American Patriotism Gets a New Look With S.R. Studio. CA. LA. Couture Collection

American Patriotism Gets a New Look With S.R. Studio. CA. LA. Couture Collection

American Patriotism Gets a New Look With S.R. Studio. CA. LA. Couture Collection

Reminiscing on Puritan culture and the modern worlds of skate and business, the first haute couture collection by S.R. Studio. CA. LA. is a reflection on history.

Reminiscing on Puritan culture and the modern worlds of skate and business, the first haute couture collection by S.R. Studio. CA. LA. is a reflection on history.

Text: Trishna Rikhy

Created in and of the American landscape, a coalition of culture, heritage and the intertwining of fashion and history is “Apparitions,” the Couture 2021 collection by S.R. Studio. LA. CA

Founded by American artist Sterling Ruby, S.R. Studio. LA. CA. pays homage to the puzzle pieces making up over three centuries of Americanism with his first Haute collection, created at the invitation of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode in Paris. 

In a digital debut, the collection channels, at its core, patriotic roots: the arrival of Puritans and Pilgrims in the 17th century, the following religious persecution and cultural strife; the colonialism, neocolonialism, melting pot that follows, inseparable from the forming of a nation. The virtual runway channels the outdoors, a post-apocalyptic East Coast wooded area is akin to what settlers may have stumbled upon centuries ago—or, perhaps, centuries from now. An old-world shaped into a new world, a changed world altogether.

Silhouettes and shapes across the collection evoke a sense of heritage: Puritan collars are played with, alongside colonial-esque dresses with long, straight hems, neutral tones and draped fabrics with flowing, billowed architecture. 

Yet S.R. Studio. LA. CA. does not merely focus on the old history-defining America, but the new cultures emerging of modernity, too. The collection draws a sharp contrast between old and new, renewal and youth. Modern uniforms cataloging contemporary American culture form the second half of the collection: skatewear, workwear, and business wear made of bold prints, bright colors, sharp tailoring, a nod to 21st century America. 

Across each side of the collection, motifs mirror each other symmetrically, creating a coherent, symbolic togetherness. Wide skate pants mimic floor-length Puritan skirts, while exaggerated details across blazers and coats pay tribute to wide Puritan collars. Handcrafted detail is apparent throughout, from yarn stretching across surfaces to enliven them to voluminous chiffon and patchwork celebrating the reverence of human touch. 

Accessories in the collection include bags named “instrument cases,” elongated hexagons varying in shape and size, open to use and interpretation—just as able to carry a Pilgrim’s tools as a skater’s. Shoes evoke the Pilgrim buckle, pumps fastened with a California punk safety-pin, a play on modern America.

In a collection toying with regeneration and redefinition, standout pieces are those which form a bridge between past and present. A purplish, hand-dyed dress, with exaggerated Puritan lapels and a structured hood, playing with streetwear and modesty; a mauve chiffon dress with vibrant turquoise yarn in vertical stripes; a red suit with black panels across the sleeves and legs, printed with text excerpts from Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

A feat of collaboration, the hazy seams between pieces of history and modern history in the making, the S.R. Studio. CA. LA. Couture collection will be retailed via trunk show from early February, with all pieces cut-to-order. View the full collection on their website.

Credits: Images courtesy of S.R. Studio. CA. LA.

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