A new congregation spot for affluent nu graves was announced yesterday: Central Park in the winter. That was Heather Lawson’s inspiration for yesterday’s showcase of her fall/winter 2011 collection. Although it looked more like a fantastical dream run by the now-adult children from the Village of the Damned, the vibe was unsettled forest in Grønland, not Central Park.
Snow was projected on plasma screens in yesterday’s studio presentation, while sounds of doors creaking and feet shuffling accompanied models, walking through an arch of bare birch. Their hair: seriously covet-worthy all-white wigs, and bleached brows in total contrast to her stygian garments. This was not the Central Park where Alvy wooed Annie, this was the dark chasms of the park where even the most punky dare not go. But I’d venture anyway.
When pushed further for a more specific inspiration Lawton curtly commented, “Street kids and Amish people, I guess.”
This tenebrous delirium was perfectly embodied in the few statement pieces standing out against a profusion of black basics; sheer button-downs, satin hooded dresses, floor-length jersey and leather pants. A knotted Mongolian lamb’s wool scarf was so dense it was worn as a shirt, layers upon layers of the dreaded hairs made almost pronounced shoulders. It was no longer just a scarf, perhaps it never was. Shaggy goat hair in the pitchiest of black largely overwhelmed the model, it’s hood devouring. While a cap-sleeved structured top was consumed entirely in matte and silky knots of rope.
You could complain that nothing entirely new was said through Lawton’s first season, in fact maybe nothing was said at all. When asked what her inspiration was behind this collection she had an eerily similar reference to fellow New Yorker Sid Neigum (who showed earlier in the day and had a similar but more refined collection, using architecture so cleverly he sent out the same piece three different times without anyone noticing). Both referenced the New York City street wardrobe; too loose an idea to inspire the all-black-everything designs. When pushed further for a more specific inspiration Lawton curtly commented, “Street kids and Amish people, I guess.” A stronger collection would have ensued with a more unwavering and certain vision, pushing the manipulation of wool and paneled leather to create a Lawton look, I guess.
Nicki Bahrampour appears as a special to FILLER’s fashion week coverage.