Front Row

New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2021 – Keiser Clark on Utopia and Individualism

There are stories that don’t have an ending, and dreams that are important in their own right, even as utopias and expressions of individualism. Keiser Clark shares one such story during the New York Fashion Week as it transcends the collection as a source of inspiration or a reference:

Escaping this world with electro-utilitarian cuts and a warm retro-flare, “Solaris Machina” is the 4th collection from Los Angeles designer label Keiser Clark. With the new collection Creative Director, Marc Keiser takes us out of LA and into his own lush California desert dreamscape.

One hundred miles north of Los Angeles, California, in the middle of the Mojave Desert, reads a sign “Welcome to California City: Land of the Sun.” It is here where developer, Nat Mendelsohn, sought to create his own Edenic paradise in 1958. Mendelsohn’s ‘California City’ was intended to rival Los Angeles. A less crowded space with open-air, more sun, and boundless opportunity. Yet, as fate would have it this once imagined artificial paradise stopped short of its modern utopic destiny.

Today, California City is a mirage of suburbia still waiting to be realized. Almost nothing fills the streets of California City. Street signs lead to nowhere; driveways lead to dust; the miles of master-planned cul-de-sacs now form an empty ghost-grid visible only to those above. Yet despite falling short of Mendelsohn’s vision, California City remains. “So I set the collection within the expanses and story of California City because It’s a story not about finding paradise, but rather building your own,” says Keiser. It’s a story of rugged individualism, resilience, and a reminder that in California, it always begins again so long as the sun also rises.

The collection pulls from the allure and mysticism of the California desert. The comfort and warmth of its vast open spaces rendered in tans and browns. And the places we go when we need to escape the confines of our own realities. As Keiser would describe it, it’s “Blade Runner meets Fleetwood Mac.” Referencing the past but designing for the future. Reversible patterns, puffer jackets that turn into vests, and copper-woven satin sets provide a futuristic-utilitarianism direction. Nostalgic astrological and astral references from the ’70s and ’80s, with relaxed fits, and a notable new warmth in the color palate create dreamy desirability to imagine Keiser’s desert oasis.

Key pieces from the collection include a supple black leather and chocolate brown suede lambskin jacket, a reversible chevron nylon puffer with removable sleeves, and a mahogany satin tracksuit with copper-woven satin lining. Leather applique, flame chenille, and layered embroidery detailing are stand-out design elements on the French terry sets. Dark hues and a stylized-edge reverberate the brand’s gritty nocturnal glamour, as Keiser continues to draw us deeper into his world with “Solaris Machina”.

 

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