For a second time during a major fashion week, Marcus Wainwright has eschewed a traditional runway format in favor of a photo project featuring friends of the brand. This round, the eclectic cast — including models Carolyn Murphy, Tali Lennox and Maye Musk (who’s also Elon’s mom) and street artist Daze, among others — were invited to don the new collection and take self-portraits in the way they felt most comfortable. And rather than spend money on a runway show that no longer felt relevant for the brand, charitable contributions were made to organizations of each cast member’s choice, ranging from the American Red Cross to the Lupus Foundation, for a total of more than 20 charities.

The resulting photo project not only placed a focus on individuality and personality, but also served — as it did last season — as a case study into real customer leanings. “It was a huge lesson in what people gravitate toward, how they express their own personal styles,” Wainwright said during a walk-through. “Not having a show allows you to cater to that.” Ms. Musk, for example, sports a tailored plaid coat Wainwright said probably wouldn’t have made it into a runway lineup.

The core of R&B hasn’t changed — the lineup featured plenty of British tailoring as well as military, American workwear and sportswear references. Knits were great and came in hot pink and twisted cricket sweaters; a large denim offering featured washed and unwashed styles with athletic stripes and cheeky color accents. “We spent a lot more time trying to perfect the simpler pieces” Wainwright said. The introduction of full suits certainly aided a seasonless approach to design, as did elevated joggers and sweatshirts, army jackets and updated shirting.

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