Rachel Comey: A Print-Heavy Wardrobe with Shoes to Match

As usual, Rachel Comey showed a collection that could easily have marched straight off the runway and onto the sidewalks of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Each look, whether a single-shouldered knee-length dress, or a static-y printed pant with matching shoes and a shrunken v-neck sweater, would have felt equally smart and sexy in a bookstore or a bar.

Comey, known for her prolific use of prints, repeated diamond-shaped windowpanes in pale grey sweaters and vests, and crisp pants in navy blue and pumpkin orange. From another designer, this pattern, along with impressionistic dots, geometric zig-zags, and the aforementioned static might have felt like a visual assault. Here, we simply wanted more, and when we looked down, we got it – matching shoes!

The designer said she surprised herself this season by using more chocolate brown than she expected. Where black or grey would have done the job, brown warmed up the collection nicely, zig-zagging with pale blue and peach in pants and dresses, and making a soft statement in strips of fur sewn onto a short swingy jacket.

In contrast to the busy prints, the models wore chalky lips and faces, and their hair was long and straight, with just the front teased into matte tousled nests.

They dressed in layers, styled in a way that felt more like a wardrobe than a collection, and particularly strong looks utilized elements of Comey’s background in menswear – strong-shouldered sleeveless overcoats flowed behind the models as they marched, and an oversized olive blazer with exaggerated lapels looked romantic over an ecru dress with a blown-up burgundy floral print. (Yes, there were florals too.)

Altogether, these pieces felt more like a wardrobe than a collection– something that could happily hang in the closet of a bookish babe like Bird’s Jennifer Mankins or Thessaly LaForce, of the Paris Review, both of whom attended the show. Nothing contrived, very complete.

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