On the first official day of the fall season, the collection Creatures of the Wind’s Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters presented was already a sight for sore eyes. Here’s hoping that in future shows, designers will dare to express such genuine eccentricity. Maybe Chicago, where Gabier and Peters are based, is the perfect distance from the hyper-insularity of New York to allow them to get lost in their imaginations. These are grown men who speak without irony on the subject of vengeful fairies, specifically “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies,” the 17th-century book by Robert Kirk that inspired their collection.
“It’s about magical transformation,” said Peters before the show, providing a fair description of the collection’s combination of offbeat whimsy and fine-tuned chic. What opened with a long, black dress of filmy pleats quickly turned into a world of colors with a retro tinge that echoed in the cut of the clothes. A fluffy mohair sweater in big pink-and-black stripes was worn over lace pants in iridescent purple against mustard brown. Thick leathers came in kitschy vintage-car-interior tones, such as a full skirt in eel green, and a structured, bubblegum-pink cape. More classic, but still quirky, was the tailoring: a gray peacoat with a rainbow tweed hem worn over a silk slip skirt, and blouses done with patchwork flowers, bedazzled decals at the shoulders and words embroidered down the front. It was the definition of eclectic — never repetitive yet, as a whole, everything made sense.