Strange Bedfellows indeed! Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo are quite the Cross-Pollinators, Mixing up references and inspirations from the most diverse outposts for their Tome label. Fall 2015 saw the jumbling together of Belgian Choreographer, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and of all People... New York Fashion Giant and Icon, Donna Karan! Ummm.... WHAT? *Scratching of Head* It was an Intriguing proposition and because of the oddly Obtuse mashing up of these two, the collection felt disconnected as well.
The Biggest Problem lay in the fact that, If you reference De Keersmaeker, how do you reflect that Reference in the clothes? And to that extent, her presence was Non-Existent, Virtually, in Martin and Lobo's collection. Maybe I am just too much a Philistine to recognize where the Inspire expressed itself in the context of the clothes, or maybe there was more of an overall MOOD being depicted here rather than a flat out Assertion of a Personality or Style. Karan's influence was markedly visible and was well placed in the pieces designed by the Duo. From a Superb oversized Shawl Collar coat in Orange to the Striped Man's-Styled shirt worn with a Vibrant Taxicab Yellow and Black Vinyl Skirt, the Duo were working the Karan-isms in their own way for all they were worth!
The most Successful interpolation was in a Pair of High Sheen Vinyl Moto jackets, one in Black the other in that Vivid Yellow, paired with Slinky Bias cut Dresses that Low down one leg and High up the other. They were Sophisticated and also Racy. Sexy, but because they were paired over Cozy High Turtlenecks, it dampened some of the Rawness. Though much of the collection was Tempting and Seductive to the Clientele that the Tome Duo is Courting, this collection was Highly Problematic and skewed much on the confused side of things. There was no true North that the collection followed so instead of being Clearly focused, Discordance was the result.
No one can deny when Lobo and Martin get things right, they get them VERY Right, That did not happen this time. There were moments of Spot-On Brilliance, but they were buried under some really Baffling gaffes in Styling and Assemblage. This wasn't as much Two-Steps Back, for the Duo, More like a Stumble and Fall Forward. They just need to Pick themselves up, Dust off and Continue with a Concise vision in Mind! Not the Askew Cabal that was Schlepped forth this time around!