Continuing on the paradisiac idea that had animated the previous seasons of Creatures of the Wind, Shane Gabier and Chris Peters considered transcendence and peaceful, reflective meditation in their fall collection, dubbed Rainbow Road – after the bridge to the Norse paradise, although the famously difficult Mario Kart video game level also came to mind. CotW’s fall radiated a quiet optimism that paired the serenity of monastic inspirations with the luxurious demands of today’s fashion customer.
“I like the slush because that’s what makes you appreciate warm weather,” said Peters with a smile, a philosophy of yin/yang that epitomizes this young brand. The inherent duality of a creative duo is never more apparent than here, where everything is given a double focus that opens up perspectives and perceptions. In the middle ground appear unexpected mixes that appeal the very last details – butterfly cufflinks that flashed on an otherwise pretty pared down outfit, the striking pairing of thick latex and leather on a clutch, the very faint shimmer of a pink and grey jacquard.
It’s easy to see both why the Chicagoan pair first caught the attention of fashion movers-and-shakers, and how well they’ve capitalized on the financial boost and mentoring brought on by their CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize. From the darkness of a black twill coat with fur additions, to a dusty pink pleated pant, all the way to the billowing white satin of the final wrap coat, the discreet elements that composed each look spoke of a deliberate and subtle brush across the light spectrum.
And if those pretty suede shoes felt a little unseasonably unreasonable with their open-toed suede, considering the weather outside, not everyone who loves the brand lives in New York, nor do they necessarily shop to wear straight away. “This increased global reach is a freedom for designers,” said Gabier backstage. “Our customer is anyone who responds to the clothes, wherever they are.”
Beyond their partnership, their co-creation philosophy branches out beyond the boundaries of their brand: their shoes were created in collaboration with Tabitha Simmons, the bags by latex avant-gardists brand Tableaux Vivants. Perhaps two heads at the helm is not a surefire recipe to success in many instances, but Gabier and Peters have achieved this rare addition, a brand that is more than just the sum of its parts.