Fashion / Style

Angry Designers Lead a Punk Revival at Fashion Week — Mad For Plaid (and About the World)

Experimental Label From Oscar de la Renta Gurus Shows Plenty of Attitude

BY // 02.11.20

NEW YORK — One forgotten trend seems to be making a big comeback at New York Fashion Week. There’s a punk revival brewing.

As the chief designers at Oscar de la Renta, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are known for creating chic looks in the spirit of the label’s legendary founder. But they also find time to let their more creative side loose as designers of their more experimental fashion label Monse.

For fall ’20, they returned to the runway with a Monse collection that’s got attitude. The design duo channel a rebellious spirit with multiple tartan plaid dresses — long and short, with jagged hemlines or sewn right onto a deconstructed khaki trench. Other inspired standouts include a skirt fashioned from a moto leather jacket, a trench coat with plaid shoulders, and an “upside down” trouser in patchwork herringbone.

Sweaters also had a fractured slant, with Fair Isle turtlenecks turned inside out, cheetah print cardigans, and knits with a kidney bean-shaped cutout at the collar bone.

Fishnet hose, safety pins and combat boots enhance the punk point of view, along with makeup kept to a minimum except for a bright pink or electric orange streak across the model’s brow.

Several of the tartan looks recall the influence of legendary designer Vivienne Westwood, whose 1970s punk revolution changed fashion. Then, as now, there was a lot of anger brewing in the world, and fashion often reflects what’s going on in society.

The venue — a tony Wall Street space stripped down to the concrete walls with no heat — enhanced the experience. The fashion crowd kept their coats, hats and gloves on but still shivered while waiting for the show to start. Outside, protestors were banging on drums and blowing whistles to protest the new landlord’s drastic cuts in salary and medical benefits for employees.

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