It turns out Coco Chanel was not the first to borrow from men’s wardrobes. Andrew Gn unearthed a photograph of Olga and Tatiana, daughters of Russia’s last tsar Nicholas II, wearing regiment uniforms back in 1912.
That precocious take on the masculine-feminine look informed his fall collection, which walked a line between crisp military tailoring and opulent embellishment.
Khaki jackets and coats retained a luxurious feel, thanks to fur collars and black braid or passementerie trimming. Those graphic accents also appeared on more feminine items, like a flared scarlet midi dress that had a stripped-down folkloric feel.
Gn delved into couture techniques from the early 20th century — “couching, cording, tacking, braiding, lacing,” he reeled off backstage — for the more ornate pieces, which included a fur-collared mantle in baby camel embroidered with glistening black fern and leaf motifs.
The designer also brought his couturelike craftsmanship to more contemporary outfits, such as embroidered below-the-knee skirts paired with lavishly decorated sweatshirts. Picking up one of the featherlight tops, which featured sheer organza panels stitched with lace, the designer pointed out a plethora of hand-sewn details.
“I’ve not done a sweatshirt for such a long time, and I’ve always liked the idea. I think it’s quite modern in the way that you do something so labor-intensive, and yet, it’s not difficult to wear. You just pull over, zip it up, and you’re done,” he said.