NEW YORK, United States — How does a brand with “zero heritage” interpret a decade like the 1950s? That’s the challenge Monse designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia set for themselves when developing Autumn/Winter 2018, a sharp-edged lineup of Frankenstein trench-coat-blazer hybrids, bi-colour “half-and-half” furs and plenty of novelty motifs, from trousers stamped with “Monse International” to a silk dress printed with pages from a Mid-Century clothing pattern book. A leather shopping bag was designed in the likeness of an old-timey flour sack, easily scrunched up and tucked under the arm. (It’ll do gangbusters on Instagram, which isn’t a terrible thing when launching a new product category).
Monse may not have years of history to rely upon, but in the few short years since its inception, Kim and Garcia, who also serve as co-creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, have managed to take one idea — deconstructed menswear — and keep it moving. The clothes have bite.
This season, instead of staging a runway show, Garcia and Kim made their way down to Coney Island with the forever-gorgeous Erin Wasson and director Fabien Constant, who created a jazzy little film. Friend of the house Nicki Minaj recorded a voiceover, writing her own dialogue for the narrative. The line that stuck — “I’ve extended my winning streak” — was fitting. Monse is still rolling.