In this day and age of re-trended nostalgia and almost definitive must wear lists we forget that at it’s core… fashion can, and has gone beyond the visceral. Preston Douglas by way of highsnobery and Vogue has become a blip on the radar of high fashion industry. His ability to turn textiles into an autobiography have given him some much deserved notoriety. The show was held at Saint John’s School, a location familiar many thanks to the critically acclaimed movie “Rushmore” which was filmed there. The court yard Saturday night was filled with edgy looks worn by anti-establishment creatives and designers alike. Gone were the normal Bloggers talking trends and the shady eyes of envy… This was a meeting of the masses a feat very Preston Douglas. The displays in the hall just outside the main area filled with fashionables and family alike displayed the art work from past collection “falling” and “in the face of fear” as well as perfectly displayed in glass sketches and swatches to go along with their designs.
It added to the sentiment that fashion for this designer is purely honest. After a little delay the doors finally opened and the highly anticipating crowd ascended to a dark ominous room. Feeling as if one was entering an initiation ritual in a harry potter film, tables lined the center of the long hall below grand chandeliers as student guardians stood stoically beside them. We all found seats and waited for the show to begin…With an un mic’d shout to the room the music was queued, and the show began. Beautiful models well poised gave us 28 looks of Khakis, Rushmore inspired berets, striped shirts with half shirts constructed on their back, elongated armed button ups, as well as tunics. His signature t-shirt and hoodie of course from his collections also making an expected appearance however a cropped version this time was a well needed updated to this staple. There was also polo shirts under harnesses, oversized everything from sweaters to dresses.
The overall collection was what I’ve come to expect from Preston Douglas, a series of dichotomies. Cohesive/kaotic, comical yet commercial comme de garcon/Jcrew. I however was left wanting a dose more couture and less shock for the sake of shock. A bit more real world functionality infused with ingenuity for form meeting function… and a departure from the typical play of naughty schoolboy/girl. Overall the show was very well executed, the models well selected, the venue and displays/art fantastic, but I will look more forward to the show from this designer that comes from the perspective of the future or an evolution in ready to wear. I feel as if there are some prolific designs waiting to be freed from the confines of a theme, something purely from his archive of creativity not just capsuled experiences executed verbatim. The Saint Johns collection is totally worth a look. The pieces are those that, when styled in exemplary form, will create a stellar style for the wearer. Just don’t expect to use your hands much.
Author: Omar Lisandro
Photographer: Jesse Greene