For a designer best known for dazzling evening frocks, there was an awful lot of denim on Brandon Maxwell’s runway this evening—not to mention, a whole bunch of men. The introduction of menswear and the emphasis on daywear looks for the gals were two welcome surprises from Maxwell, who attributed the change-up to an upswing in mood: Last season, Maxwell noted, speaking backstage before the show, he’d been reckoning with some personal hardships; this time around, as he began to brainstorm his new collection, he found himself brimming over with gratitude for the “loving community” that had shored him up during a hard time, and in recompense, he found himself wanting to make garments they could relate to. This community included his fiancé, who had been requesting Brandon Maxwell menswear for a while, he said, and a troupe of girlfriends who wanted great-looking clothes for everyday life. ’Tis true that your average woman is more frequently in need of jeans than a broad-skirted ball gown.
For the ladies, Maxwell’s take on daywear amounted, in large part, to a country club-ish take on model-off-duty style, with blazers thrown over skinny and slouchy jeans, and blouson button-downs in formal fabrics such as gazar paired with short-skirts and miniskirts. For evening, Maxwell erred toward the bodycon, with lots of jersey dresses and slinky gowns with daring cutaways. Maxwell has some work to do with his jersey—he’s more experienced, and more deft, working with fabrics with a sense of structure that he can shape via his canny tailoring—and some of the more skin-baring looks didn’t quite come off, especially in comparison to the cool, confident sexiness of, say, a decidedly modest caftan-shaped shirtdress in lipstick red silk. Maxwell also has a learning curve ahead of him in the menswear department—the individual pieces were all very dapper, and his tailoring talents didn’t fail him, but the overall effect was a bit wishy-washy, with the most notable innovation seen in his choice of suiting palette—red, lilac, emerald. But as for the show as a whole, Maxwell got his point across: He wanted to celebrate the people he loves, who love him, in the language of fashion, and this collection was chock-full of celebratory joie de vivre. Whether they were dressed to go to a gala or a brunch date, Maxwell’s mannequins looked like they were heading out for some fun.
Photos are courtesy of Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com