creatures of the wind took over a masonic lodge for autumn/winter 16
Beautiful clothes inspired by graphic designers and Ray and Charles Eames walked across a crimson carpet backdropped by gilt paneling.
Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans
When it's 24 degrees outside with a bone-chilling wind, arriving in a show space with deep-red velvet carpeting and trays of steaming tea (goji berry, from Dimes downtown), is the dream. It set the tone for a collection about comfort and peaceful solitude.
The venue for the Creatures of the Wind show was, incidentally, a masonic lodge — the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, on 24th Street — a perfect choice for two designers who have always stood out for their individualism and fascination with the obscure. And while the setting didn't relate directly to the ideas behind Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters' clothes, it imbued them with a sense of richness and mystery.
The inspiration this season was not medieval craft guilds but mid-century modernism. The show notes credited the Eameses, Carl Aubock, and Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka for infusing pieces with a soft but graphic modernity. On the graphic side was a rippling silk dress that popped with thick black stripes, and a pitch-black calf-length leather coat. But even the stripes had a soft-focus fuzz to them, and the coat was finished with a fuzzy Mongolian wool collar.
"Ikko Tanaka did all of these beautiful, almost airbrushed lines," explained Shane. "It's about that suggestion of something graphic but with a softer edge." Tanaka's work also inspired the dégradé heels on the collection's shoes: glossy pointed loafers and pumps topped with shiny metal rings. The geometric shapes of silver charms and jewelry too echoed Tanaka's distinctive combinations of curves and angles.
As for the Eameses, "we are just very familiar with all of their work," said Shane, "It was just noticing it infiltrate our psyche and process over time." An elongated windowpane check on a long-sleeved shift dress brought to mind the furniture designers' iconic modular shelving units, and came in a similar combination of red and yellow. But references aside, "I just wanted it to be beautiful," said Chris. As always, it was, in a way that defies any attempt to over-literalise.
A very perfect red leather strap dress was memorable for its subtle stitching and cut — boxy, with a straight line across the chest. And the combination throughout the collection of delicate open black lace and sheer floral-printed silk with graphic silver earrings and chokers was just right. The chokers were a collaboration with Pamela Love. The earrings were vintage Taxco pieces from the 60s, 70s, and 80s — which Shane and Chris had spent months sourcing from thrift stores and flea markets.
The designers' vintage finds weren't the only personal touch. In a printed lookbook of sorts, placed on attendees seats, the designers' friends and studio members were shown wearing pieces from the new collection on the streets of New York. Captured in soft black-and-white by photographer Ethan James Green, a chubby, cloud-like Mongolian wool jacket, modelled by film director Zia Anger, was exactly what you wanted to wear back out into the cold.
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans