Laurence & Chico Spring 2018

New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) (there are two each year not the one the name implies) was created in 1944 by Eleanor Lambert—the first American fashion publicist, and an iconic figure in American fashion— to showcase American fashion designers because the American press could not get to Europe to see the couture shows due to World War II; thus, the original name of fashion week, Press Week.

While that does remain a function of Fashion Week, the seven-day event has grown into something so much bigger. In its current incarnation, NYFWS, simply presenting collections in the traditional way isn’t enough; it must come with great spectacle to grab attention from editors, bloggers, social media influencers and other industry professionals. The big danger in spectacle presentation is the clothes getting lost in the shuffle.

Laurence & Chico, met while students Parsons School of Design. They both later worked at several luxury houses, launching their own line in 2016. The results of their spring 2018 collection were mind blowing, walking a fine line between eye popping and eye gouging.

The show was a presentation rather than a traditional runway with models perched in a pre-ordained tableau. The venue was heady with an earthy green smell that came from the live moss that covered the stage, interspersed with sparkling brightly colored gravel with eerie atmospheric music by Zeng Bohao reminiscent of recently revived Twin Peaks.

                                                 Images courtesy of Fashion Reverie

Laurence & Chico’s spring 2018 collection immediately caused the eye to peruse the wild styling. Models wore hat/wigs 2 ft. high, weighing excess of maybe 20 pounds. Some of the wigs were accessorized with gigantic candy wrapper bows. The makeup considered of feathers glued to lips, pearls glued to eyebrows and yarn around the eyes that rendered up images of textured tears. There were also metallic ruched elbow gloves.

It’s easy to see how a collection might get lost in all that theater; however, the garments stood out enough because of their own brilliance. There were unique silhouettes of oversized bomber jackets made entirely of metallic ruffles worn over dresses interwoven with pearls, floral embroidery, and feathers. Jackets and skirts made of metallic candy wrap interwoven with pearl embellishments. Another great look was a full-length vest made of red and dark denim tweed with front ties, over a pair of navy skinny jeans that would look great on Miley Cyrus. Once you look past the eye-popping styling, the outfits were avant- garde and playful, bursting with color and personality. Even the blazer and skinny pants with their traditional silhouettes were created with fun cartoon prints.

Some of the clothes did look like they might be difficult or uncomfortable to wear, but worth the discomfort. Keep your eye on Laurence & Chico; Fashion Reverie suspects they may become the next big fashion superstars!

—Cameron Rose Gray

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