While Gary Graham’s romantic collections can occasionally seem frozen in the historic past, this season felt firmly rooted in the here and now. Instead of hitting the library stacks for inspiration, as he often does, the designer turned his attention toward the skies. “It was important for us to get out of the studio,” Graham said while pointing to his Spring ’15 lookbook images, which were shot outside of a gritty strip mall in Westchester. Referencing Chinese dragon kites, Graham created his own version of the traditional toy, and snapped it soaring over a beach in the Rockaways. Those photographs brought about the lineup’s inky block print, which he featured on graphic blouses and wrap dresses.

Graham continued to evoke kite construction by attaching square draped panels of fabric to gauzy maxi numbers that fluttered in the breeze. These softer looks were toughened up with the addition of tweedy schoolboy blazers or cocoon-shaped leather biker jackets that underscored the collection’s punky edge. “I was going for Anne of Green Gables meets Joy Division,” Graham explained. Furthering the rebellious streak here were rusted safety pin accents, clever riffs on band T-shirts, and a cool slouchy pair of black trousers that Graham referred to as his “Bukowski” pants.

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