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twin peaks siren julee cruise sang at the creatures of the wind show

The iconic singer provided a live, Lynchian soundtrack for the brand's beautifully twisted spring/summer 17 collection, shown in New York's Masonic Grand Lodge.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
|
09 September 2016, 4:31pm

photography mitchell sams

"She is the coolest person in the world," said Christopher Peters backstage after he and partner Shane Gabier presented their spring/summer 17 collection yesterday. He was referring to Julee Cruise, the magical singer behind some of Twin Peaks' most memorably haunting musical numbers, who was standing nearby and talking to a cluster of models and fans.

Minutes before, Cruise, wearing a silver lamé puff-sleeve dress and boots from the collection, had ended her live performance during the Creatures of the Wind spring show by blowing the designers a kiss. "I'm still so emotional," said Peters. "I cried during the dress rehearsal. Some people have this quality about them where they're like a doorway to another world. She's like a portal that does not shut."

Thinking about the emotional, transportative power of music was, in fact, how the designers began putting their spring collection together. Other heroines who left their mark included PJ Harvey and Lydia Lunch. Lunch's "fucked-up slip dresses," in Peters' words, inspired floral silk gowns with off-kilter slashes of lace at the neck.

Related: Creatures of the Wind is the Comme des Garçons of the prairie

But nothing is ever that literal when it comes to Creatures of the Wind, and it was more the artists' attitudes that animated the clothes. The designers admired Lunch's unwillingness to compromise, in her music and with her powerfully DGAF self-identity. Every piece — from long collarless trenches with billowing paneled skirts to waisted suit jackets with sequined shoulders — looked soft at first, a little subversive on second glance.

"The dresses that had the slightly weird reinterpretation of a 30s silhouette, there was a twistedness to what they represent," explained Peters. "They're still kind of elegant but the more you look at them, the more odd they become. It was important to us for it to be beautiful but also slightly off."

The fusion of that lovely strangeness with David Lynch's world came later, when the designers successfully signed on Julee Cruise ("She lives in New York, so we thought, 'Let's just ask her!'"). But the affinity was there from the beginning, Peters said: "When you're making a collection that's all about atmosphere and complexity, those are things David Lynch likes to touch upon in a lot of his work. I think it just sort of happened like that." And the designers did choose to show the collection, for a second season, in a Masonic Grand Lodge. Not the Black Lodge maybe, but if a dancing man in a little red suit had stepped onto the white dancefloor they'd installed in the space, he wouldn't have looked totally out of place.

Catch up on the rest of our NYFW coverage here

Credits


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Mitchell Sams