Quilted outerwear pieces, including puffer jackets, have had a noticeable presence on the fall/winter 2017 collections presented in New York (last month) and here (during the last week). And although the average Angeleno probably hasn’t spent much time thinking about the sectioned, insulated cold-weather utility player, Los Angeles-based artist and designer Greg Lauren apparently has.
The proof was on display in a Marais art gallery here Friday, where Lauren’s collaboration with Moncler was unveiled. It’s a limited-edition collection of unisex pieces that meld Lauren’s signature repurposed, disheveled, patched and rehabbed aesthetic with the Italian outerwear brand’s signature, shiny nylon-skinned puffers to create frankenjackets, which are as much wearable art as cold-weather gear and priced closer to the former than the latter.
Called Collide, the collection consists of vests, hooded puffer jackets and hooded puffer ponchos grouped into one of three color ways: the military olive green that Lauren favors, black or a two-color combination that pairs blue (distressed, repurposed denim) and red (the shade is Moncler’s signature flame red). Only three sizes of each style garment will be offered with a total of about 200 pieces set to hit retail altogether.
The collection was displayed in the dimly lighted gallery in the third arrondissement with all the reverence of art; some of the pieces on display inside a huge tent were customized to pay homage to the partnership — one half crafted out of blue, nylon puffer-jacket material and the other half out of faded green military-issue canvas.
Lauren told us that Moncler, which has a long history of collaborating with fashion brands (Off-White, Thom Browne and Junya Watanabe to name just three), reached out to him about working together on the capsule collection.
“It was really gratifying to get that call,” Lauren said. “It means that word is out there — that things like my [fashion] shows and my [CFDA/]Banana Republic collaboration are resonating with [potential] collaborators.”
Lauren, a Los Angeles-based artist and sculptor who added fashion designer to his resume in 2011 (not a huge surprise — his uncle is Ralph Lauren and his father, Jerry, is executive vice president and creative director of men’s design at Ralph Lauren Corp.), has traditionally been a presence at New York Fashion Week but opted out for the recently wrapped round of shows.
“Not doing New York Fashion Week really gave time to focus on getting this together,” Lauren said, gesturing toward the two-tone tent full of freshly reanimated frankenjackets.
The fall/winter 2017 capsule collection is expected to hit Moncler boutiques, including the South Coast Plaza and Rodeo Drive stores in Southern California, select department stores and Moncler.com in September.
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