Monse Fall 2020 Fashion Show
Photo | IMAXtree


Fall 2020 Fashion Show

The Impression Review Score


Punkability – A brand founded on a menswear ethos finds new ways to surprise

The bulk of New York Fashion Week lies ahead along with London, Milan, and Paris and with them will come plenty of forays into menswear. Yet you can bet your last fashion gift card that there’ll be few creatives who will bring to this fall 2020 trend the mastery displayed at Monse.

If you like your punk, wearable but with a pinch of swagger, pull up to Monse.

“It’s so funny that we did punk,” said co-creative director Fernando Garcia standing with co-creative director Laura Kim, after the show. “It’s so serious you know.

“We’re light-hearted people,” he continued, both he and Kim smiling. “We like to have fun.”

Displaying all punk’s ports of call – safety pins, tartans, spidery takeoffs of pantyhose, and blood and black color combinations – the collection gave plenty of innovative takes on the familiar tropes but – minus the historical aggression. 

Kim and Garcia explored the softer side of punk, envisioning it as more approachable. They achieved this and their exploration brought to mind a barometer of punk the Brit Alexander McQueen. What Kim and Garcia did is not what instantly come to mind when you think of punk done well. McQueen set that bar. However, McQueen’s punk was serious and menacing, an interesting contrast with Garcia’s and Kim’s work.

 “We laughed about it,” Garcia explained. ‘We said, ‘Oh punk. It feels funny to look at a sinister subject like punk and still make the person want to wear it and feel good wearing it.”

Femininity and softness in knits with kidney-bean cutouts across the chest were one idea.

Garcia pointed to a photo on the run of show board backstage with a male model wearing a fur jacket in earth tones. “This was a recycled fur,” he explained, the inherent idea being to conjure up new ways to think about punk. 

Deconstruction came naturally, said Kim, because a lot of “the cutting and slashing” that are a part of punk and the menswear overtones proved to be “a no-brainer”.

Monse was founded on menswear. Unsurprisingly, the pair know how to sculpt a jacket. Male and female models stomped the runway in sharp-shouldered, belted jackets paired with long slit skirts or pleated trousers.

Safety pins were used like jeweled sequins clustered and cascading as they sparkled on black.

Particularly strong was the tartan patchwork swing jackets and pleated skirts that helped give the collection its jauntiness. The swagger of the highlands meets the everyday reality of walking down a New York street. 

Though there’s no rebellion, there’s no reason not to give a rebel yell in Monse.