Foundational dressing was the theme at Chadwick Bell today, and the collection centered around clean, sculptural basics that could be styled in endless combinations. Inspired by Whitewash, Nicholas Alan Cope’s book of stark black-and-white photographs of modern Los Angeles architecture, Bell incorporated bold contrasts (primarily in black and white), away-from-the-body shapes, and touchable fabrics. “It’s just about pieces you can easily wear,” Bell said. “I like to design clothes you don’t have to fuss with. It’s throw-on-and-go.” A floor-sweeping, backless crepe and satin gown with a wraparound waist may not be completely fuss-free, but styled with flat sandals it was the picture of modern party dressing. That same gown was repeated later in the show under a white satin blouse, then again with a pink suede belt. Layering was key for every piece—models wore pleated dresses under V-neck sheaths, pencil skirts over cropped trousers, and cocoon sweaters over button-downs.
Those minimal looks progressed into “something a bit more native,” as Bell put it. Fringe trim and wide leather faja belts added a far-flung element. “There’s something really worldly about this woman. She isn’t just sitting all the time. She travels, she has collectibles…. I like the idea of keepsakes.” A cognac leather bolero, a dusty pink pleated dress, and an embroidered teal gilet fit in nicely with the more pared-back separates. You could picture that well-traveled woman tossing a few pieces in her bag and coming up with a week’s worth of chic, unfussy outfits.