At this point, I think it is safe to say designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters know they have a hit label on their hands and have a decent enough feel for their customers to be comfortable about what they’re presenting. They’ve won all the right awards, presented consistent collections since 2010, handle both production and distribution domestically out of New York, and have a reasonable client base that purchases from them regularly.
Given that level of acceptance, it was rather disappointing to not see them take a few more risks with this season. What they delivered was solid fashion appropriate for the Midwest (both are graduates of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Fashion Design). That’s lovely and may well turn into a strong sales season, especially for their established base, but there was nothing in the collection that is so exciting I could come running to you with the declaration, “You really need to buy this!” I’m sorry, but you don’t. These are nice clothes, to be sure, and would make nice additions to your wardrobe if you have some extra spending cash, but there’s nothing here that is a required addition.
What we get are plenty of very nice, very respectable, very reliable wool knits, sometimes in layers, often in well-put-together ensembles, and in a subtle color palette that is appropriate for the season. There are some very nice large checks, some smaller diamond patterns, beautiful embroidery on a couple of coats, and a touch of sparkly shimmer courtesy Swarovski crystals. The pieces are quite nice, though the leather looks a little boxy.
The only two places where the duo really stretches just a tad are on the sleeves of some button-down shirts, and in the straps on a couple of dresses. For the sleeves, they elongate the slit that typically serves to accommodate the cuff. In this case, they take that slit above the elbow, leaving it open so that the layer beneath is visible. The aesthetic isn’t all that new, but the approach is unique. Most of the shoulders are rounded and padded, with a few spaghetti straps thrown in for good measure. Where they stand out is on the few pieces done with cut lace, giving the broad strap a more jagged shape but yet finished look. A minor detail, but it does stand out.
I will admit to being disappointed. I was more impressed with the dual braid hair style than the overall feel of the collection. I was also impressed by how diverse the casting was; they definitely set a good example there. For whatever reason, though, it seemed the that the boys were playing it safe this season, something I hope they’ll cast aside by the time we get to September.
photo credit: Monica Fuedi