Coach’s AW20 show married New York's past to its future
Stuart Vevers' display of classic downtown dressing was made complete by Debbie Harry's performance.
Photography Mitchell Sams
Stuart Vevers wanted to capture the essence of New York with the AW20 Coach show — the set looked like a classic loft apartment, replete with upcycled shearling benches, and the models were decked out in the outsize, vintage vibe that’s come to typify downtown dressing. This being Vevers, however, he couldn’t resist bringing in the big guns. This season, the designer collaborated with the Basquiat estate—the artists’ designs emblazoned across the collection—and his niece Jessica Kelly walked the show. Even bigger news, however, was the appearance of none other than Debbie Harry to sing the Blondie hit “Dreaming,” her throaty voice serenading the models for their finale. It’s this mash-up of the surprising and the iconic that’s come to typify Vevers’ work for the house, as he reimagines what Americana means in the 21st century.
The clothes themselves were a continuation of last season’s city vibe — gone are the pastoral smocks. Outerwear was oversize and boxy, as camel overcoats or blue and green leather jackets. Vevers explored geometric prints in acids and pastel tones, with lace over acid pink, and stripes that looked straight out of an 80s workwear catalogue. This was anchored by the more neutral shearlings the house is so known for, along with knitted beanies over messy hair, which gave the models a suitably windswept look, and, despite the array of colours, added to the masculine effect of the whole collection. It was as if the young people photographed in Amy Arbus’ iconic book of 80s New York street fashion (including a young Madonna) had stepped onto the runway. Vevers continues to create a vision of the city we wish still existed today.