Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim chose to present their fall Monse collection via a short film by Fabien Constant and a party Tuesday night at the Gramercy Park Hotel instead of on the runway. Who could blame them? They already had one runway show under their belt as of Monday for Oscar de la Renta, and a party theoretically seemed like less pressure. Except, apparently they thrive on deadline: They shot the film and look book on Erin Wasson in the torrential rain in Coney Island on Sunday. Constant used the strange nostalgia of the amusement park set to artfully convey the collection’s message.
Garcia and Kim wanted to tap into the Fifties, drawn to the suiting and colors of the era. “It’s funny how women have changed so much from the Fifties,” Kim said. “We wanted to take things from then but make them for today’s girls who are working and moving all the time.” They made the retro gal more comfortable, brought her up to speed in terms of borrowing from the boys to create strong female tension. Oversize men’s blazers and cardigans were worked into hybrid and trompe l’oeil constructions, for example, a plaid blazer melded with a classic trench and a cardigan fused with a blazer. They came mixed with jeans, Monse signature slashed knits and sexy draped tops.
A modern gal is equipped with a sense of humor and irony. A brown paper grocery bag is put to better use as her handbag, a new category for Kim and Garcia this season. They’re launching two silhouettes: a take on a classic men’s work bag in colorful stripes and antique brown leather; and riffs on the grocery bag and bag of flour.
Instead of using old-fashioned patterns to sew her own clothes, she used them as prints on a shirt and a men’s jacket with rolled up sleeves. At first glance they looked like newspaper print, which is back in circulation as a micro trend, but up close they’re actual clothing patterns written in German. “We got the rights and everything,” Kim said.