Overview: A key reference for the fresh S/S 2018 collection from Richard James is the Whitney Museum of American Art’s seminal ‘Young America’ exhibition of 1957. It was there that a young painter by the name of Ellsworth Kelly caused quite the sensation. His three paintings Atlantic, Bar, and Painting in Three Panels, shocked museum visitors with their straight lines and separations. The works went on to shape much of Kelly’s vision and his reputation as a master colourist. Toby Lamb, design and brand director has translated Kelly’s passion for shape and colour into a range of softly tailored separates.
Best in show: A double-breasted silhouette prevailed with a much fuller, high waisted trouser. A new raglan shoulder added to blouson jackets and zip-front bombers created a relaxed, easy feel. Standout was a coffee coloured evening suit in nubby slub silk. This is sure to do well come awards season when the brand opens their first standalone store in New York later this year.
Soundbite: ‘There’s a 1950s aesthetic to the collection,’ explains Lamb. ‘The dusty pink, pistachio and coffee colours, the graphic hand-embroidery, the 1952 Field Jacket in a soft goat’s suede. We liked the idea of thinking about protagonists, like Kelly, and wondering what they might have been up to in their downtime hanging out in Long Island.’