Nearly 10 minutes into a pre-show interview with Christopher Peters and Shane Gabier, while attempting to grasp how the psychedelic qualities of Dutch Master paintings and contemporary psychedelia related to repurposed vintage leather trench coats, came something I understood with relative ease: As of the spring collection, Creatures of the Wind is repositioning to a contemporary price point. After selling out of T-shirts and sweatshirts priced around $150 for a collaboration with System Magazine, Gabier and Peters saw the light. “We don’t necessarily come from a luxury space,” said Gabier. “That’s not the world we understand. [Repositioning] got us thinking about what we know and the people around us and how they dress. It just seems like an obvious way we should be thinking.” The fabrics are still Italian. The clothes are still produced in the Garment Center and somehow working with less has freed the designers up to be more hands-on, which takes it back to the vintage leather coats — one of the collection’s big fashion messages.
Rather than make new leather trenches, Gabier and Peters sourced vintage coats and spent their summer stripping them, bleaching them, painting them and refitting them. They were cut with a Seventies femme fatale vibe and were artisanally color-blocked, some painted white on top and black on the bottom or in combinations of brown and red. A slick black and brown trench was embroidered with crystal daisies, and worn with painted black and white knee-high boots. “It was really exciting to do something with our own hands in the studio again,” said Peters.
On the runway, evidence of re-pricing was minimal. Perhaps the clothes were a bit simplified — less embellishment, less layering — but everything bore the quirky, personalized charisma for which the label is known.
As for the ties between psychedelic skies in Dutch Master paintings and contemporary clothes for spring, the connection was more in the designers’ heads than in your face. A fluid ivory crepe shift was gently paneled with silvery floral lace and tied with a string belt with a green ceramic flower charm. Gabier and Peters printed crinkly Tyvek dresses with psychedelic landscapes and layered a pretty black silk georgette paisley dress over vintage leather trousers painted black and white. There were bags done in collaboration with Cuyana and sunglasses with State Optical.