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This time it’s personal to Brandon Maxwell

A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Fall 2022 collection.

Brandon Maxwell’s fashion shows have a reputation in the fashion industry for being a party, a place where you can sit back, have a cocktail and maybe a Shake Shack burger and watch models in beautiful clothes dance the runway. But if the designer’s show on Saturday night was distinctly different – and it was, a considerably stripped-down, intimate affair rather than a party – well, then he is.

Life has a way of changing us as we age, and the Covid-19 process has certainly accelerated that for many people; but as the pandemic raged everywhere, Maxwell was experiencing a much more personal crisis back home in Texas. His beloved grandmother, Louise Johnson — better known as Mammaw — had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and her condition was deteriorating, a brutal reality that Maxwell struggled with. It was a heavy burden he carried into the fall 2022 design process.

“It happened at a time when I was forced to process something that I really hadn’t processed, namely the woman in charge of my life, who dreamed that I was doing this, when things started to go well, she started not to remember,” he said backstage. “You can’t go fast enough.”

He was already thinking about the future of fashion shows for his brand after his spring 2022 runway left him with a “hollowness” he’d never experienced after a presentation. The Covid-19 crisis had triggered an internal reset of sorts long before September, yet Maxwell decided to continue with his typically fun, dance-model job — and even with his final bow, he looked unhappy. “What I was most upset about is I went back and did that in September when it wasn’t in my heart. I love those clothes, but I had a lot that I wanted to say that I didn’t say,” he explained. .

A look from Brandon Maxwell's Fall 2022 collection.

A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Fall 2022 collection.

So in the fall, he took his team to California, where they spent time browsing vintage treasures. Maxwell recognized fabrics and silhouettes from his grandmother’s closet; her sister had been a model for Neiman Marcus, and she herself had worked in a boutique in Longview, Texas. That got him thinking about Mammaw for his next collection, which, coupled with a tough holiday season, prompted him to pay tribute to her on the runway as well.

“If I go again, it must be for a reason,” he said. “I had already worked in her image for the collection, but I was like, I’m not going to do what I did in September, which is a show for everyone. I’m going to do a show for her. If this is the bookend, I want be happy with it.”

That’s how just 100 guests, all of whom had a personal relationship with Maxwell, ended up in a quiet room, covered with heavy black curtains and lit by scant spotlights – no pre-show cocktails, no food trucks lined up outside, just a small space. for Maxwell to present his latest ideas. The show opened in the fall of 2022 with a deeply emotional video; it started with Maxwell urging Siri to read his Wikipedia article, followed by clips of his brand and a montage of personal home videos and photos featuring Mammaw.

Models then took to the catwalk, not dancing, but weaving slowly down the aisles – all the better for the public to appreciate the construction of the clothes, something that has been a focus of Maxwell of late. “It was back to my roots in many ways, the clothing. I see the growth in the inner construction,” he said.

The collection is truly one of Maxwell’s best. He has proven his talent in making beautiful clothes, but where he thrives is in elevating the everyday to the extraordinary. Basic suede jackets and silk trenches feel all the more special with a double-layered lapel; a cream cable knit jumper finds stylish new life layered over a ruffled mini skirt and a belted waist. It’s hard to make worn denim luxe, yet he does the hat trick with ease, teaming them with cream corsets and buckled blazers.

Evening wear always catches the eye at any Maxwell show, and the Fall 2022 collection is no different. The shoulders have a sculptural quality that still feels soft to the touch, despite being quite textured. And while lingerie-inspired bustiers aren’t exactly new territory for red carpet-ready dresses, it gets an inventive twist with cable knit skirts and feathery accents. As a personal source of inspiration, girlfriend Karlie Kloss’s last dress bore a print of “a painting lifted from a letter” to his mother from his daddy – “a literal valentine”.

Even the gestures in the styling, performed by Maxwell himself, sparked a nostalgic romance; a blanket scarf woven through the upper arm, a metal minaudière clutched to the chest like a well-read book, silver bracelets with large flowers in bloom and strung around the wrist like a corsage with velvet ribbon. It all evoked a woman, real or imagined, whom Maxwell clearly knows intimately.

“It was a private conversation with myself that I was trying to have, and I don’t think I’ve ever actually done that on my runway,” Maxwell said. “I feel like I grew up a lot and I felt it was time to put that into my job.”

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Mammaw has been a vital part of Maxwell’s designs; not only did she appear in campaigns and walk him down the runway for his final arc, it was at her feet that he first learned to sew. To see Maxwell’s work is to feel her influence, to feel his heart in every piece he makes is to feel her heart beating next to it. It is impossible not to feel that his own loss will, in a sense, be ours too.

And so it goes that the fires of life have forged a new phase for Maxwell. He is ready to take away all the noise, not only his own internal self-doubt, but also the external forces that say what a fashion brand should or should not be. He’s not worried about becoming a million-dollar brand, he says, reaching certain milestones that may have been important or becoming a standalone figurehead. He just wants to keep learning and growing in his craft.

“All I have with the time I have here is to do better,” said Maxwell. “This is an experience for me to be the best I can for the women I make clothes for; this is a learning experience, and I have to keep my head up and do that, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do tonight. “

Check out the entire Brandon Maxwell Fall 2022 collection in the gallery below:

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This post This time it’s personal to Brandon Maxwell

was original published at “https://fashionista.com/2022/02/brandon-maxwell-fall-2022-collection-review”

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