In working with the Rhode Island Historical Society, designer Gary Graham was entranced by a sense of gothic revival seen at a Victorian home in Warwick, R.I. Its original owner, Elizabeth Slater, came from a lineage of textile families, and served as this charming collection’s lead character.
Graham translated varying motifs from the home, literally, as in superimposed wallpaper and sofa prints, and in theory. He name-checked Helena Bonham Carter as co-conspirator in creating a character study of Slater — and more relevant for fashion’s sake, how she would dress in modern times.
Cue the period-influenced dressing that stands as a hallmark of Graham’s aesthetic. Though silhouettes skew historical in feeling, key to his modern vision is how pieces are layered together to create a visually perplexing wardrobe of dynamism and texture. Not only did an army gray wallpaper floral appear on layered dresses and jersey tops, but hinges found inside the home also found their way as literal and abstract embroidery details on tops and coats with rustic beading. Of the coats, many featured dyed, worn-in treatments and patchwork construction. The beaded metal, as well, was woven throughout, as detailing on easy evening dresses and completely over a bolero. Everything was meant to be woven and introduced to a wardrobe of layered eccentricity.
More present-facing pieces included Peruvian knits made into Egyptian tunics, engineered shirts with corseted waists, and an army group of gender-fluid silhouettes.