story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Adrianna Favero
“You look like an angel, walk like an angel, talk like an angel, but I got wise. You’re the devil in disguise.”
Designer Rachel Antonoff’s clothes seem innocent enough. Full of clever details and fun fabrics. Her prints and colors are always playful and her cuts are easy and free. There’s a youthful exuberance about her collections that always puts her clients in a good mood when they wear her designs. Even the theater surrounding the presentation of her Fall 2011 offering was seeming wholesome fun. A 1950s-era school dance, complete with an all-girl rock band and models portraying the various archetypes of high school life. But wait, in the midst of this pleasant tableau, why is that girl spiking the punch with a flask? Why are there a pack of girls on the stands with the eyes of hungry wolves? Why did the one girl bring a cat? Is this Sunnydale? It all fits with a Rachel Antonoff collection and more importantly with her client. Her collections are often described as retro or retro-inspired, but she told me she doesn’t understand that at all. It’s likely because of who she designs for. The clothing of Rachel Antonoff is fun but it’s not frilly. It works to well because Ms. Antonoff chooses well. From fabrics and fit to prints and details this is the work of a serious designer. Many in fashion assume that the spirit of her clothes is inspired by the past. What they miss is the timelessness of the girl who buys her clothes, and consequently the clothes themselves. The Rachel Antonoff Fall 2011 collection continues the development of this fascinating and serious young talent.