The 2010s / The Row’s Minimalism

Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.

The Row‘s minimalism.

Looking back at the 2010s, it seems to me that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are the ultimate owners of minimalism. With their sensivity for top knotch quality and craftsmanship, it’s no surprise that The Row is globally renowned among the richest women who, rather than drown in Gucci, have similar preference for clean lines, the comfort of soft cashmere and well, have nowhere else to go since Phoebe Philo left Céline (ok, there’s Lemaire, Jil Sander and Bottega Veneta, but… still, they choose The Row). Their collections don’t surprise, but warm your heart. Coats of the most perfect volume and silhouette. An over-sized ecru turtleneck-dress from the best alpaca yarn you can imagine. Masculine tailoring, beauutifully sculpted at the waist. Timeless, crisp shirting that’s getting better and better while wearing it. Eveningwear that’s pure refiniment and elegance without even one embroidery or print. You don’t expect newness with The Row, except for some unexpected lining detail or an antique embellishment on the bags – so, basically details you will notice only when the clothes arrive on the rack. Other than incredible collections the Olsens staged in New York (and in a French chateau that’s 45 minutes outside Paris back in 2015), the sisters created some of the most beautiful retail spaces (see them here) and an equally magnificent menswear line.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Razor Sharp. Peter Do SS20

Peter Do SS20 collage

Peter Do‘s name-sake label has been making waves since its very start (which was less than two years ago). The New York-based designer doesn’t do fashion shows and presents his collections off-schedule – those are two factors that could easily make him and his brand an off-the-radar outsider But Peter Do has a consistence in his work that many, much more established brands can envy: very clear, clean and minimal aesthetic that’s as precise as a razor. Do, along with Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee and Rokh’s Rok Hwang, shares a very specific alma mater that additionally attracts clients: Phoebe Philo’s Céline. But Philophiles won’t find Céline-like pieces at Peter Do, that’s not the point. Spring-summer 2020’s hero piece is an adjustable jacket that separates into a bolero and a backless waistcoat. Another highlight is the single-button jacket that fastens high and off-center on the torso, producing a nipped-in silhouette. The colour palette, mostly black and white, is beautifully contrasted with shades of ochre and rust. What else is sure about Do? Tailoring is key for the brand. And it definitely stole women’s hearts, if Net-A-Porter is restocking the current collection, and such important retail players as Dover Street Market and Bergdorf Goodman already have the Peter Do classics on their racks.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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.