REBECCA MINKOFF AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR NEW YORK
Rebecca Minkoff read Patti Smith’s Just Kids and, like many of us, was so taken by it that she was moved to creative impulse; that impulse became her Fall collection. It was a homage in part to the young Smith’s days living broke but blessed with Robert Mapplethorpe, and also an ode to the post-hippie milieu that surrounded them. Here were all the shorthand symbols for bohemia: the shearling, the leather pants, the fringed vest, the boho blouse, the artfully tousled tresses. Even Minkoff’s purses came slung from embroidered guitar straps. The effect soon teetered on the costumey. More successful propositions were those with a foot in the 21st century, like a printed bomber or the head-to-toe sweater dressing, but the collection could have done with a few more of those looks. And frankly, sitting up at the heavily corporatized Lincoln Center tents, attending a highly produced fashion show, and being confronted with a sweet little tee that read “Hotel Chelsea” had more than a touch of dark irony to it. Like the big, shiny, freshly minted feather pendants—presumably a nod to the many amulets of Smith and Mapplethorpe, but without the backstory.
Is this splitting hairs? Overidealizing? Perhaps. After all, Minkoff’s customer isn’t looking for esoterica; she’s looking for a cute dress at a good price, and on those terms Minkoff delivers: She’s built a growing business that’s a testament to it. But where she delivered most here was when she broke free of her chosen theme a bit.