Review of Brandon Maxwell

Fall 2022

Review of Brandon Maxwell Fall 2022 Fashion Show

A Family Affair

By Anna Ross

By far one of the designer’s strongest outings to date, tonight, Brandon Maxwell showed what can be achieved when you put love at the center of creation.

It was an intimate affair; no more than ninety or so guests, plunged into darkness, only spotlights leading the way as models drifted gracefully between the audience, their movement considered, poised and elegant – beautifully directed by Stephen Galloway. The pared back pace and production (by Dizon Inc) felt both symbolic and deeply intentional. Not only because the show served as an emotional tribute to the designer’s Grandmother, but it afforded Maxwell’s audience to actually see the clothes. In doing that, one could experience the impeccable craftsmanship, attention to detail and exquisite make that had gone into this standout collection.

As it turns out, Maxwell’s Grandmother has a lot to answer for in honing both his silhouette and skillset. A designer herself in the 1950’s, he spoke of ‘Mammaw’s’ “closet of treasures,” finding his younger self engrossed in images of her and her glamorously dressed sisters. As such, tropes of that era are embedded in his design ethos. Fast forward to 2022, and tonight, full skirts danced with delicate pleating, framing neatly nipped-in waistlines that contoured the curves of the body to an almost couture-like fit. Shoulders came framed via sweetheart and cape-collar necklines, paired with nonchalantly draped blanket shawls, occasionally scattered with feathers. 

Maxwell managed to masterfully balance the past with the present, updating time-honed silhouettes with contemporary material play. 

There was an ease to off-shoulder dresses in effortlessly crushed satin, while straight-legged denim lent an everyday appeal to decedent robe coats. Elsewhere, ballgowns in soft sheer corsetry came counterbalanced with giant cable knit skirting. These clever juxtapositions allowed the collection a contemporary high-low demeanor that felt just right for now. 

Looks came accessorized with corsage-style jewelry and delicate pin box clutches. There was no flashy statement here; no trying to carve out the next ‘it’ bag or ‘grammable statement piece for media clout. Maxwell let quiet quality and refined details do the talking tonight, and it spoke volumes.

As such, tonight’s audience was left not only overcome with emotion, but with a sense that Brandon Maxwell is a designer who is carving his own way, re-affirming his place as one of New York’s brightest stars on the circuit. To Maxwell, fashion is more than simply selling clothes; it’s a family affair.