Much fuss has been made over the NYFW “exodus” of the last decade. With big-name brands absconding to Paris and the like, fresh-faced designers finally have the venues to show their work—and the eyes to watch it.
While some insiders lament the lack of luxe presentation and storied houses of old, a growing majority of in-the-know fashionistas are championing the new legion of fledgling and smaller-scale designers.
To be fair, after 7 years, Eckhaus Latta is hardly fledgling; and with a successful denim line and what seems like an endless stream of support and buzz, RISD grads Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have done something truly special with the space they’ve made for themselves.
Having also solidified their success in menswear, it’s clear that there is no time limit on the influence and maturation of the brand. It doesn’t hurt that their clothes—which cater to a much more diverse population of customers than most brands—are beautifully conceived, created, and presented.
This year, the design duo brought their urban-meets-earthy attitude to a spacious warehouse in Bushwick, accompanied by the musical stylings of a band of youngsters banging on drums and cymbals with the rumbling energy of the subway. By showing arguably understated clothes at an arguably oversized venue, it only made the brand’s adaptability to a broad range of city spaces all the more evident.
ECKHAUS LATTA SS 2019: STYLE EVEN A NEW YORKER WOULD GAWK AT
Despite being labelled early on (usually with deride) as an “art school” outfit, Eckhaus Latta’s collections have actually proven to be remarkably cohesive and expertly fabricated. This year was no exception; in fact, it was a level-up of sorts. Characteristically inventive and immaculate knitwear made an appearance in spades, as did dyed skirts and all manner of pants, with patterned and embellished sheer tops to suit.
And a wonderful vignette of flattering yet flowy off-the-shoulder check pieces prove the designers are equally interested in the insanely wearable as the inventively odd. There were indeed moments of genuine experimentation, like a blue cut-out top and skirt combo adorned with jagged “porcupine” tassels made of what looks to be either paper or plastic.
Much like past shows, makeup and hair were kept natural and easy, with a few intentionally strange quirks here and there, like Voss-era stray extensions and blunt bowl cuts. Low, chunky heels with toes closed and open worked perfectly with an array of superbly chic long slitted skirts (with and without fringe). And in that way, the Eckhaus Latta brand seems to be declaring itself as its own sort of integrated weird. With the amount of success they’ve had, it wouldn’t be accurate to label them as fashion anarchists or punks; revolutionaries maybe, but ones who know how to sell their emotional clothing.
The denim and menswear were no less exciting than the rest, despite a lack of jaw-dropping appeal. Still, expectedly well-tailored tie-dye pants and jackets to fit a variety of shapes and sizes are something that many of us would love to cop if given the opportunity. And there’s more than a few silhouettes to choose from, which flirt with the oversized, but don’t dive in deep like Balenciaga and cohort.
Toward the end of the show, daintily crafted yarn tanks and dresses looked as though they may unravel within the hour, though they suited perfectly the long high-waisted trousers that gave way to a series of jackets and skirts of a similar ilk.
The show reached its climax with models clad either in the brand’s essential knit dresses or in bold mosaic tops. After which, the final two looks—a sheer criss-cross top with white fringe skirt and sheer dress with monochromatic diamond pattern—ended the event.
And then there’s that brown cow print. Honestly, we’re not mad at it.
As they’ve extended the sales of their hit “pre” collections and are selling more clothes than ever, we can only expect more from Eckhaus Latta, not least in the way of winning over some of the most diverse populations of New York clients of any local design group.
Watch the entire Eckhaus Latta SS 2019 show below:
**All photos courtesy of Vogue Runway