Photographed by Rob Kulisek. Styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.

Anti-Prep Fashion Is Disrupting the Americana Aesthetic

At a moment when the American dream feels more fractious than ever, Calvin Klein, Sies Marjan, Proenza Schouler, and others are taking preppy basics in twisted new directions. Photographed by Rob Kulisek. Styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.

by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson; photos by Rob Kulisek
Feb 7 2018, 12:08pm

Photographed by Rob Kulisek. Styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson.

Since the Reagan era, the preppy look has defined the visual code of American affluence. Now, with another wealthy showman in office, designers are toying with that tradition. While madras prints, knits, and polos still reign supreme, the focus here is not on venerating WASP culture. Instead, it seeks to expose the fiction in the fabric of the American dream.

Barbra-Lee wears sweater-vest and skirt by Dries Van Noten, earrings by Tiffany & Co. throughout unless noted; Erika wears coat by Proenza Schouler

Barbra-Lee wears cable-knit sweater and trousers by Mansur Gavriel; Erika wears sweater and trousers by Raf Simons, earrings by Tiffany & Co. throughout unless noted

Erika wears cardigan and skirt by Pringle of Scotland; Barbra-Lee wears sweater vest, cardigan, and skirt by Pringle of Scotland, sweater by Patagonia (in hand)

Barbra-Lee wears sweater, shirt, trousers, and shoes by Sies Marjan, bracelets by Tiffany & Co. throughout; Erika wears sweater by Sies Marjan, watch by Hublot; On the staircase: stole by Marni, bag by Nancy Gonzalez.

Barbra-Lee wears polo dress by Koché; Erika wears polo dress by Koché, earrings by Trademark, watch by Hublot, shoes by Camper
Dress by Lacoste
Erika wears jacket by Brandon Maxwell, shirt, and trousers by Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh; Barbra-Lee wears dress by Saint Laurent
Erika wears jacket, shirt, and trousers by Matthew Adams Dolan, earrings by Trademark; Barbra-Lee wears jacket, sweater, shirt, and skirt by Matthew Adams Dolan, earrings by Jennifer Fisher
Erika wears coat, jacket, skirt, and shoes by Alexander McQueen; Barbra-Lee wears coat and hat by Michael Kors, jacket and skirt by Chanel, boots by Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
Barbra-Lee wears shirt, skirt, and shoes by Balenciaga; Erika wears coat and shirt by Prada
Barbra-Lee wears jacket, hat, earrings, and shoes by Versace

Erika wears coat and dress by Loewe, shoes by Marni

Erika wears coat, shirt, and socks by Thom Browne; Barbra-Lee wears dress by Marques’Almeida

Barbra-Lee wears jacket by Carven, skirt by Marni, shoes by Roger Vivier

Barbra-Lee wears coat, sweater, and trousers by Mansur Gavriel, shoes by Manolo Blahnik, earrings by Jennifer Fisher.

In this story: Hair: Shinya Nakagawa at ArtList New York; Makeup: Yumi Lee at Streeters using MAC Cosmetics; Models: Erika Belle, Barbra-Lee Grant at New York Model Management; Set designer: Marcs Goldberg; Photographer’s assistants: Justin Leveritt, Alexander Rotondo; Fashion assistant: Victor Qunnuell Vaughns Jr.; On-set production: Stephanie Putker

More from GARAGE No. 14:
Andy Warhol's Polaroids Are His Most Influential Work
Hedi Slimane Photographs a New Class of Los Angeles Artists
These Designers Are the Next Generation of American Luxury
In Art, Fashion, and Even Politics, We Are Living in a Warholian Moment

A version of this story appeared in GARAGE No. 14, available for purchase here.

Calvin Klein
Proenza Schouler
Dries Van Noten
sies marjan
Raf Simons