NEW YORK, United States — “We were thinking about things that we really love and care about,” Shane Gabier of Creatures of the Wind said after the label's Autumn show, standing in the red-carpeted banquet room of Manhattan’s Grand Masonic Lodge where the presentation was held. That meant what Gabier and his partner Christopher Peters are calling "soft modernism," a mid-century-tinted ode to designers Charles and Ray Eames, Carl Auböck and Ikko Tanaka.
The soundtrack to the show began with several layers of spoken word instead of music. It was as if the models, draped in billowing-sleeve and trapeze-silhouette coats, were walking into an after-work cocktail party in a fabulous house where everyone happened to know how to dress. Gabier admitted that the designers were indeed thinking about “being at home” when developing the collection. Peters said he liked “the idea of pleasant solitude.”
While the decorative elements that distinguish a Creatures of the Wind collection were present — including embellished lace sleeves on a simple tee, cuff openings that sliced all the way up the sleeve of a collared shirt, thick braided straps on a simple wool crepe shift — the gentle formality of the composition added something new to the label’s repertoire. A wool coat, seamed into an hourglass with embroidered sleeves, was particularly elegant. And the layering, such as a turtleneck under a button-up shirt, under a grey wrap dress, felt considered. Yes, there were a few clunkier moments. Getting fur right is an art and the duo showed that they have yet to master the category with their overly hefty rabbit coat and stole gilet. But the shoes — patent leather pumps with a dégradé heel and topstitched over-the-knee boots, inspired by Auböck’s leatherwork — were just right. Modernism aside, they made each look feel contemporary.