Laurence & Chico Spring 2018

New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) 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 week-long event has grown into something so much bigger. In its current incarnation, at NYFWS, simply presenting a collection 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 and walked 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 room was heady with an earthy green smell that came from the live moss that covered the stage, interspersed with sparkling brightly colored gravel while eerie atmospheric music by Zeng Bohao reminiscent of recently revived “Twin Peaks” played in the background.

One’s eye was immediately drawn to the wild styling. Models wore hat/wigs 2 ft. high and weighing excess of 20 pounds, which cause considerable discomfort. The heat from the wigs and lights nearly overwhelmed some models who were repeatedly brought water of our fear they’d pass out. Some of the wigs were accessorized with gigantic candy wrapper bows. The makeup was feathers glued to lips, pearls glued to eyebrows and some of the models were ‘weeping’ yarn; many of them worse metallic ruched elbow gloves.

It’s easy to see how the clothes can get lost in all that theater, but fortunately the clothes shone brightly enough to find their own spotlight because they were stunning. Unique silhouettes of oversized bomber jackets made entirely of metallic ruffles, worn over dresses of interwoven with pearls, flower embroidery and feathers. Jackets and skirts made of metallic candy wrap interwoven with pearl embellishments. A full-length vest made of red and dark denim tweed with front ties, over a pair of navy skinny jeans that Miley Cyrus was born to wear. Once you look past the eye popping styling the outfits were Avant guard 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 it for the look. Keep your eye on Laurence and Chico as Fashion Reverie suspects they may become the next big fashion superstars!

—Cameron Rose

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