A quiet conversation taking place in New York this season is the uphill battle of being an independent designer in the city. Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta probably know this better than anyone: more than a decade after they started, they are still fine-tuning certain aspects of their business. In recent seasons, they have started to present their pre-collections with their main collections: “There is no reason for a company of our scale to have four collections or eight shows, or for us to be compared to a company who has it,” Latta said. And since this season, they have changed their internal schedule to be able to go to the market before organizing their fashion show. “Knowing we were going to do this [switch], we thought the point of the show should be the opportunity to do something different or do a refresh,” Latta said a day before the show at their Bushwick studio. “We have been doing this for 13 years now: what does an Eckhaus Latta show mean to us? Eckhaus added. “Quiet luxury is a much-used term, and it’s so not what we are – but I like this idea of bringing things back to an idea of minimalism, which for us was just, “How can we create concise clothing and work?” »
For fall, that meant a runway show in an empty industrial office in Tribeca and a sparse musical performance by Loren Kramer, which began with a Lana Del Rey cover: “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me, but I have it.” The first look was a cropped laminated felt jacket with an oversized faux fur collar and cuffs, worn with a pencil skirt with spiral seams and cutouts revealing a bit of the leg. The felt material laminated felt like both leather and corrugated cardboard, something you immediately have to touch to understand exactly what it is. A shaggy coat in that same shade of cardboard beige was paired with a ribbed tank top in semi-sheer cotton and loose, straight-leg jeans in an earthy acid wash. (The jeans have a full zipper around the crotch and are called “GoodTime jeans.”)
One thing that Eckhaus Latta has never lacked is sex appeal. The clothes may have been more restrained, but there was an unmistakable seduction implicit in the way certain knits hugged the body or certain fabrics swirled as they passed. A pair of soft pleated corduroys have been washed until they get the softest hand; their drape had all the sensuality of a tight velvet evening dress. Paired with an easy ribbed knit tank top and a faux fur scarf thrown around your neck, the look was just too fabulous while remaining completely grounded. A group of quilted pieces was a highlight; in particular a two-in-one surplus-inspired jacket with a removable vest in bright oxblood red and slightly curved pants in the same color, worn with a multi-colored patchwork sweater. Another pair in charcoal gray had zippers that allowed the pants to be transformed into a skirt, and was worn with an easy, super lightweight knit cardigan with a contrast collar unbuttoned to the navel. It was all very sexy without much effort.
Elsewhere, a cropped denim jacket was cut off at the ribcage, just above the last button, leaving the top section to fit semi-loosely around the body and the lower section snug against the torso. The final three looks featured black organza embroidered with elastic and printed with vintage photos found on eBay, layered over simple white dresses. By now, the singer had left Lana Del Rey for a cover of “New York, New York.” The choice of songs felt like a separate message. While so many people like to declare that New York fashion is over, Eckhaus Latta believes in the city and the community that has nurtured them over the years.