Creatures of the Wind Resort 2017 Runway Collection
“They were dead-stock army parkas,” said Shane Gabier, “and we just did this to them!” He was holding out an astonishing army green Creatures of the Wind jacket, which was completely, and brilliantly, smothered with embroidered flowers.
“They’re from 17th-century botanical drawings,” he added. There were daisies, roses, foxgloves, traveler’s joy, Chinese lanterns, poppies, violets—countless satin-stitched blooms that might have sprung from an English hedgerow or garden. Each jacket is a one-off, and each was available to buy on Farfetch.com the moment it was shown. “That is, all except this one,” laughed Gabier’s partner in CotW, Christopher Peters, before the show. “This one’s Pharrell’s.” The sight of those beautiful English-seeming flowers was both visually and diplomatically sweet, because Gabier and Peters were showing their Resort collection in London, two Americans transplanted to the establishment drawing rooms of the 18th-century Spencer House. But they fit right in; something about Creatures’s eclecticism, its combination of quirkiness; pragmatic realness; and appreciation of color, pattern, and texture looked completely natural against the backdrop of ancient flower-patterned rugs, vaulted Wedgwood-blue ceilings, and crystal chandeliers. These were comforting things for the audience to lay their eyes on, a pleasant respite from the political and financial cataclysm that is engulfing the U.K. after the nation voted, by a small margin of less than 4 percent, to leave the EU last week. The Creatures of the Wind designers are guys with gentle, principled characters, and their emotional intelligence reads in their clothes, as well as in what they say.
“We wanted a kind of soft sweetness in the lines,” said Gabier about the collection. “The more it can be a humanizing experience, the better,” noted Peters, speaking about the way they’d made the show for a small crowd of 80 people and flown in Christopher Owens, a blond, long-haired musician from L.A., to sing and play guitar as the presentation went on.