“The truth is, there’s not a single inspiration. I feel like it’s always putting together a puzzle with all these different facets you want to bring together to paint a picture. When you look at the collections, I’m trying to solve that with the color palettes — how to make it work in June and continuously evolve and morph itself into colder weather,” R13’s Chris Leba said during a preview of his latest collection.
Last season, Leba expressed that the key to his design ethos is consistency; his grungy flannels, reworked denim, shirting and tailoring, and standout outerwear and platform footwear have become pillars to the brand’s success. For pre-fall, the idea continued, but with a more refined attitude rooted in a play on proportions (think big pants, slimmer tops), unique constructions, innovative treatments and a cascading palette from ecru and white into tans and grays throughout the season.
Back to those wardrobe staples: Leba’s knack for “flipping things on its head” really shone in the details for pre-fall. For instance, look three, where he slimmed up the season’s tops while exposing a bit of skin beneath a raw-edged blazer with built-in, button-back vest-meets-dickie and paired it with a pair of novelty two-ply, low-slung relaxed chinos. Said jacket silhouette was cut with exposed raw seaming on the front, instead of the side, to create a flattering, flat-sided silhouette. Ditto the collection’s fitted knits, bleached-down and overdyed flannels, and slouchy pants, which nailed the balance of refinement and angst with their paint-splatters and digital prints (including his tweed-like wool numbers and leather-like lightweight canvas pants).
Additionally, elements of play came in the form of “twinset” layered fine gauge merino wool sweaters, dresses made out of two button down shirts, and denim that boasted his signature “F–k You” slogan on the selvedge beneath taped hem-inspired details. The season’s jeans also boasted embroideries and hook and eyes in place of rivets for a cleaner look.
“To me, the great thing about this collection is you can throw it on. It’s easy but not plain,” Leba said of an oversized black logo bomber. Not plain indeed.