Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen have become a bit like the Greta Garbos of the New York fashion world, preferring to stay in the background, refusing to give pre- or post-show interviews, or offer up much intel on collection inspirations, materials or much of anything else. But you know what, it works for them, and is on-brand for a pair of child stars-turned-fashion designers who now value anonymity as the ultimate luxury.
Over the last 13 years — yes, it’s really been that long — The Row has established itself as the gold standard in New York for timeless tailoring (the new Calvin, perhaps) and loose, luxe layers using the kind of materials (900 gram cashmere) that would stack up to any European luxury brand any day. And each season, the designers still manage to generate some measure of newness within their classic canon.
For fall, there was a new waist-defining silhouette along with their signature cloaking volumes. Consider the first look, a generously cut blazer over a diaphanous ivory funnel neck dress, worn with the most expensive looking black rubber boots this side of Glastonbury. Deceptively simple, it was superbly executed, with a cowl neck that read as delicate-but-protecting.
The collection returned to the same masculine blazer, a throwback to the Nineties in the best way, layered over crisp button-down shirts with extra-long shirttails, black pants and lug-sole boots that were The Row’s take on Doc Martens. As a counterpoint, more feminine silk-melange jackets and scuba-twill overcoats were elegantly draped and nipped in the middle, and fastened with a single button to the side, for a new waist-conscious silhouette that was one of the best things to come down the runway in New York this week.
For cozying up, a cream fleece superluxe snuggie over black pants was a compelling option, as was a black poncho-dress with side snaps over a white funnel-neck blouse and fluid black pants that looked like a new everyday uniform for the .001 percent.
Eveningwear had a powerful quietude: a sage-green strapless gown draped goddess-like; a plunge-front white sheath with delicate beading to catch the light just so, and a white sleeveless funnel-neck dress in a geometric lace, worn with what might best be described as no-shoe shoes. On the feet, they were transparent stocking slippers that virtually disappeared, something to which the designers can certainly relate.