walls come tumbling down at eckhaus latta for fall/winter 15
The brand pushes their unique vision further at NYFW.
If the CFDA awarded New York Fashion Week superlatives, Eckhaus Latta would have "Most Poetic" on lock. The bi-coastal brand often uses imagist verses in their show notes and press releases in place of didactic statements on the season's influences. "How a TV show can ruin a city" and "Paranoia: the air mattress, walking in a puddle of deflated plastic" describes fall/winter 15, a show which featured collaborations from Dev Hynes and NIKEiD, as well as a super cool casting.
But poetry itself is the perfect starting point when it comes to understanding fall/winter 15. Eckhaus and Latta's seventh collection is coded with emotional resonances perhaps only the designers will ever fully grasp. But like their press release poems, autumn/winter 15's strange beauty can be sensed without a glossary or guide. Like a French film without the subtitles, Eckhaus Latta's collections don't need to be explained in order to be felt. "We never really work with any concrete influences," Zoe explained backstage. "Once things are coined, we usually run pretty far away from them. Our collections are more emotional responses than influenced by anything tactile."
Yet tactility is what the RISD textile design grads have shown they understand best. Fall/winter 15 saw an expansion of last season's focus on denim, shifting from spring/summer's cool shades of blue to stonewashed black hues. Flannel-backed satins and rayon shirting were the perfect spots of lightness balancing fall/winter 15's Danish upholstery felts and gorgeous baby alpaca knits. "In our sourcing and in our ways of finding sustainable, interesting materials, we've made some shifts this season," Zoe said. "We started doing knits in Peru, so we've begun utilizing more local resources like alpaca. We also worked with completely recycled polyester blankets."
Fall/winter 15 also marked the debut of Eckhaus and Latta's collaboration with NIKEiD, announced last week. The pair teamed with Nike's customization service, which allows consumers to personalize over 60 Nike styles with more than 200 options. Styles ranging from Air Force 1's and Air Max's to Lebrons and Roche Runs walked down the runway in a suite of custom Eckhaus colors. "Nike had approached us about collaborating and we thought it could make for some fun styling," Zoe said. "Sometimes, I think things might feel too other worldly. This collaboration was a nice way of grounding the looks a bit more in reality," Mike added.
As prior seasons have featured a purple-painted India Menuez and choreographed finale atop scraps of lettuce, we're never sure what to expect at Eckhaus and Latta's shows (except a diverse casting, which this season featured Michael Bailey Gates, Hari Nef, and Juliana Huxtable among others.) We were pleasantly surprised to find Blood Orange's Dev Hynes, teamed up with girlfriend Samantha Urbani, performing an original track produced specifically for the show as models kept tempo by taking turns smashing hammers through the venue's dry wall.
"I think we all really speak the same language in terms of not saying too much," Zoe said of working with Dev. "We sent each other some sounds we liked and he made this track for the show. The first moment we heard it, we were totally in love with it, it was perfect."
Text Emily Manning
Photography Mitchell Sams