19 February 2015

The Row Fall 2015. Or, why are fashion people obsessed with XXXL knits?

Unsolved mystery: just what is it about an oversized, chunky knit sweater that has fashion people obsessed? It is sixty-million degrees where I am right now – on a beach in Australia – yet the close up of those sweaters from The Row’s Fall 2015 presentation has me, like fashion people everywhere, wanting one on my body right now.

Let’s break this down:
Oversized, chunky, turtleneck (good)
Super soft cashmere (getting better)
Sleeves so long your hands both are invisible and obsolete (even better)
So long it’s almost – but not quite – a dress (bingo!).
People, we have ourselves one of the most instagrammed looks in the collection.

The magic powers of superfine purism that attract the fashion fanatic have always been the bread and butter of the Olsens at The Row – succinct but confident cuts, premium fabrication, refined palette – but for Fall ’15 there’s a shift towards an even paler shade of white. Cuts are refined to the point of austerity, the businesslike b+w is infused with flashes of oatmeal, butterscotch and seventies-era brown, fabrications are luxurious silk, coverted cashmere buttery leather. These are kinds of words that make for flutter-hearting fashion people.

The fugly summer slide reincarnates here as a simple Moroccan mule slipper (worn with sheer tights), spring’s 70s redux is done The Row way in early-autumn shades… tan and brown worn back with not-quite white… the leather, too, is distinctly 70s in chocolate, both crisp and warm at once with curved lapels and a belted robe cut. Felts are so boxy you could send packages in them; bags are oversized and hugged to the body; belts are double-wrapped obis. Of course there’s plenty of signature slouch by way of wide legs and cocoons, oh and geez – that blond-white silk maxi dress.

It’s no new news –off-the grid minimalism is hardly new, especially at the Row – but the mysteries of puritanism beguile here in a subtle shift of energy. The shift is in the detail, the suede slip-ons and robes that just could, feasibly, be worn at a day spa – the most luxuriant day spa imaginable which you probably can’t afford, naturally – and the quiet sensuality of slip-me-off silks.

Slanting light, modernist interiors, pant suits… It could be a more Manhattan mind state at work– there’s something suggestive the kind of NYC woman who shimmers out of cars hugging a leather bag and an iPhone 6+, bedroom and boardroom at once.

There’s a compelling contradiction at play: hot/cold, puritanical cuts and sensuality in the detail. It’s a compelling contradiction, seductively quiet rather than overt. IngĂ©nue she is not: a cool New Yorker, all polish, confidence and refinement – long live minimalism – yeah, she’s a purist, but with sensual details and depth. The effect is both gamine and gutsy: the soft power of the boss lady.

Check out the whole show at Style.com. Photos from same source.

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