The Row A/W 2020 New York Fashion Week Women’s
Mood board: The collection was an ode to Beverly Pepper, the American artist known for her sculptures in element materials such as wood, cast iron, bronze and stone. Pepper, in her late nineties, passed away the week before the show: today’s honouring of the artist wasn’t a reactionary dedication, but, like everything the Row does, had been meticulously planned for weeks, months.
Scene setting: The windows of The Row’s Greenwich Village space had been intentionally blocked in, with strip lights added to manufacture the feel of a white cube gallery space. Pepper’s giant wooden sculpture, Untitled #84, 1970, hung from the steel girders like a suspended punctuation mark; delicate spindly wooden totems from the Eighties decorated the polished concrete floor. Elvis’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’ played through once only and the rest of the show and finale unfolded in ceremonial silence. There was no designer bow from the Olsens.
Best in show: Civilised, calm, immaculate, effortless. Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen delivered a comprehensive collection, confidently edited to 33 looks (giant collections feel superfluous against the backdrop of current ecological anxiety). High-quality wool suiting with a luxurious low lustre sheen was the focal point: giant patch pockets on blazers, waistcoats and full pleat-front trousers were perfectly executed. Soothing on the senses, cappuccino, sand and ashy chocolate brown led the palette. Extremities were diligently considered: sleeves pushed up were paired with long cashmere gloves, and suiting worn with the most elegant of balaclavas. §