Bldwn, in its fifth season under the direction of Johnathan Crocker, headed to Marfa, Tex., to explore the city’s duality and the work of artist Donald Judd, the late artist who made the tiny town his home in the Seventies.
Since joining the brand, Crocker has made supporting American design the brand’s mission, from collection inspiration to interior design to even the fashion show location, which for spring was the contemporary lighting design store Allied Maker, which was transformed to resemble Bldwn’s new Melrose Place store in Los Angeles.
“We love this idea of the American West, something that traditionally feels rugged and a little bit more tough and then taking it, softening it with fabric choices and color choices,” said women’s design director Shayla Guy.
Guy applied men’s wear touches to feminine fabrics to balance toughness and softness. Western shirts were elevated with yokes reshaped to resemble a tuxedo bib, and vintage wide-legged cuts on white wide wale corduroys and high-rise faded jeans referenced ranchers. Guy intentionally added pops of color on dark denim jeans with light gold stitching and a slouchy shirt with a bright red collar, and further explored Marfa’s classic Western and artistic flair with a stretchy knit ponte suit in navy with a khaki waistband and pocket, mock leather chaps on suede pants, and lyocell split-collar shirts with a deep neckline, which Guy described as “our version of the white shirt without it feeling overdone.”
Men’s design director Joe Sadler focused on the three men who represent Marfa: the vaquero (cowboy), the machinist and the minimalist. The results were sleek details that were better appreciated with a closer look, like pleating on the front of a Bedford cord jacket; a Calvary twill coat treated with a water-repellent finish; hoodies with a modern, silver-button closure below the chin, and cotton voile shirts with tailored stitches, minimal placket and reduced collar with hidden snaps.
The jeans, Bldwn’s bread-and-butter since the early days of the brand when it was designed by Matt and Emily Baldwin (who made brief appearances at the presentation), had updated fits with relaxed waists and tapered knees and ankles in Japanese denim sourced from Kurabo. Shirting and slub terry fabrics were also sourced in Japan.
“The majority of silhouettes are carried over from what we’ve built for the last four seasons,” said Crocker. “Some go back even further, but for where we are right now, we really want to focus on those and build that business and build that relationship with our customer.”
Crocker said that the Bldwn customer has been responding well to the new look, and the new store located near Bottega Veneta and The Row in L.A. has received a great response as well from their “discerning” clientele.