Art is a passion for Reed Krakoff — he’s a fan, he’s an impressive collector. Perhaps he qualifies as an artist, too, after his spring presentation. Opting out of the runway, he showed his collection as a gallery installation, implementing his vision in a raw space on West 36th Street with the help of Frederic Dechnik, the brand’s vice president of merchandising and marketing. White walls were painted with big cobalt blue squares, a chair installation displayed the season’s handbags, and, most impressively, a series of screens showed Steven Sebring’s impossibly sleek and gorgeous 360-degree photos of the clothes, which could also be viewed on several groups of models lined up in neat rows. It felt like a proper exhibition.
Conceptually, Krakoff sought to integrate his constant inspirations — architecture, design and digital technology — into the show, as opposed to silo-ing them off into other areas of his business. Krakoff mentioned that many of the ideas on view, the 360-degree photography in particular, will feature in his stores. The collection was reflective of its surroundings — or was it vice versa? — as sporty silhouettes in a color scheme of cobalt, tan and black rusty orange, conveyed an industrial-artisanal tension. The shapes could be filed under luxe athletic minimalism (add enough leather to anything and it becomes luxury), with color-blocked sleeveless zip-ups and angular wrap skirts. On the high-tech side were precise honeycomb jacquards and perforated leather, and, to contrast, shirts done in thick woven patterns with raw trims and macramé tank dresses. Some of the structured silhouettes weighed down the techniques, which felt fresher when done light. A white cotton poplin sundress with a color-blocked square detail was the masterpiece of this collection.