Brandon Maxwell’s mode from Marfa
He’s a big-hearted Texan is Brandon Maxwell, the immensely popular Texan designer whose haute retro glamour has earned him a supremely trendy legion of fans.
These fans include some of the world’s top models, who loyally strut their stuff with gusto in his shows, the latest of which took place in a Classic Car Club on a Hudson River pier, as outside a huge traffic jam built up on the West Side Highway on a dank Saturday afternoon.
Inside, Gigi Hadid swanned by in a drop dead gorgeous screen goddess kissing pink gown; while kid sister Bella pouted sensually in a figure-hugging lime green cocktail that she looked like she had been poured into. There was even a passage of arms, as Imaan Hammam, the Dutch beauty of Egyptian and Moroccan descent and triple Vogue cover girl, twirling her hands in the air in a kissing pink gown topped by a matching denim jacket, strolled in front of an approving Iman, David Bowie’s widow and the most famous African supermodel of all time.
The collection was an ode to the Lone Star State and to Maxwell’s family. Brandon even designed the clothes with his team during a residency in Marfa, Texas, with “its seemingly limitless space,” as he explained in his show notes.
The result was his latest version of kicky retro glamour: fluidly cut high-collar cocktails; micro-plissé summer frocks and perfectly cut deep-gorge jackets. Most models carrying Perspex hatboxes, their handles finished with silk scarves, inside which one found Ten-Gallon hats or bottles of champagne, in a witty visual pun on Texan grandiosity.
The fashion did look rather incongruous in the garage, where dozens of guests sat on trucks like at a tailgate party. But in a telling comment on Trump’s America, while Maxwell was in Texas, he was shocked by how underfunded his local high school had become. A call to automaker Kia, the brand of car in which his mother once drove him to school, led to a substantial gift by Kia to Marfa’s school and the donation of a new Kia Telluride SUV, around which the entire cast posed and yelled joyously at the noisy finale. The SUV will be used to enable local teachers to continue their training in Austin and Dallas.
The designer even linked up with the great Texan boot-maker Lucchese to create a series of custom cowboy boots, sharing them with favored editors and various shelters in New York.
Brandon took his bow to uproarious applause, marching out with his 81-year-old gray-haired grandmother Louise Johnson, before suddenly dashing 10 meters to embrace actor and comedian Tiffany Haddish, this month’s US Glamour’s cover girl.
“I have no idea really what people actually expect from me… I would imagine that it’s probably sort of a bodycon, sexy, evening, glamorous, party vibe. I can see that. I try to, through the clothes, give women a sense of confidence, and power, and that they can do anything, be anything,” Maxwell concluded.
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