‘its my job’ attitude, not on an actual runway. That’s why I enjoyed Creatures of The Wind (and CDLM) this season: clothes for life and pretty much any moment in life.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.