Count on Chris Leba to always deliver high-energy, modern eclecticism with an American spirit. The designer often pinpoints aspects of Americana to celebrate season to season — notably with a repertoire of grunge and roughed-up prep — delivering covetable updates to your favorite classics. He’s able to blend ideas in such a dynamic yet cohesive way that it has become a personal highlight each fashion week.
His spring collection was a youthful interpretation of the themes of surf, sex and rock ‘n’ roll. The inspiration behind the collection was personal: “I grew up in Montauk around all the surf shops,” Leba said after the show. “I was feeling really inspired to put in all the beach stuff I grew up with.”
He delivered with a confident attitude. Long silky floral tops were tucked into tattered shorts; Hawaiian prints were cut into cropped tops and boxy blazers; there was no shortage of leopard-print, distressed denim and fringe, often all layered together. He went more literal with a Baja jacket he says “took hours and hours of beading.” Kaia Gerber wore it in one of the strongest looks: a boxy tie-dye blazer over matching T-shirt and distressed boyfriend denim shorts.
Leba managed to amp up the sex appeal and cool factor by allowing silhouettes to hang loose, playing up contrasts of small against oversized and clean versus destroyed. For instance, a cropped denim jacket was styled with the standout piece of the collection, baggy boardshorts with what appeared to be built-in bikini straps. Lest we forget the brand’s denim foundation, Leba offered a slew of playful styles, including denim boardshorts paired with a cropped floral top and a pair of black flares cut open in the back.