Every season, it seems, I sit here watching the Creatures of the Wind show with fascination and, every season, I get to the end somewhat mystified as to exactly what I’ve just seen. The designer’s notes tell me the collection is inspired by travel, but I cannot help but wonder exactly what was the destination of this mystical magical carpet ride? There were patterns, then solids, then stripes, then patterns with stripes followed by stripes with solids and … my head hurts just a little bit.
Creatures of the Wind is always a very popular show, despite its almost cult-like fan base and off-site location at the Pace Gallery on 25th street. The design duo seems to go out of their way to make sure they stay out of the mainstream, careful to avoid becoming too popular lest they loose their status as the cool alternative kids on the block. Yet, what we see with this collection is not so much innovation in design as much as daring in style. Pairings in terms of fabric, patterns, colors, and other elements is very different, breaks some rules, yet comes off very witty and workable.
What everyone was watching this season was the introduction of the brand’s first shoe line. There was audible disappointment in voices saying the shoes looked too plastic and woven. Yet, when paired with the ensembles as they were presented, they do work well. Whether the shoes will hold their value against an inherently high price tag is a different matter, but one that inevitably balances itself out in the long term.
The palette starts with a china blue pattern over a yellow goldenrod that gets one’s attention, but not to the degree of causing blindness. Blue and grey slowly give over to red and black, constantly shifting between patterns and stripes and solids, with various, and sometimes precarious, combinations of the three. Then, just as one thinks they have a feel for the whole thing, we get plaid. Not just any plaid, but plaid flannel as a finale gown! There were gasps, shudders, and I’m pretty sure at least a couple of heads spun completely around.
You’re going to like this Creatures of the Wind collection; I can just feel it. The combinations really are quite smart in delightfully unconventional ways. They are different without feeling the need to gouge out my eyes. But how do I explain this collection in three or four words? I truly don’t have a clue. I’m not sure it can be done.