OPENING CEREMONY AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
A confession: Your trusty correspondent here went into this evening’s Opening Ceremony presentation with daggers drawn. OC chieftains Carol Lim and Humberto Leon had elected to present their new collection alongside a pop-up show of heretofore un-exhibited photographs by their friend (and sometime collaborator) Spike Jonze, and it seemed likely that the atmospherics around the clothes would prove almost too seductive. A Gen Xish girl such as yours truly, with fond memories of skater zines and indie rock, would have to handicap for her own nostalgia in order to give the collection a proper read.
So I entered with daggers drawn, and then those daggers were promptly sheathed. I mean, sometimes you just have to give in to pleasure, don’t you? And both the photographs and the clothes were a blast to see. Plus, the juxtaposition of clothes and photos came off as both necessary and sincere: Jonze’s work was the premise of this collection, which not only featured collage prints of his shots and jacquards referencing his contact sheets, but also aptly conjured the look and temperament of the 1990s, the era of the photos’ creation. As much as anything else, the exhibition operated as an immersive mood board.
You could argue that some of the looks here, like a men’s tracksuit in a digital BMX action photo print, were a little on-the-nose. I thought they were great. You could argue that the boxy women’s outerwear would look a little blah out of the context of the presentation. I thought those coats and jackets had a terrific, very Daria Morgendorffer attitude. There was no arguing, meanwhile, with the cleverness of Lim and Leon’s decision to translate some of the prints into jacquards, which elevated the tone of their project. And it would be hard to dismiss the appeal of their asymmetric knits, or the dresses and tops with scrunched turtleneck collars, or the black tube skirt in a squishy rib. Top marks had to go to the selection of women’s trousers, however: The slouchy pants and cropped flares in particular had a ton of panache, with the former earning bonus points both for the just-so specificity of the cut and the light touch of the zip and pocket details. There were other appealing items, as well, many of them showier, but the trousers felt like must-haves. Call me an easy mark, if you like. But this season Opening Ceremony was taking dead aim at our pleasure receptors.