FashionCDLM Resort 2023

CDLM Resort 2023

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There has been a common thread between most designers’ collections in the past year or so. ‘We’re all ready to get dressed up to go out again,’ they’ll say, and they’re not wrong! But at Cdlm, Chris Peters has been thinking differently. “This is a kind of an extended study of glamour, the idea of the beauty of gesture, of pursuing beauty for the sake of itself,” he tells me over FaceTime from his Manhattan studio-cum-apartment. “There is something beautiful about being in isolation and engaging with fashion.” The epitome of dressing for oneself is dressing up when there’s simply no one else around.

From this angle, he settled on a loose theme of beachy clothes, “not because it’s resort season, more like I love the idea of dressing up to go and sit by the water and do nothing.” This was perhaps most evident in a series of crochet dresses and bandeaux made by his friend, Maggie Paxton (“she’s a crochet wizard”) that looked like they were made of raffia but were in fact polyamide tape. One version was a dress in a bronze color, which laced up at the sides and came with a built-in necklace made of silver orbs; worn on top of wide-legged, pieced-together jeans it was indeed very beachy, but in an alternative, I-wear-jeans-to-the-beach sort of way. A pair of flared canvas trousers which Peters described as “maybe the biggest pants I’ve ever made,” had their origins in a trove of unfinished pieces left behind by his grandmother, who passed away in the spring. “She hated sewing, so I decided I was going to finish them for her.” They are cuffed thick at the bottom, hand-painted with a seashell print and paired with a slouchy double-faced satin coat also made from dead stock material. Elsewhere, a handsome jacket was made of dead stock cashmere and appliquéd with a giant bow taken from an 1870’s bridal dress; worn by itself like a minidress, it carried a certain nonchalance. Everything has been washed and laid out in the sun to dry for an added textural element.

The collection, titled “Ghost Lake,” will be presented in two parts—the second part will be shown in the spring—is being presented as a collaboration with his friend, the artist Diamond Stingily. Stingily also wrote a poem that accompanies the images of the collection. Stingily writes: “All my mundane objects and trinkets that love me/My mess, my world, my fantasy, I am who I want to be.” An apt description of Peters’s ethos for Cdlm, working from found objects, dead stock fabrics, and the things left behind by others and turning them into one-of-a-kind pieces that are in themselves a kind of fantasy, the result of curiosity for making beautiful things for the sake of it. “The first thing I made [for this collection] was actually the sweater-T-shirt tabard thing [in the first look],” he recalls. “I patterned it and I started sewing it and I just kept adding shells to it, and I was like, What am I doing? This is so weird. And then I was like, Oh, it looks really cool.” In his hands, it always does.

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