Brandon Maxwell turns 35 / Makes Peace with Perfection Your Journey to Your Best Life
Brandon Maxwell has been on a journey. And it may just be a coincidence that Oprah Winfrey happened to be in conversation with former First Lady Michelle Obama at Barclay Center on the very day that Maxwell showed his collection and reached the apogee of what in Oprah parlance is called “living your best life”.
In Christian thought, to gain your soul, you must be ready to lose it. When you can let go of outcomes, you are at peace with what is, win or lose. As Maxwell put it after his show, held last night at the Museum of Natural History where deer and elk looked on: “Tomorrow if I wake up and it’s not great, I’m still gonna roll over to somebody who loves me. And I know that now, versus when I was 31.”
Cue Super Soul Sundays on OWN.
One staffer cried backstage, and it seemed Maxwell himself may have shed a tear, the kind you spill when you know you’ve accomplished something quite special.
Maxwell produced a near-perfect collection.
Every element from the models to the shoes to the diaphanous eveningwear to the stovepipe jeans was well thought out and the whole came together in a cohesive statement.
He admitted that he put a great deal more into the process than he had in previous seasons. “I started working on accessories in August, where I normally start in November,” he said after the show. He developed about nine prototypes for footwear that included high-heeled boots. “I was very obsessed with the pitch of the shoe,” he said.
He spent about five and a half hours with the hair and makeup where before it would typically be closer to 30 minutes.
Pea coats that came down the runway were the result of over eight or nine different prototypes.
Seams in jackets appeared faultless and the finishes were brilliant. Fabrics were sumptuous and satisfying, appropriately chosen for a sporty feel or an elegant communication.
“I bought probably 2O0 different types of fabrics, put them on a wall, felt what I liked, what colors I liked, and that’s how I started,” said Maxwell.
Rather than locking himself into a theme, he chose this more iterative process.
“Instead of deciding what the collection was going to be in August, it was like going through every step, “he explained. “What’s it going to be? Figuring it out, seeing what I liked. It was all about a journey for me.”
It could be that Maxwell’s duties as a judge on Project Runway, the hit television program, have brought new perspectives to his own work. His well-known red carpet creations especially for Lady Gaga have been noted and dissected for their positive and negative impact. What’s unassailable is that his imprimatur keeps ballooning.
In 2019, the Texas native received several awards recognizing his talent and accomplishments including the two most prestigious – The CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award and The Fashion Group International’s Fashion Star Award.
Given the head of steam building around him, it’s not altogether surprising that Maxwell wanted to make sure he is indeed living his best life.
“I feel that I’m 35 and I love my husband and I love my family,” said the designer. “And I feel very proud to do this job in New York. I feel, sometimes that has to be enough.”
And it is. But you can already hear the faint footsteps of Spring 2021 getting louder.