Brady Lange – SS14
Brady Lange is well-versed in designing for the Portland market; in his SS14 collection, the signature modes of the Northwest aesthetic are clear, in particular the embellishments of simple RTW with a flash of offbeat details. Throw in a few vintage references and an unconventional use of accessories and Lange’s nailed the whole urbanite-cum-weekend warrior look. Bonus points for adding a well-known motif.
Lange’s SS14 collection was a tribute to both Rose City and American sportswear writ large: preppy men’s chino shorts paired with suede oxfords and striped tube socks, women’s heather grey tops with high waisted skirts and hot shorts. Proportions of the garments were designed for utility and wearability, not shock value. Sleek locks on the ladies recalled a late 1960’s sensibility, while men displayed short coifs. But there’s more to the girl with the poker straight hair; preppy neon belts were subverted into harnesses, maxi dresses went sheer, and fleece athletic gear was perfection with neon boots. The men, too, eventually stripped from sweaters to boldly striped singlets, tennis shoes to spiked loafers.
Camoflaugue, which runs the risk of losing it’s shock value in Oregon, was Lange’s dominate print. It was dashed across pockets, shorts, singlets and dresses – everything! How about an oxford shirt, tie and shorts in matching camo? We’ve seen this print on the runway before in various memorable (mostly forgettable) forms, but it really works to Lange’s advantage. He’s not reconfiguring the motif (it’s still in it’s woodland form), but instead offers it as an alternative to the predicable neutral. Women’s camo dresses addressed a different, more streetwear inspired tone which assigned them the “bad girl” moniker of the evening. Then again, doesn’t a babe in a see though dress always draw attention?
But in Lange’s vision of the modern woman, there’s an equally sexy tomboy alternative to the feminine look. Working within the athletic wear and neon trend, one of the best looks was a pair of tangerine tapered sweat pants, moss singlet and fuchsia ankle boots. Who knew a lady in fleece could look so darn good? It was the super model slouch done right. Male models hit a similar high with black muscle tees and blue and red accented athletic pants. Both parties’ looks were a nod to Portland, a city indebted to the action aesthetic of Nike and Columbia Sportswear.
Lange updates sportswear so pefectly with often overlooked details that it’s hard to tell where traditional basics end and Brady’s playful details begin. It’s like he’s transformed everyone’s favorites to the point of grabbing attention but not the point of creating a scene. It’s Lange’s way of inviting you to come as you are, he’ll reshape a few details and you’ll leave with a sophisticated (albeit subtle) stop in your step.
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