CDLM Fall 2019 Ready-to-Wear
Chris Peters and Shane Gabier decided to show their label, Creatures of the Wind, and Peters’s other label, CDLM, together at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn tonight. In the run-up to the show, there was much conversation about how we would be able to distinguish the two. On reflection, in the post-show glow of two—one? Okay, what does it really matter?—nifty collections, we were clearly asking the wrong question. Right now, when fashion has become so branded, categorized, and readily and easily identified, a little obfuscation on origins is kind of welcome. Especially given that the raison d’être of both labels is to recycle and upcycle with existing vintage and deadstock fabrics, to go about proudly proclaiming ownership of what already exists and what has previously been seems so last century. Maybe forget the labels and just enjoy the clothes.
At which point, cultural analyst and provocateur Faith Popcorn enters the picture. She delivered a pithy and witty monologue in the lecture theater that acted as a soundtrack to Peters’s and Gabier’s show, variously riffing on the end of gender duality, ownership, corporate (ir)responsibility, and how values are the new value in our lives. Coming off of a NYFW that has been seeking its heart in (sometimes) the wrong places, this all made for an experience that was uplifting in its honesty, pragmatism, and, yes, hope. The clothes were key to this. I’m not going to bother figuring out (and nor should you) which label did what, but the loving and considered way that tie-dye tees were merged with an Edwardian lace nightdress or a ’30s slip, a men’s tux was collapsed into a coat, two ’40s fake furs collided into one another, or fringing swished from tees and recut jeans made for a desirable array of real fashion, in both senses of the phrase.
The standout look—a ’60s caban fused with a blanket scarf and worn with a white shirt and navy pants—was modeled by Vogue’s very own Tonne Goodman. Goodman has worked in the industry for quite some time, as evinced by her forthcoming book, Point of View: Four Decades of Defining Style, and her experiences have made her deeply committed to sustainability. Did she expect to be walking the runway one day in a chic array of repurposed clothes? Maybe not. But likely neither did Peters or Gabier. Once industry darlings, they’ve turned to questioning, just like Goodman, exactly how they—we—go forward from here. On the evidence of tonight, bringing some soulful and intelligent warmth to fashion is a pretty good place to start.