Seeking out talent of the alternative sort generally requires a trek — in this case to the Dome at PS1 in Long Island City. The crowd who made it to the Eckhaus Latta show on a snowy/rainy Monday night hailed mainly from the Brooklyn art/club/music scene, not surprising since designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta champion the kind of non-commercial duds these kids crave. The duo is known for staging a happening more than a show; this one fell in the latter realm — albeit featuring real-life models of all ages marching at break-neck pace beneath questionable lighting to ambient electronic music.
The lineup was heavy on knits, all hand-loomed in-house in Los Angeles. Some were oversize, as in a yellow cartoon-proportioned cropped sweater worn with a velvet skirt, while others were done as cool patchwork on a men’s turtleneck or cut-and-seamed as tube skirts and tops. Outerwear included “slump” coats attached capelike on the backs of both women’s and men’s garments — although gender-neutral seemed to be more the concept.
The designers upcycle, using dead stock, with fall’s materials ranging from denim (in high-waist, flared styles) to crushed velvet (as an asymmetric miniskirt with a long side panel and loose-fitting men’s pants). Shirts and tunic dresses featured the duo’s signature hanging flaps and cutouts. One-of-a-kind fur pieces — the Flokati cocoon-shape coat and blonde shearling short jacket — were raw and unfinished in nature.
After the show, Latta said she and Eckhaus were “looking to refine the things they have been doing the last eight seasons by developing better fabrics and shapes…by making it a bit more elevated.” It will be interesting to see the result if production quality rises to meet the creativity these two already display.