Rachel Comey Fall/Winter 2008

Rachel Comey, Fall/Winter 2008 (photo from New York Magazine)

The Rachel Comey show is that rare instance of a fashion show which reads as welcoming and laid back yet sophisticated, as it took place on the parlor floor of a town house (the Salmagundi Art Club). The setting and the mismatched couches gave one the impression of being in the living room of someone’s eccentric old relative. (While there, I couldn’t help but thinking of the Chelsea, London, house of the uncle character in Withnail & I.) The clothes were also artfully mismatched, as they juxtaposed an array of whimsical and lightly funny prints and slightly clashing color combinations. The use of turbans and the choice of prints were reminiscent of the 1940s, while the silhouettes were elongated almost lanky due to some short jackets and high waisted skirts and pants and the result was attractive in a nerdy eccentric way. Particularly interesting were some of her knit dresses and quilted jackets, as well as the footwear—particularly the oxfords and the platform shoes. (hand-painted book titles were written on some of the platforms, while some were checkered.) The music, together with the model’s deep under eye shadow, gave a slightly eerie feel to the looks and the presentation more generally. (One which was, however, slightly overshadowed by the fact that I was facing Lynn Yaeger, who is the unquestionable master of a certain doll-like off-kilter look.)