The international Fall/Winter 2020-21 women’s ready-to-wear runway season opened Friday evening in the heart of the world’s financial establishment, Wall Street. But the debut show by Monse was an ode to the greatest rebellion of the 1970s – punk rock.
It was posh punk admittedly, delivered in a disused bank 50 meters away from where George Washington was sworn in as America’s first president in 1789. But it was also posh punk made in the preferred material of Johnny Rotten and Joe Strummer – tartan – cut askew with cunning swirls and angles and combinations.
The material could be seen in the meeting of a chopped-up classic khaki trench with décolleté shoulders, a slashed fire-engine-red blouse and a Clan Stewart tartan skirt. Or in a superb rocker’s cocktail made of vertical shards of contrasting plaids.
For evening, we got a hint of Siouxsie and the Banshees, though as if she had earned an Oscar nomination and showed up on the red carpet in a sliced silver sequined column, worn with military gear. Everything finished with oversized safety pins and Vietnam vet boots.
“We wanted that proper British punk look. That energy but with plenty of the deconstruction we love,” explained Monse founders Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim in the basement backstage.
The partly co-ed show also featured a great punk safari He Man look with a cheetah-print sweater and matching scarf worn with skinny Sid Vicious pants. The chasseur turned out to be James Turlington, nephew of Christy, who looked born for the catwalk – which of course he is.
Worn by a fresh New York casting, and perfectly styled with the right mix of pep and poise by Ada Kokosar, this was an excellent opening blast of fashion, the first of some 300 runway shows over the next four weeks.
It was a sassy Sex Pistol punch, retro but in rude health. And plenty different from the Monse duo’s uptown job designing Oscar de la Renta, which they will stage on Monday night in the New York Public Library.
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