Seeing both The Row womenswear and menswear in one collection makes so much sense. Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsens‘ autumn-winter 2021 collection is like the full picture of their luxe minimalism world, now shared by her and him. The designers decided to modify their showing schedule, skipping New York Fashion Week altogether and showing in January and June. One of the reasons is logistics and sustainability. Both the women’s and men’s collections are rooted in minimal tailoring and they share materials across them; these include the double-felted wool of outerwear, wool flannel for suits, and a textural knit that they call fur cashmere, all of them subtly luxurious. Of course, the collection is delightful – and feels like detoxicating palette cleanse after all the couture fantasy we’ve experienced last week. Their autumn suiting is strong across both genders. The women’s jackets come with removable shoulder pads, as does a mock-neck, midi-length cashmere dress. Alongside the tailoring, they showed wrapped shapes, emphasizing comfort and warmth. A male model looks practically cocooned in a three-piece fur cashmere set. Amid the oversized proportions and the swaddled forms, a button-down with short three-quarter-length sleeves worn with washed linen wool pants that taper at the ankles stands out. On the accessories front sturdy burnished-leather rain boots in a range of lengths look like top sellers in the making. They’ve also added a nylon tote to their handbag offering. Comfort and practicality have become important talking points in the last year as the pandemic has impacted the industry in so many ways. The Olsens are taking on those conversations – and the one about collection timing, too – but they’re doing so in their usual elegant, refined way.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen streamed their pre-fall 2016 look-book a week ago, with an over 2 month delay in comparison to other brands. However, it’s just in time before these clothes hit the stores, so on the 1st of May. Breaking news: The Row looks like a brand you will desire this autumn, even though I doubt you’re wondering about the next season knits right now. It’s a multi-layered, cashmere covered wonderland of softness and warmth, draped and reconstructed. Ribbed wool pants and dresses are as usual the The Row’s priority pieces, while the jackets with flowing silhouette look as if they were ripped out of a Dutch still-life portrait. There was a kind of elegant delicacy in this collection, too – a milk-white slip dress with a ruffle at the hem worn with a button-down shirt, updated with puffed sleeves. Statuesque, yet light. The slouchy suede shopper bag ranks up high, too, as one of the best accessories of the season.
The Row designers came back to New York this season for their down-to-earth presentation, making a statement that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen believe from the very beginning of the brand. Reduce. But keep it luxurious and of the top notch quality. Sheared astrakhan, double-face cashmere, cognac leather… should I list more of these pure and rich textiles and materials used in this harmonious wardrobe of must-have essentials? Among the sleek silhouettes of 40’s coats and flattering, high-waisted pants, the “spotlight” (if the minimal aesthetics of the Olsen twins would ever use that excessive word) was stolen by the delicate slip dresses and sheer, lilac-grey gowns. The The Row women – Guinevere Van Seenus, Jamie Bochert and Kristen Owen, just to mention a few – look stern and sophisticated in their minimal looks – but surely feel the comfort and fleecy touch of their ecru turtlenecks.
The Row by the Olsen sisters is usually my favourite. But this time, it’s even more than favourite. It’s holy. Presented in a silent, brick loft with wooden floors in SoHO, the models started to emerge in a slow, calm way. Pouring through skylights, the morning sun glinted off the gold basket weave of a loosely tied coat, and shimmered on an organza top that looked as if it might’ve been dipped in tea or sepia-dyed. These were angels? Close. The clothes made from raw silk, crisp cotton, woven tabard finished with fringe… not many New York labels concentrate so much on detailing.
The caftans, peplums, over-sized coats, the robe dresses… it all felt serene, noting the whole collection was kept in gold, creme. brown, black and white colour. Although the fabrics and clothes may sound splendorous, they weren’t even a bit seductive. They were elusive, and simply, minimally, beautiful. Plus, I would love to see these pieces worn on a summer escape- they are loose (but not slouchy), chic (but not elegant). And these wonderful sandals/flats make us drool… this simply is the strongest collection to date.