The Row 2019 lookbook is out!
If the New York Spring 2019 collections have thus far been buffeted by less than friendly elements—and how symbolic is that, people?—then Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row is a shelter of calm and cool repose. Their collection was presented again at their studio on the lower West Side. There’s no fanfare, no hurrah, no superfluous distractions, not even a few models languidly walking up and down showing the looks; it’s you and maybe a dozen beautifully art-directed racks and a few mannequins—and that’s it. The Olsens have long preferred that their collections speak for themselves, as if the communing between you and whatever you’re seeing is best done directly, intimately, and quietly. (That said, it’s always an absolute pleasure to hear what they have to say about their designs, given they spring from such a deep well of personal aesthetic beliefs and preferences.)
Spring 2019 is about the careful and considered progression of the extreme volume play that the Olsens have been so beautifully considering these past few seasons, with much emphasis on exploring every kind of silk fabrication, quiet handwork (witness the gorgeous creamy white tweedy coat with the frayed edges rendered by nimble fingers), and all presented in a palette that gracefully arcs from ivory to sand, to charcoal, to black. If fashion elsewhere is going full throttle into anything and everything that’s quote-unquote new, here the art of gentle recalibration is at work—a nudge forward that only underscores that these are clothes that are the absolute antithesis of fast. There are slip-on coats tailored to glide to the floor, billowing gazar dresses to be layered atop wide pants or full skirts, and robe-like gowns with regally upturned collars.
In fact, the whole effect is majestic, to be sure. Yet these clothes also speak to a different kind of reign, when American fashion wasn’t just the snappy immediacy of sportswear, but also the beauty to be wrought from reducing the superfluousness and concentrating on something pure and exquisitely made. Thanks to The Row, we still have it.