FW 2020 Ready to Wear
Brandon Maxwell is busy building an empire. Since stepping out of the enormous shadow of being Lady Gaga’s stylist nearly four years ago, Maxwell has evolved his brand and settled into a comfortable stride of being a polished, tailored daywear designer. His Fall 2020 Ready to Wear collection, set against the backdrop of the American Museum of Natural History, was at its strongest when his models were confidently draped in cozy fall and winter attire; a stark white, figure-hugging turtleneck dress, luxurious ensembles of matching shades of cream, from pants to sweaters to overcoats, a brilliant color story of greens showed on muted velvet pants capped with a lime green belt and matching coat and beanie. Simple sportswear showed in denim paired with sweaters and fitted blazers, all with knee-high boots. The collection faltered slightly with the addition of sheer chiffon capes tied at the neck and draped overlooks that could have stood on their own. Maxwell has also started expanding his menswear line, continuing the theme of luxurious, wearable daywear with denim, overcoats, and blazers. Strong looks included a dark green corduroy suit over a white sweater, baggy velvet pants topped with a leather motorcycle jacket, and a light brown suit ensemble who’s pant legs morphed into joggers at the ankles.
Of course, the collection commenced with several red carpet-worthy looks, dressing Lady Gaga for years is part of Maxwell’s DNA that no daytime casual collection can easily overshadow. For years now Maxwell has shown us gowns with slight tops and voluminous skirts, most notably seen on Dakota Johnson walking the red carpet at the Governor’s Ball in Los Angeles, and continued here by Bella Hadid appearing in a black hoop skirt and cropped sportswear top with a strategic cut out across the chest. Maxwell sticks to a formula, and it has clearly been working for him. Is he breaking the mold with his designs? No, however, Ralph Lauren built an empire out of a polo shirt, and it seems as if Maxwell wants to follow in that footpath. If he continues to expand his brand of wearable pieces he would do well to consider expanding the sizes and shapes of his runway models, especially in today’s atmosphere of inclusivity.
By Elizabeth Kramsky