Creatures of the Wind Fall Winter 2013 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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Creatures of the Wind is arguably one of the freshest recent editions to the New York Fashion Week schedule. Shane Gabier and Chris Peters’ award-winning line feels more London Fashion Week than New York, and that’s part of what’s made it such a hot ticket in this saturated docket. The fact that they’re from Chicago is probably a blessing. They just feel different, though this season, the duo kept the art and commerce more even-keeled. They’re boisterous, but not Meedham Kirchhoff boisterous. Season by season, they’re getting better at learning to parse the secret language of their designs.

Though this collection wrung a more urban note than any of their previous endeavors, Gabier and Peters didn’t dismiss their infectious play with folk and pastiches. It was great to see a CotW take on the bordering-on-ubiquitous tunic over trouser eveningwear trend, as seen on black monochromatic number with synthetic vinyl sleeves and collar detail. There was a pucker of menswear throughout – sports jackets with tuxedo lapels in a glossy film, truncated little ties with crystal embroideries and plenty of long-sleeve collar shirts.

Valiant sartorial efforts aside, the CotW roots of pastiche-play, of psychedelic discordancy, were this season’s shining pieces. One sports-cut coat came with a dizzying patchwork of what looked like red metallic tweed and Swarovski crystals. Another print with a similar shattered-glass effect, looked stellar on the bottom half of a black vinyl sheath, but a touch referential. A favorite here was a large windowpane check shirt in their traditional folksy palette, as seen over a pleated A-line. It’s a simple enough top, save for that persistent collar detail, but versatile too. It could easily end up in a men’s editorial. Or men’s closets. It’ll be a no-brainer soon enough. When these boys go for plaid, the heart sings.