New York Fashion Week is off to a promising start. Strong collections from up and coming talent focused on unabashedly wearable clothes that people outside the fashion bubble can actually wear. Call it a fashion reality check. Here, a sampling of my favorite wardrobe work horses that is anything but basic.
Deborah Sams and Mary Lou Ryan, the duo behind Bassike, already have nine stores and counting in their native Australia. With one store in Venice California and their presence on the New York Fashion Week docket, I imagine expansion in the US is already underway. Their collection of crisp cottons and linen, tailored for ease, are imbued with a west coast cool. If you’re mourning the loss of the Tomas Maier Collection, Bassike may be your salvation.
Sisi Li, the founder and designer of Nells Nelson, knows what she likes, ease, comfort and quality. The collection is produced in Italy using fine, lightweight fabrics made for layering. There is a practicality to the clothes but the generous silhouettes and inventive cut make them anything but basic.
California by way of England designer, Sue Stemp, espouses an idealized version of west coast chic with nostalgia for the 70s in her collection, St. Roche. Founded in 2014 with husband, Paud Roche, the collection is ethically produced with carefully sourced partners in India and Peru. The free spirited, earth friendly vibe imbues the clothes with an authentic boho feel that may not be for everyone, but who among us doesn’t crave a little of this in our off hours. The striped shirtdress is already on my wish list for Spring ’19.
Another Californian, now based in New York, Nellie Partow, has quietly been growing her Partow collection since 2008. She’s in it for the long game, developing artisanal techniques such as hand lacquered cashmere knits. Bold silhouettes executed with a sure hand, may be just the thing displaced Celine customers are looking for with the departure of Phoebe Philo. Note to the CFDA; Partow is overdue for a nomination for the emerging talent award.
Stay tuned for much more under the radar reporting from New York Fashion Week.