Anne Geddes is a Fashion Vibe
At Collina Strada, babies and gardening became the perfect sartorial anxiety buster for Our Current Time.
Courtesy Collina Strada
Every time I get anxious, I imagine myself as an Anne Geddes baby. When I get anxious about the climate apocalypse, I imagine myself with sunflower petals around my head. Did I turn off the stove before bedtime? Now I'm falling asleep inside a seashell. For this reason I deeply envy the Anne Geddes babies, they get to dress up like a teeny tiny watermelon and take a nap—what a great state of denial that must be! Napping while dressed as a piece of produce! At Collina Strada, the 2019 CFDA Fashion Fund finalist Hillary Taymour, didn’t shy away from grappling with climate anxiety in her latest collection; subversively cutesy and perhaps unintentionally indebted to all things Anne.
Taymour’s latest was at the defunct-as-of-next-week East Village music venue, the Dance. As I walked in, there was a woman ambling about on the runway (made out of REAL GRASS!) wearing an extremely whimsical marbled dress and a little top made up of a bunch of different, equally dreamy fabrics. In a saccharine lull, she talked about carbon emissions, the fact that a group of crows is called “a murder,” and that she didn’t wear deodorant. It felt a little tongue-in-cheek to hear someone talk about how we are destroying our environment the way one reads a bedtime story. Within a matter of minutes, our narrator for the evening was whisked off stage and the song “Roses are Red,” by Eurotrash legends Aqua blew through the PA. This sensation was pretty similar to eating a ton of candy (think: maybe a pixie stick or some Dots gummies) if you are six years old, or are 23 years old and are eating many small Kit Kat bars to help aid in writing a blog post. As the models started to slink down the Dance’s spiral staircase I thought about the poster in my former Pediatrician’s waiting room that featured a baby dressed up as a petunia.
The mood was set almost instantly: Taymour’s show was about to be extremely Anne Geddes. No one can say that many facts about fruits and vegetables while wearing an outfit that is very Dimes Square Ren Fair and not take one page from Anne’s book. Like a Cabbage Patch kid crawling off the F train at East Broadway with Naomi Klein’s No Logo in their back pocket, Taymour’s latest felt both jarringly twee and deviously serious. Models wearing deadstock corduroy, starry eyed patterned lycra, and multicolored rose silk winked and goofed off in front of the camera as Lene Nystrøm’s sugared vocals reached their peak. One particularly great look involved a model wearing a giant hoodie covered in literal doodles that look like they were drawn by an actual pre-schooler. Another extremely good outfit involved a bedazzled gardening hoe and a tie-dye t-shirt that was very punk. Even more punk was a special performance from Paramore’s Hayley Williams, styled in such a way that made her look a little bit like a hobbit who shops at Hot Topic. Think a baggy checkered skirt paired with a long and equally formless long-sleeved green top with floral decals. It felt right. Also there were so many actual babies in the show wearing special baby headphones! The babies got to wear excellent fits. If I was a baby, I would be very jazzed to be wearing a little teal dress. There is nothing more positively Anne than a baby wearing a little teal dress.
All babies dressed up as foliage and fruits aside, this was Taymour in peak form. This season felt cohesive and genuine. Sustainability can feel like a bit of a useless buzzword, a cute little bandaid to put over a larger structural problem. Or even worse: a form of clout used to get consumers to buy things that they don’t need under the guise that their purchasing power has the ability to make a change (reader, it doesn’t). That wasn’t happening here this season. Taymour’s practice as a designer felt extremely sincere: most of the clothing had origins in a massive landfill in Ghana or was donated by the Salvation Army. It’s an Anne Geddes gone fully eco-feminist. Gah gah goo goo.