Did Brandon Maxwell go to an underground rave or start micro-dosing mushrooms?
“I did go to Big Sur,” he laughed backstage after his show Friday night, reflecting on these trippy times and how they injected hyper color, psychedelic patterns, metallic sheen — and fun! — into his American sportswear repertoire for spring 2022.
“But seriously, that’s how the world has felt to me….And I realized a year-and-a-half ago it could be the last time, and if I had another chance to show, I wanted it to be me, the me my friends know.”
Like many of us, he wanted to feel the joy.
So he went into a room with fabrics, started sketching and let loose creating. He commissioned Austin-based music world artist Mishka Westell to create a fab magic mushroom-with-legs graphic, used on concert-style posters and T-shirts. And per usual, he welcomed his show guests with a family-style cocktail hour, where Shake Shack burgers and fries were on the menu along with plastic party cups of rose, as is the Texan’s way.
“I started with these very American things like the nautical sweater and gingham and just twisted them.…I’ve done the black dress with a bustier, but I also love a sweater and blazer with a pair of shorts and swimsuit,” he said of the more relaxed mood that made its way into a chic, warped gingham-pattern pantsuit worn with a bikini top, rugby stripe tops, shorts and feather-trimmed miniskirts, and a glam sequin-dusted anorak. Nylon backpacks and a belt-bag-meets-blanket-carrier added to the music festival vibe.
He kept it simple for evening, too, showing black-and-white kaleidoscopic knit cropped tops, tube skirts and cutout gowns, metallic pleat skirts and angel-sleeved dresses, with some pieces worn with cotton sweaters draped on the shoulders.
“I was having a blast, the whole studio was filled with patchouli and palo santo,” said Maxwell, who may also be thinking more casual and commercial now that he’s been tapped as the creative director of Walmart fashion brands Scoop and Free Assembly.
The models were living their best lives, too, walking arm-in-arm, laughing and smiling during their final walk.
You could feel the love, and that was everything.