The Puppets and Puppets FW23 RTW Collection is a Visual Feast

On a runway decorated with piles of old food and books, the New York based brand debuted their Fall/Winter 2023 Ready to Wear Collection

On Monday, New York City-based brand Puppets & Puppets debuted their Fall 2023 Ready to Wear collection at the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building in New York’s financial district. The blue and white checkered floors that are reminiscent of a Midwestern elementary school’s cafeteria, hosted a series of curated stacks of old books and food concoctions created by Barlow and Sons production company. The culinary set props, a collaboration between Carly Mark and Alice Barlow, were a playful nod to the brand’s cuisine-themed pieces, such as the cookie purses and banana-handle bags that debuted on the runway. Mark, who founded the brand in 2018 and launched the first collection in 2019, cites David Cronenberg’s 1988 film
Dead Ringers as a key point of inspiration for this collection. This inspiration is apparent, especially in the shoulder bags with rotary telephone receivers as handles. The twenty-nine look collection highlighted Mark’s clever work in tailoring and structure, as well as unique takes on ‘going out’ attire. 








Food is a common motif in the Puppets & Puppets design universe, and this collection was no different. Mark’s undeniable skill as a designer was highlighted by the limited color pallet in the collection. Despite the collection being almost exclusively red and black, each look was a visual feast. 

Cronenberg’s film wasn’t the only media that served as inspiration for Mark in this collection, Gaspare Traversi’s painting The Operation (The Wound) was not only inspiration but a part of the collection too. The painting, which depicts a man whose mouth is frozen in a scream while being operated on, appeared on five of the twenty-nine looks featured. 


Puppets & Puppets mission statement declares that they “merge fine art and fashion” by exploring “classic storytelling, non-traditional styling, and sculptural construction” while keeping “utility, comfort, and mindfulness” in mind. All elements of this mission are apparent in this collection, especially sculptural construction. Beaded bras and headpieces add geometric structure and an element of futurism to more subdued silhouettes. 

The collection brought to life Mark’s vision of mixing together the masculine and the feminine: a suit with cinched tailoring and a blazer with sheer mesh corseting were both standouts on the runway. Additionally, Mark revisited iconic staples of past collections, including the ‘egg bra’ and the cookie purse. 

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