Designers Flora Gill and Alexa Adams named their ready-to-wear label Ohne Titel, or "untitled" in German, as an homage to Anselm Kiefer, the German artist who inspired their first collection and often leaves his work... you guessed it. Names, after all, can be weighty. The duo's own monikers are pretty evocative and appropriately so. The sharp, slicing sound of "Alexa" dovetails with her penchant for tailored black garments, and her dark-clad, city-girl persona. The Washington, D.C., native's great-grandfather was Al Capone's tailor. How's that for sharp? Then there's "Flora," with all its connotations of blooming nature, matching up to a lifelong love of bright hues and crafty fare, nurtured by artist parents in upstate New York. There's even a slightly wild quality to her blonde curls.
Gill and Adams met during their sophomore year at Parsons. "I actually saw Flora's work before I ever met her," says Adams. "Everyone put their work up on the wall. I remember seeing Flora's and thinking, 'Oh, that's really good." Adds Gill, "Ours were exact opposites." After a year of working together on Karl Lagerfeld's illfated eponymous collection, they decided to bring their two interlocking halves together as Ohne Titel in 2006. Their merger of traditional handwork with a cool, avant-garde sensibility has been a critical hit from day one, and they continue to accept members into their fan club at a rapid clip. After their recent fall show, inspired by Victorian lace, no less a high-fashion potentate than French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld snagged a fur-andleather coat straight off the runway.
Still, for this smart pair, it's not the gloss of a Parisian
icon that defines beauty in their world. What do they find
beautiful? Gill: "Individuality." Adams: "Imperfection."
(L-R) Alex and Flora wear clothing by Ohne Titel