Tag Archives: Mike Eckhaus

NYFW SS 2015: Eckhaus Latta


In the three years Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have been showing under the combined might of Eckhaus Latta they’ve developed a signature look rooted in offbeat textiles, a highly sophisticated use of color, and heavily deconstructed forms. Their post-Margiela/Kawakubo play on clothes has often made for some enticing if not erotic ideas on dress that seem pretty on point for these modern times. But deconstructing garments as a means to design is tricky and suffers as many perils as it does innovations. In the past the fruits of their experiments have not always bore and could be distracting on occasion. So it was exciting to see Eckhaus Latta switch gears and construct garments rather than “take them apart.”



The show opened with a series of terribly captivating pieces made in a stiff light blue denim, each as sensational as the one before. There was a wide-leg pant with flared fins that collapsed down the side seams into architectural flounces. Though rigid they looked amazing in movement. There was a fantastic coat, vaguely reminiscent in cut of Issey Miyake and in make of old Castelbajac (when they called him the “New Hermes”). It was quite covetable. There was possibly the best piece in the collection; an apron dress constructed as a series of denim flaps that hung like curtains around the body. The curtains collapse and enclose you swaying gently to your step. It was sublime, I think I clutched my chest and deeply exhaled as it walked by. In fact, I held back gasps of marvel as that story played out and the collection turned its eye towards crisp white shirting expressed as a collarless white tunic, a rather perfect skirt with beautiful button closures at the waist, and a less identifiable caftan/jalabiyah with an interesting vent detail across the width of the garment below the abdomen. In succession they were quite powerful and heralded a breakthrough for the designers who have never realized such well-articulated and polished form.

You would almost think with all of Eckhaus Latta’s experiments in taking things a part that they have also learned through that process a great deal on how to put them together. They’ve come to it on their own terms with their own prerogatives and interests. Just as they have deconstructed fashion their reconstruction is critical and astute. They experiment and they question and they have rethought materials and the sewing of garments in a compelling way. It is overt construction, used not to foster any familiar ideas of a garment but to push more challenging and abstract forms into our comfort zone. These are not designers who will slap a princess seam and a bow on a shift dress and send it down the runway.


The clothes did segue back to some of their more familiar rustic themes which was focused on knits but also featured denim, this time dyed and softened. It was more in line with the sympathetic side they are known for though the knits did not have quite the same deliberate hand as the wovens from before. Engineering knit is a whole other science but it could be interesting to see how their newfound ideas on overt construction might apply. I suppose there is plenty of time for that come fall.

You can’t help but feel upbeat and perky after seeing Eckhaus Latta’s clothes. With their daring and courage they exude an infectious optimism, a trait I hope they never lose. It’s pretty rare that new designers with such sure visions and bold talent come along but between Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, and Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver, it looks like New York’s downtown renaissance has some fashion megastars in the making.


Tomorrow at MAD


Beyond the Garment District


Beyond the Garment District: Perspectives on Craft and Technique in New York-Made Fashion

As the meanings of fashion and luxury shift and as mass consumption and production take a toll on the environment as well as human rights, the idea of craft in clothing has never been more pertinent. How a garment is made becomes as relevant as its design, both informing its meaning and its appeal.  Culled together from considered materials rather than punched out and assembled, it is the idea of clothing as object, fashion refashioned.

Garmento editor Jeremy Lewis discusses the ins and outs of crafting clothes in a contemporary context with some of New York’s most unique and innovative fashion designers, all of whom make some if not all their clothes in New York City. Considering the practical as well as conceptual implications of such clothes, the series hopes to highlight a new mood in fashion that deals in honesty, responsibility, and a newfound desire in clothes with a more personalized history and a crafted appeal.

Koos Van Den Akker     May 22, 7:00 pm

An American fashion legend, Dutch-born and French-trained Koos Van Den Akker has been designing couture-caliber clothes over the last 40 years. Emerging at a time when folk traditions and home crafts were a huge influence in fashion, he made a name for himself as the master of couture collage. A rich panoply of color and pattern painstakingly pieced together, his designs have provided inspiration for fashion tastemakers like Nicolas Ghesquière, though they are known more popularly as worn by actor and comedian Bill Cosby on the hit sitcom The Cosby Show. Representing one of the highest level of clothes-making possible in New York City, Koos Van Den Akker’s operation is a true couture atelier, endless in its technical feats and creativity.

Mary Ping     June 12, 7:00 pm

In 2003, after studying fine arts at Vassar, Mary Ping joined a slew of downtown designers who were actively challenging the status quo of contemporary fashion. She has since been designing Slow and Steady Wins the Race, an unconventional label comprised of a series of perennial capsule collections that focus on a single theme or concept. Engaging the anthropological as well as aesthetic facets of fashion, Ping reconstructs familiar tropes and memes ranging from the white T-shirt to the wedding dress, distilling from them their essential meanings and building on them with her own interpretations. Her qualitative and critical assessment of materials and garments as symbols has made her work a compelling and ongoing critique of how consumers perceive and engage fashion as object and as idea.

Mike Eckhaus & Zoe Latta     June 26, 7:00pm

Having founded Eckhaus Latta in 2011, the designing duo Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta have staked a space for themselves in New York’s buzzing downtown fashion scene. Their enigmatic, fragmented and disheveled aesthetic is perhaps easiest described as post-deconstructionist.  Repurposing the various components of a garment into their own refreshingly youthful and devastatingly domestic vision, Eckhaus Latta push the idea of the homemade, radically juxtaposed with contemporary materials and modern fabrications; a connecting thread throughout their conceptually leaning collections. Their clothes are often abstract groupings of textiles and fibers rather than fully realized garments, directly challenging the dichotomies of refinement and rawness, the machine-made and the hand-made, and the impersonal coldness of fashion and the warmth and personality of crafted clothes.

Andre Walker     July 10, 7:00 pm

A designer’s designer, self-taught Andre Walker has been one of the fashion industry’s secret weapons, having shown his eponymous collection on and off since he was a teenager in the mid-’80s. Championed by New York arbiters of the avant-garde Bill Cunningham, Kim Hastreiter, and Patricia Field, his ingenious ideas on construction and materials have proved prodigiously prescient, often finding their way into the collections of the most directional designers years later. Having worked as a consultant for Marc Jacobs, Kim Jones, and Louis Vuitton, he recently teamed with Comme Des Garçon’s Dover Street Market to design a women’s ready-to-wear collection. His ideas on dress and fashion are as powerful as ever, and his current outlook, impassioned by growing contemporary concerns, is just as sharp and enlightening.

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