Chris Kraus once told me that writing about fashion is, at best, like poetry. That’s because fashion works, at best, like poetry—it is immediately evocative and ineffably impressive (of truth and beauty) and it achieves this through form. Designers Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta are poets. They understand that garments are like words and that their arrangement matters, that there’s a grammar to the body.
This A/W 2014 season was Eckhaus Latta’s most articulate yet. Their autodidactic craftsmanship has improved; garments fold and fall like you know they want them to. And their taste for idiosyncratic materials is ever-more indulged with increased means—goat mohair upholstery velvet, military surplus blankets, faux-suede, flannel, shearling, and rabbit fur are just some of the found fabrics.
Every element in an Eckhaus Latta collection is measured in relation to the rest in the context of a whole: textures to colors to cuts to bodies to one anothers. Their vision is, like Hood By Air, tribal. But whereas HBA taps into subcultural bonds, Eckhaus Latta make clothes that express the belonging between friends and family. The world they are fashioning is something of a sci-fi fantasy, not utopic but post-dystopic; it’s about beauty and generosity in the face of anxiety, precarity, it all.
Eckhaus Latta weren’t sure if they should write a poem as their press release again this season. A question of market legibility was asked. But they opted for poetry once more, because, really, how else could words could represent what they do? Here's an except: