Young designer Graham Tyler wears many hats. In the literal sense, he brings to the table a background in millinery, but that is just the beginning. His avant-garde sensibility also stems from a meditation on his studies of sculpture and his visceral sense of memory.
“It’s about losing a home, and how to give yourself that home back in the things you wear,” he said. He was also thinking about his grandmother, who had recently passed away, and about the town in upstate New York where both his parents and grandparents had grown up. Another reference he mentioned was his early fascination with the Amish.
All that might sound super heady, but Tyler distilled it into a straightforward collection of classic shapes that he imbued with his sense of textiles and whimsy to make an interesting second collection.
Highlights include digitally printed knits, structured blazers and an Italian half-boiled wool oversize quilt jacket lined in hand-painted muslin. He integrated his hat-making training by shaping and steaming a grosgrain ribbon, normally used as a trim on hats, to make collars and treatments on a vintage-looking black dress. Tyler collaborated with shoe designer John Fluevog, hand painting Fluevog’s “Munsters” to pair with looks.
Each piece has some sort of novelty, be it poetry on buttons, or coordinates of the town he grew up in, with garments coming with an edition plaque, as if you had bought a limited-edition print from an artist.
Tyler sells his designer-priced pieces direct-to-consumer, producing small runs, but there were some promenade buyers at his presentation, adding to the feeling that although he is 24, he has an interesting point of view brewing and it will be interesting to see what he thinks of next.