NYFW: Monse Aims to Create Looks for Every Type of Woman

Monse Fall 2016 - H 2016
Getty Images

Monse Fall 2016 - H 2016

"We really respect and love the old codes for every woman to wear, proportion-wise, but we just like to, for a lack of a better expression, f--- it up," says co-designer Fernando Garcia, who Jaime King calls "a very dear friend."

"What’s so good about this space is that it marries really well the old and the new, and that’s very much what we are," said designer Fernando Garcia — one half of Monse with partner Laura Kim — of the setting of choice for their line's second collection unveiling on Friday for fall 2016 at the High Line Hotel’s refectory, a stunning communal room in the 1865 dormitory-turned-hotel. "We really respect and love the old codes for every woman to wear, proportion-wise, but we just like to, for a lack of a better expression, f--- it up."

The design duo, both alums of Oscar de la Renta, give a new life to those old codes with different fabrics, but also with the models they choose to wear them. "It’s accessible to every type of woman," said Garcia.

With the combination of a well-received debut, support from high-profile fashion stylists (Erin Walsh, Kate Young) and the likes of Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker donning their creations, it’s been a powerful start for the young brand.

The designers, however, feel far removed from all the praise. "We really are stuck in an office just working away. We don’t go online unless it’s Pinterest or Google and don’t read any of that," said Garcia. "We just hear from the buyers and editors, who are pulling things. Those are our peers that we’ve known for a long time, and we’re just happy that people that we really admire and respect are giving us all this love."

Front-row supporters at the show included Emmy Rossum, Alison Brie and Jaime King.

"Every piece was like heaven to me," said King, following the presentation. "Fernando is a very dear friend of mine, and I think they’re just a revelation to American fashion."

MONSE MUSES: Jaime King (far left) and Alison Brie with designers Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim (far right). (Photo: Getty Images)

In the spring, the designers restructured the boyfriend shirt from day to evening. For the fall, they turned their attention to a man’s suit, playing with the lining and buttons to "make it relevant and sexy," said Garcia.

He has a good hand on eveningwear, while Kim does daywear, Garcia explained of their collaborative process. "She and I like very different things, and if we disagree on something, we sleep on it, but the dynamic between the both of us is what creates what comes out," he said. "The combination of the ideas for evening turn into day and vice versa — it’s what makes the whole collection feel exciting to us and relevant to today’s market."

And what’s next for the designers? Perhaps a reason to celebrate?

"I think celebration at this stage of our career is a really long night sleep," said Garcia. "I’m looking forward to that."