robert geller riffed on the fantasy novel ‘momo’ for fall/winter 16

The time-stealing Men in Grey have never felt more relevant.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
03 February 2016, 3:20pm

According to his show notes, Robert Geller was thinking about the German fantasy novel Momo while designing the subtly inventive bomber jackets and quilted coats of his latest collection.

In case you haven't read it: Written in the early 70s by Michael Ende (author of The Neverending Story), Momo tells the story of the invasion of the Men in Grey, a sinister band of sharp-suited parasites who steal time from humanity like bankers hoarding money (they actually smoke hours away it in the form of cigars). Only Momo, a mysterious child savant with extraordinary listening powers and boundless innocence can free the world from soulless efficiency, with the help of a mythical tortoise.

The book is a modern children's classic, and Geller's collection played deftly with Ende's themes. On a literal level, there were plenty of men in grey clothing. The show began with a procession of desaturated looks — a textured black blazer over a dove-grey turtleneck, a charcoal hooded parka thrown over the shoulders of an inky leather biker jacket. But around about the time a velvet washed-satin jumpsuit emerged — in the prettiest shade of, well, griege — notes of color began to appear. The menacing studded leather briefcases the models carried (a collaboration with Japanese brand Adachishiki) were phased out, and things became a little more optimistic.

The final quarter of the show was a life-affirming explosion of color (like Dorothy stepping into Oz). Layered compositions of boxy wine-colored jackets, shimmery printed T-shirts, and purple knit sweatpants were a welcome contrast to Geller's early display of refined austerity. The shownotes also suggested that the collection's intricate detailing — like the embroidered animal print on the collar of a loose, faintly 80s navy shirt — should be understood as a comment on the vital connection between fashion and the many hours designers need to create it. A very timely sentiment.


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Images courtesy Robert Geller

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