Sam Linder has had enough of the fashion week hoopla. At the designer's spring 2019 show in a wood-paneled room at The Standard, High Line, a voiceover described each look in detail from fabrics and cuts to color and hardware. "I wanted to emphasize showing the clothes," he says backstage. "Fashion shows today have become such spectacles. I've felt alienated by the fact that the image is what people are taking away from the show." His choice of format harkened back to presentations in 1950s Paris couture salons, after which the audience walked away with an understanding of how the clothes were made and how they might fit into everyday life.
Guests stood in tapped off sections around the space as models ambled onto a platform and looked into a triptych mirror. They swiveled and swayed — some feigning vanity, others vulnerability — inspecting their reflections in the most charming way.
"There's not a singular ego behind this collection," Linder says explaining that each garment had to meet the approval of his design team. "I would share an idea with the team and ask them if they would wear and they would say no." As a result, Linder has shed his tendency to focus on a single point of reference — fall 2018, for example, fixated on Artemis, the mythological Greek goddess of the hunt. This season's light-weight separates in crayon colors and earthen hues are rooted in adaptability, making them easy to mold to one's personal style.
"In the design process, Kirk said to me, 'Sam, you're always wearing ugly plaids and combining them in a funny way. They shouldn't be kept out of the collection,'" Linder says referring to his menswear counterpart Kirk Millar. Consequently, mauve, green, red, and gray iterations of the pattern cover streamlined pieces including a double-breasted blazer, trench coats, bike shorts, and leggings.
Photography: Kohl Murdock