Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim used their first pre-fall collection to “reiterate what we think our brand DNA is: stripes, the unfurling of clothes, scarves, easy-to-wear and more color.” This was the right approach. For all the positive momentum Monse has worked up in a very short time, it is a very young brand — and establishing a consistent message is crucial. The striped and polka dot blouses, scarf dressing and twisted takes on men’s tailoring sensualized with undone, off-shoulder cuts that Monse rode in on were well-represented in new, tweaked editions. Some highlights were a red-and-white striped georgette blouse with exaggerated sleeves and a twisted wrap construction, and a stretchy striped knit turtleneck worn with dotted pajama pants.
Garcia and Kim took some risks, too. They introduced their first pair of jeans — the “dad jean” — slightly deconstructed with a high waist, cuffed carrot leg and back pockets gently branded with an M. It looked very cool with the red-and-white striped top. They continued to lay out their concept for modern evening with a rumpled red satin suit made with a touch of metal for structure and shine, and draped tops and pants in bold color combinations, such as pink and bottle green and pink and red. “We don’t necessarily gravitate toward gowns,” Garcia said.
It’s a busy, exciting time for the designers. Monse doubled its distribution for spring after taking the collection to Paris to sell there for the first time. “Europe was filled with boutiques all over the world that were just dying to get here, but can’t because it’s not in their budget to come to New York,” Garcia said. The duo is also readying for their new residence at Oscar de la Renta, where they’ll show their first collection for fall.