Contemporary Elegance. Vaquera SS21

Although digital-live Paris Fashion Week has officially started today, there are still some great collections coming from New York. One of them is Vaquera, a line-up that ironically muses on different kinds of elegance, created by Patric DiCaprio, Claire Sullivan and Bryn Taubensee. Over the summer, one of the most “outsider” brands out there got suddenly certified by the upper echelon of fashion – but not the most common one, though. After hosting their autumn-winyter show back in February, Dover Street Market added Vaquera to the roster of brands it supports through its Paris showroom slash incubator. DSM will help with production and handle all sales and distribution, “the backend stuff that takes us away from being creative,” as DiCaprio put it. The point of the arrangement is that with DSM handling the commercial side of the business, the Vaquera trio can focus on creativity. But the partnership has already impacted how they’re channeling that creativity. “Knowing they’re going to be there on that side helping us with sales was really inspiring, for me at least,” DiCaprio continued. “We were like, ‘Let’s make this skirt perfect and the fit really nice and make these fabrics really good so they look good in their showroom.’” Their new collection is a sort of codifying of the Vaquera ethos and aesthetic. Wearability has been emphasized without forsaking too much of their hold on weird. So side by side there are washed denim jeans cut to fit both guys and girls and a Little Bo Peep cosplay outfit in white canvas and croc-stamped vinyl. Mixing with twisted bankers stripe shirts and oversized suiting is a tutu explosion in an amorphous body-obscuring shape of the kind you might see on a Comme des Garçons runway. “We were inspired by what we want to wear, what our friends are wearing, who we’re with,” Sullivan elaborated. “That’s so much of what Vaquera is: context, reference, culture. What do you wear, what do I wear, how do we make it Vaquera?” In certain neighborhoods of New York this summer it wasn’t unusual to see women wearing their bed clothes on the street, one of the many impacts of months in lockdown. In the look-book, that translates from innerwear to evening-outerwear. What makes it Vaquera is that all genders sample the retro bra tops and the satin and lace teddies affixed to T-shirts. New, never-average, edgy elegance for whoever feels it.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Garment Care Season. Vaquera Pre-Fall 2019

Vaquera’s Patric DiCaprio, Claire Sullivan, and Bryn Taubensee are New York’s young avant-grade of fashion. But even the biggest enfants terrible need to grow up someday: here’s the first pre-collection coming from them. For Pre-Fall 2019, Vaquera’s designers remade some of their brightest ideas into a capsule of clothes and accessories at prices their younger fans can truly appreciate. They designed fewer than a dozen silhouettes, some of them recognizable from past shows, and limited themselves to just three materials: a cotton poplin, a dark-rinse denim and a sweatshirt fabric (look at the distorted, white track suit – it’s genius!). Smart move. Vaquera called this their “Garment Care season”: they introduced dry cleaning slips and printed the back of hoodies with a Vaquera dry cleaners logo. The collection’s sock bag with its coin-purse clasp is a nod in the direction of Martin Margiela, who did same with a leather glove two decades ago. Fun tailoring and even crazier shirting might be a harder sell, but then, Vaquera doesn’t want to lose its arty edginess it became renowned for in the city.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Tiffany (Not) T. Vaquera AW17

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Patric DiCaprio, David Moses, Bryn Taubensee and Claire Sully are the New York-based designers behind Vaquera – an arty, DIY label from the downtown. Brands like Vaquera are the reason why New York Fashion Week is worth it – even though most brands do t-shirts with their logos, some of those hardly commercial labels become food for brain. In case of autumn-winter 2017, Vaquera was about dreams and aspirations of America. Chronic yearning for a Tiffany & Co piece among girls was reflected in a “dress” – which, in fact, was an over-sized version of a Tiffany blue pouch with Vaquera & Co written over it (of course in a matching font!). The flag of USA was recut and reshaped to perfectly fit a gown with a few metres long train. Although some of the show’s elements felt quite unclear, like the restaurant’s chef hat (“Why does everybody want to be a chef?” as the show note stated), Vaquera is a brand which subverts reality. Confusion is welcome.

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