“I just came off a very colorful, trippy sort of moment and this collection is really a precursor and palate cleanser for fall, which I think will be one of my more intimate, personal experiences that I’ve ever done,” designer Brandon Maxwell explained during a showroom appointment in his new Flatiron District office. Maxwell noted the space had previously held the offices of Issey Miyake, and would soon include a little sitting room with silk carpet and changing room for his clientele.
“I think I’ve done a lot of the fun and glamour, but I think what I’ve always loved since I started was someone who loves tailoring, clothes on women, hand-draping…that sort of feel. All of my early collections were very muted…it’s been an interesting time to come back to yourself. My life is much more quiet now, it’s by choice,” he added.
For pre-fall, Maxwell injected this quiet feel into a subdued, tightly edited assortment of realistic, yet sensual and glamorous, quintessential American sportswear. A great tailored jacket and cream suit, a vegan leather pant, little cashmere sets, a stellar new curve jean, a crisp, pleated and belted olive tent dress.
“I didn’t want those collections bookended together to be so abrasively different…” he noted of spring, and his upcoming collection for February, “Putting pen to paper, draping and doing things with my hands is how I work through a lot of things in my life, so I think this collection is a reflection of that. It had been about the prints and simple silhouettes, but I hadn’t gone and done what I had in the beginning, which was a little bit more difficult construction, and really running your hands over the body, thinking about every inner fiber of the garment and touching every fabric.”
Tailoring continued to be a hallmark, prevalent in day- and eveningwear. For instance, crisp cotton poplin came in the form of pleated shirtdresses, or a tiered, full-length skirt with a draped and tucked cropped shirt. Sleek, monochromatic column evening gowns boasted soft draping and twisted accents, while a silver sequined number was seamed from the inside to hold its top drape and delicate blouson at the back.
“This is American evening,” he said of the looks.
“I got into this because I love making clothes on women and being with women.…That, of all the things I feel that I’ve lost — or everybody’s lost — in the last few years, that’s not something I’ve lost,” he noted, adding, “I think that what I am is a person who cares about quality: quality friendships, quality people, quality looks and quality of life. I think that this collection is about addressing that, and I think February is about how I arrived at that point in my life.”