Despite rumbling rumors that fashion shows as we currently know them may become endangered species (as well as recent grumblings from critics who, sick of over-the-top performances, believe this might actually be a good thing), a few New York designers — Eckhaus Latta, Pyer Moss and Hood By Air — are using live shows to remind the audience exactly what the point of being an audience is: to disappear into another world.
I dove right into the Eckhaus universe with my camera around my neck on Monday night. It was like falling into the looking glass of its two designers’ brains — the combined insides of which created an eerie and experimental vibe. Once you stand right-side-up, however, what you see is a deconstruction of everyday clothing put back together in way that makes total sense — it just comes from a different point of view.
At least different from the one you may be used to.
The seats were set up in alternating directions, so we had no choice but to stare awkwardly at the person directly across from us. It was refreshing to be forced to acknowledge the otherwise unspoken see-and-be-seen nature of shows. (It also made it much easier to personally reflect on the clothes.)
When the “real people” moonlighting as models started walking, everything fell into place. We were in a cave that sprung to life, a recluse from the snow that had turned to rain. If only temporarily, we were caught in a land of misbelieve, part of the nerdy-cool club kids scene that Eckhaus Latta knows so well — the one they simultaneously design for and demystify for us, the audience.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.