Greg Lauren had a statement to make with his first runway show of exclusively women’s looks. “I was so excited about this idea that women are the new men,” he said backstage. “We haven’t even scratched the surface of what women are doing — in terms of leadership, arts, business. I wanted to do a show about women where every character was saying, ‘Don’t tell me what I am because I am so many different things.'” The show began with a hauntingly beautiful performance by 10-year-old dancer Sarah “Lil’Mini” Phoenix.

 

Lauren’s opening look — a sleeveless, floor-length nylon parka with tiered layers that appeared almost reptilian in their construction, mimicking the shell of an armadillo — set the tone for his lineup: His girls were an Army of strong, artistic nomads. Deconstructed, distressed and layered suiting done in blue, olive-green and black micro pinstripes was a highlight throughout. Lauren also played with lightweight parachute nylon for the first time, using it on languid skirts and utilitarian jumpsuits that swayed like water as the models moved. Outerwear was strong, too, whether in oversize military styles or elongated robe coats that resembled smoking jackets. It was as if the models had scoured their boyfriends’ — or fathers’ — closets.

 

But the 54 looks could’ve used some editing, particularly when Lauren attempted a more overtly sexy direction. A Seventies-style silk halter dress with a high slit would have been a chicer evening option if the midriff hadn’t been entirely cut out, and one hopes that his trousers — fashioned with gaping holes in the outer-thigh region — won’t catch on as a trend anytime soon.

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