I grew up in Pennsylvania, home of Woolrich, maker of chunky knit sweaters and other warm things. The brand was my small-town family’s go-to for warm flannel shirts and ski socks. Styles were of the perfect Christmas sweater festooned with snowflakes variety. So I was intrigued by an invitation from Woolrich John Rich & Bros. Black Label to a presentation at New York Fashion Week. I thought it might feature fancy ski clothes, or super high quality cashmere sweaters?
Upon entering the presentation at Eyebeam Studios, I coudn’t see a damn thing because it was extremely dark. When my eyes began to focus, I glass of champagne came into view, which I grabbed (despite arms overflowing with items that would have been in my handbag if I hadn’t been in the middle of my bagless blogger experiment). I then headed towards the spotlighted models wearing minimalist and somewhat androgynous pieces. I particularly liked the voluminous fur around a hooded jacket, and the wool blazer layered over a quilted vest. There seemed to be endless layering opportunities among the 35-piece collection with sweaters and jackets and silky, simple dresses. See the clothing in action in this Woolrich video.
The effort has sprung from Woolrich’s Italian arm, which has a decidedly more fashion forward aesthetic than the American counterpart (Douglas Kirkland photographed the Italian ad campaign). I love the idea of homespun Woolrich making a fashiony effort and can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Also at Eyebeam was a display of enormous paintings by Nicola Nannini called Four Women, which I fell in love with. They were larger-than-life street-style paintings of women wearing items in the Black Label collection. They reminded me of Mercedes Helnwein’s work, which I also fell deeply in love with at Art Basel in Miami in December. In all, a worthwhile trip to Chelsea from the tents at Lincoln Center.