Will it shake the concrete when the person wears it out? That’s the question the guys behind the cult label Conflict of Interest ask themselves before a piece is worthy enough to bear their label. Their cheeky designer label parodies — Givenchy becomes Giraunchy, Tom Ford is recoined Tom Lord, and Kenzo Paris turns into Benzo Bronx — certainly have turned heads over the past year, in particular, those of street style photographers, Style.com and even our own at Fashionista.
C.O.I. NYC held its spring 2014 presentation alongside LPD New York, focusing more on the style of their “agents”--including “Linus,” whose secret weapon was his security blanket, and “Winona” whose was “kleptomaniac” — rather than the clever logo reinterpretations. “We take all the memories and things that are in our imagination and we recycle them or reappropriate them in a different way,” one of the anonymous members of C.O.I. NYC told Fashionista during the presentation. The C.O.I. agents maintained a simple, minimal streetwear look. A white jacket was paired with a white sheer shirt and white pants on one of the females, while one of the male models sported a similar look. Another shirt involved a graphic skater-esque checkerboard pattern.
The strongest piece by far was Linus’s blanket, a patchwork of all the witty logo reappropriations the label conceived of over the year. While the actual clothes were underwhelming, their amusing designer reinterpretations definitely shake the concrete. But are they enough to carry the label and give it staying power? The verdict is still out on that one.
You probably know the label LPD New York, formerly known as “Les Plus Dorés,” from its collection of mesh jerseys that replaces actual athletes’ names with those of designers like Slimane, Owens, and Margiela, but for his spring 2014 collection, designer Benjamin Fainlight made a departure from that whole idea, venturing into a post-apocalyptic world with high meets low streetwear.
In a two-in-one presentation with Conflict of Interest, Fainlight displayed a collection that he had traveled around the world to make; he took California skater cues from living in Los Angeles this past summer, emblazoned photographs from a series of 1940s negatives he discovered at a Paris flea market last spring onto shirts, and referenced Tokyo’s high concept style. “I wanted to take that and take it into a very grunge direction, because that’s how I’ve been feeling lately, so I wanted to pay homage to where it was and where it’s going in the future,” said Fainlight at the collection.
The fusion of high and low was especially evident in a pair of gray cotton sweatshorts that deceivingly looked and moved like leather thanks to a special coating. Frayed edges on t-shirts added to that whole 'end of the world' theme, as did the makeup that was made to look like dirt on the models’ faces. The collection thoroughly displayed Fainlight’s sense of innovation, as well as his desire to be taken seriously as a designer.
Those of you who are fans of the jerseys need not worry; Fainlight — who recently teamed up with Jessica Stam on a jersey that benefits Many Hopes, an organization that fights childhood poverty--will also unveil a line of new jerseys in the coming months.