Models who are given a chance to sit through a presentation (rather than awkwardly stand like statues) are lucky. Ones that get to lounge sleepily have basically hit the jackpot. “We were looking at different ways to present that felt interesting,” said Matthew Adams Dolan, who presented his men’s and women’s collections last night at New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Interesting it was—with most of the models huddled together on a platform in the round. An areal projection on the wall showed one model sleeping in the middle. “With the camera being able to see the clothes from above in the bed, that links into that idea of indoors.”
The indoor/outdoor juxtaposition was reinforced through an upending of the normal context in which certain styles and textures are put together. “[Denim is] something that is so synonymous with outdoors,” he explained of his concept. “Bringing it inside with that sort of silhouette of lounge [wear], pajamas [was the] idea.”
The borderline unisex collection seemed basic at first, but upon closer inspection had some interesting and off-kilter construction. What should be straight-forward button-down shirts instead have collars that sit wide away from the neck, and denim jackets that are tailored tight at the waist seemingly hover off the shoulder. “I was looking at the idea of quilts, and taking the size of a quilt and putting it into the pieces,” Dolan explained of his oversized silhouettes with blanket-like qualities.
For someone only two years out of school (he graduated from the Parsons MFA program in 2014), Dolan has garnered a steady amount of attention among the New York fashion crowd. Not “buzz” in the way many young brands cultivate fans through social media, but genuine interest from those wondering just where he’s going with this. Dolan’s Fall 2017 collection furthers what he has shown in the past—using heavy fabrics and augmenting the proportions of otherwise basic pieces of outerwear. It’s very on-trend for younger fashion brands, those going for an anti-fashion, streetwear vibe. But Dolan’s focus on outerwear that retains its utility (either thanks to the fabrics or construction) proposes that the designer is thinking beyond what looks “cool” to perhaps how and why we wear what we wear.