Lauren Manoogian Resort 2023 Collection
In our unstable, ever-worsening world, the winds of change can instill a sense of dread. Or maybe, “if you don’t approach it from a place of fear,” says Lauren Manoogian, change can be a gift? The designer and her partner Chris Fireoved changed a lot this season, in part as a result of spending more time than usual in Peru with their artisans. They even shot their lookbook in the courtyard of the space. It was the first time in a long time they’d shot where they make—and the first time the impeccably organized Fireoved had presided over a lookbook shoot without his requisite timer and clipboard to keep the process on track.
That loosening up is reflected in the clothes, which are bigger than ever before. Positively massive, in fact. The sleek, almost sporty slate bandeaus of a year ago have been replaced by mammoth—but surprisingly airy—latticed hand knits, square poncho vests, bulb-shaped hoodies, and ruched-side trousers in a familiar palette of dust, chocolate, sand, and a beige so fair you could almost call it’s whispering hue air. Finding lightness in the largeness speaks to Manoogian’s prowess as a maker—even a sweater big enough for three doesn’t come off as schlubby or grungy.
The real twist, though, are Manoogian and Fireoved’s new wovens. Workwear and gorpcore have sort of fallen from grace in the fashion world of late, one-upped by cottagecore and Y2K sex appeal. But you would be mental to miss out on the cargo trousers and sloped-back jackets in a swishy technical fabric that the couple are offering this season. In a noughties grape and almost neon mint, the pieces look like couture carpenter-wear, elegant without sacrificing durability. Ditto for their mirco-cord trousers with orbital seams at the knee that offer a slightly more butch flavor than usual. It’s an interesting new tack for the designers, one that expands their world into clothing that reads slightly more pragmatic than their standard fare. That’s a good thing: As the world changes we need practical and fanciful clothing to brace us for whatever is next.