Maiyet – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
For the women who have championed Maiyet on principle, today was a banner day. Declan Kearney, the label’s new creative director, has made it possible to endorse this ethical brand in practice, i.e., by wearing it. Until his appointment earlier this year, Kearney was the design director at Alexander Wang, and he brought that streetwise sensibility to bear on his debut Maiyet collection. The brand’s boho DNA remained firmly in place; Kearney just rewired it, applying artisanal touches like Indian thread embroidery and hand-knitting to crisp sportswear looks. Cases in point included a trim shibori-dyed tee with a reinterpreted Breton stripe, and the collection’s terrific peacoat, classic in color and shape, which was elaborated by subtle metallic embroidery around the pockets. These clothes came off as pleasingly familiar, but there was a sense of handmade-ness that allowed them to feel novel. Another way of breaking down Kearney’s modus operandi here would be to say that he revisited various nuts-and-bolts pieces from a stylish downtown girl’s wardrobe and added a liberal application of warmth. Some of that was due to the craft elements—not just traditional ethnic techniques, but couture ones, too, like faggoting and fil coupe—and some of that was due to the tactility of the collection as a whole. Even a suit of cotton-wool twill had an inviting nub to it, while the numerous items in soft suede, bouclé, or hammered satin offered even richer textures. All of which, taken together, plus the pretty floral prints and the artisanal details and so on, would have made for sensory overload were it not for Kearney’s talent for sharp, straightforward cuts and his penchant for a chillaxed attitude. The laid-back vibe was evident even in the lineup’s gowns, which ranged from slender, elongated tanks in hammered satin or floral fil coupe to diaphanous, sundress-style maxi dresses with (huzzah!) an internal bra top incorporated into the pattern. Women with more ample breasts will rejoice. So will all the women who have been aching to support the Maiyet mission and now have some genuinely cool clothes to choose from, not to mention seriously natty ranges of shoes and handbags. Do good, look good. Here’s to that.