Designers typically use music as an inspiration. This season, Andre Walker’s assortment riffed on a single tune: Althea & Donna’s 1977 reggae basic, “Uptown Prime Rating.” At an appointment this afternoon, Walker stated he’d all the time wished to do a “thesis” on that monitor—a extremely, actually terrific one, when you’ve by no means heard it—and defined that he’d dug into its lyrics to additional his brainstorming. “Dem test sey we hip”—Walker’s test got here in linen, and seemed loads hip in clothes equivalent to his short-sleeved tailor-made jacket, with its folded-under “blurred” hem. “See me in a halter again . . . offer you a coronary heart assault”—Walker’s funnel-neck halter-tops had been sui generis, specifically coming in a cotton print of head sculptures by his pal and frequent collaborator Sylvie Auvray. He did his personal variations of the music’s khaki swimsuit, too, albeit in dove grey.
Walker’s (admittedly informal) analysis prolonged past the lyrics of “Uptown High Rating.” He additionally requested his dad and mom what had been happening in Kingston, Jamaica, across the time the observe was recorded. They instructed him that denizens of the “uptown” space of the town had marked off their territory as a fancy one, and brought to natty dressing to swimsuit the perspective. One of many charms of Walker’s assortment was that it acquired at that nattiness—word his pencil skirts, cape-shouldered jacket tops, and exact tailor-made attire, with their cutout sides—whereas concurrently summoning the chillaxed vibe of the music that had impressed him. Mesh-like pointelle knits and a beneficiant serving to of fishnet offered the gathering with some breeziness, each actually and figuratively, whereas skirts minimize to recommend the look of shorts or slouchy trousers launched one other sort of informal mien. A lot of Walker’s focus right here was on fuzzing the onerous edges of his silhouettes, as witnessed in that “blurred” hem jacket, as an example, but additionally in standout clothes like his layered grey eyelet and white fishnet pencil skirt, and a cropped jacket with delicate vertical pleats within the entrance. Maybe that intuition to melt was one other tribute to Althea & Donna—in spite of everything, probably the most well-known lyrics of their one large hit go, “Love is all I deliver.” And this assortment definitely felt open-hearted.