Last season, designer Jonathan Simkhai noted that he thrives on juxtapositions and dichotomies. For pre-fall, he further explored the ideas of balancing natural elements with sophisticated, soft styles.
“I feel like having something earthy that grounds it and has a feel that’s natural. In L.A., we’re so surrounded by the outdoors and nature, but [here we are] taking it into the city and bringing the two worlds together. Taking something soft — the yarns — and hard — the stones — together. I love the juxtaposition,” he noted during a showroom walk-through, referring to new knit fashions with stones and beaded hardware crocheted into the garments.
The look: A mélange of soft feminine silhouettes with artisanal details.
Quote of note: “We shot this at Cal Poly’s theater department building,” he noted of the collection’s look book video. “I love mixing the idea of fashion with other forms of art together, through craft or different artistry — theater, art, music. For instance, we loved the idea of mixing flax and linen fabrics with lace insets and tailoring.
Key pieces: A variety of artisanal knits in a mix of muted, transitional neutrals with pops of coral, chartreuse, lavender, copper, honey and merlot — a multicolored, knubby cropped crochet polo; new space dye separates; relaxed, body-hugging knit dresses with stone-interlaced crochet straps and inserts. A sandwashed silk charmeuse off the shoulder dress with pintucks and ruching; plissé gowns (with touches of hardware) and dresses with abstract collage floral prints; a pleated lace trenchcoat (or lace-inset blazer and reworked shirt with slight utilitarian feel).
In footwear, his second collection in the category, Simkhai introduced the garments’ hardware embellishments into sandals, boots and mules.
Takeaway: Simkhai’s modern bohemian ideas continued to work well for the season.