It looked like a gang of high schoolers hanging out in their parents’ basement. At the Eckhaus Latta S/S 2013 Presentation at Milk Studios this Friday, models laid on air mattresses while drinking canned “Eckhaus Latta” drinks and fiddled with their phones taking selfies and tweeting. The props were all common objects: cinder blocks, rugs, a treadmill, even the materials Zoe Latta and Mike Eckhaus used for the garments were reminiscent of hardware store or hospital gear and yet nothing about the collection or the set was at all obvious. It reminded me very much of being a kid and discovering all this adult stuff. Things that are familiar but you’re not really sure what their purpose is so you just kind of work them into your own fantasy. It’s all about exploring your surroundings and playing. It seemed decidedly unhip (there were crocs involved after all) but was very relatable to the young twenty somethings like myself who thrift at Beacon’s Closet and church sales and try to piece together a “look” for ourselves from other peoples refuse. For me that’s the fun part about fashion. And those outfits tend to allow people to be their most idiosyncratic, honest, casually gender-bending, and free. I imagine all Eckhaus Latta clothes being worn by a weird NYC tatterdemalion tribe of youths.
In their S/S 2013 collection Mike and Zoe once again created challenging shapes and textures and seemed to strive for dysfunctionality not functionality (see the cutouts in the underarms of jackets). And in many ways I feel like they are more pleased with confusing audiences and fashion folks. They enjoy having an odd back and forth with the people viewing their work, they’re looking for interaction. Mike and Zoe also have a quirky affection towards and sense of humor about the fashion industry, as in their ode to Michael Kors in their MK bondage top. Which could or could not have gotten them in trouble. But they are fearless and young and I’m convinced are made from the tears of hippies or healing crystals or some preteen’s braces, you know magical stuff.
What beautiful people (this photo from FashionIndie/all others by me)
You can still pick up Eckhaus Latta at Opening Ceremony or Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Or if you’re looking for some beautiful bedding/curtains check out Prince Ruth (a textile design company curated by Zoe Latta) at Urban Outfitters.