All About Love. Vaquera AW22

Fashion fan fiction” is how Patric DiCaprio and Bryn Taubensee used to describe Vaquera: tribute clothes for a world obsessed with referential dress. Bringing their runway show to Paris and showing at Dover Street Market’s 35-37 space for autumn-winter 2022 is the ultimate fashion fan fiction come true. Now instead of idolizing runway legends from afar, these American designers have “started becoming the people who we idolized,” said Taubensee. Their craftsmanship has been on a steady uptick since linking with Dover Street Market Paris in early 2020, and this season they’ve made padded moto jacket puffers, tinsel-like sequin dresses, and airy angora knits that feel as high quality as they look. Bags have been developed for the second season and footwear is a collaboration with Vans alongside the same vintage shoes the brand has used for six years, repainted each season to coordinate with the collection. Love, in fact, was the driver for the Vaquera this season. Romance was never really a feeling one got at their all-bass, hurried catwalks back in New York, but a transatlantic journey, coupled with ideas of Maggie Cheung’s sensual performance in 1996’s Irma Vep, has made the Vaquera tone gentler. Now their big ruffles seem less campy, more tender. Their plaid skirts and schoolgirl jumpers feel like the clothes of teenage crushes, and their suiting is covered in professions of love. Even a hair clip reads YOU inside a jet black heart. The brand’s signature teddy, elongated into a dress, is now translucent and trimmed in white lace, an invitation to come closer, to see, and to be seen.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Rituals. Vaquera SS22

Vaquera is growing up, but it keeps on being true to its core identity of one of New York’s most daring and intriguing brands. Where the label had once used real trash bags and duct tape as textile stand-ins, it is now using specially developed fabrics. And spring-summer 2022 saw the first Vaquera handbags – shaped like classical instrument cases including shrunken carriers for a violin, snare drum and flute. “It’s changed everything, as we headed into the pandemic we probably wouldn’t have been able to keep this business open without them. We owe everything to them – it’s been an incredible partnership,” Bryn Taubensee said of Dover Street Market Paris’ September 2020 pledge to help the brand’s development. “I think this brand started with a DIY spirit and now we have this structure with Comme and have come so far with sales,” Patric DiCaprio added. The designers, which recently saw their third counterpart Claire Sullivan depart to work on personal projects, said their overall mood was swayed by notions of “luck and superstition and trying to take control of a situation that’s out of control – the rituals you can do to make yourself feel powerful”. Between the lace tights, leggings with a heart cutout perfectly aligned over the buttocks and ballooning gowns tiered in the formation of a New York City sidewalk trash heap, Vaquera delivers its underground quintessence in a less amateur manner.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.