by Stephen Garner

Initially, the feeling of OAMC’s spring/summer 2021 collection was one of strength: military-inspired shapes and pure, angular tailoring in robust fabrics. Japanese wool gabardine cover and crisp, raw cotton canvas in geometric forms. Sleeveless topcoats paired with slim tailored trousers and shorts, parkas layered over billowed trousers tucked into boots. The feeling of real and honest materials was important. Pure cotton and wool, silk, viscose; all in unblended forms. The idea of strength and protection, as the spring progressed, seemed an apt direction.

However, as the collection, mood, and circumstance developed, it was important to balance. To create a feeling of lightness, of hope, of positivity. Softer, more fluid fabrics were included and cut into coats, shirts, and trousers. Long, shaped foulards added elegance and a sophistication to the line.

As the collection emerged, the visual language of the artwork also found a progressive point of view. Imperfect geometric forms were created by collaging and chopping up images, both found and created. The touch of human decoration and handwork, deliberately analog. Patches that at once seem military are hand embroidered and add images of serenity, of flowers and sea birds, lobsters, and pelicans. A commentary on how we can be resilient at this moment, and how it’s important to remember the beauty and softness in our world, no matter how strange things become.

The work of artist John Baldessari informed the color palette. Primary colors, acid colors, and black and white analog touches. Bright reds, purples, yellows, greens, and blues are sparsely added to bases of natural and optical white, chocolate brown, tan, taupe, and deep ocean blue. Acid yellow and green are printed with black and white photographic imagery. Caramel leather adds a touch of the organic.

Shoes and boots are military in feel, with an asymmetrical custom lug outsole featuring a removable rubber insert which adds a color touch as well as a secondary tread pattern. The custom Free Solo sneaker outsoles have been utilized in a new, clean form, and vulcanized shapes are present.

Bags are geometric, with cues coming from a functional utilitarian language: clean leather crossbody transit bags, oversized canvas tote bags, and soft textured nylon messengers are all trimmed with hand-painted and finished leather details and custom hardware. A necklace with a sterling silver mushroom pendant symbolizes resilience, continuity, and hope.