Since her debut in downtown Los Angeles a little over a year ago, former Yeezy designer Maisie Schloss has cultivated a distinct arty-sexy-Instagram-ready DNA for her Maisie Wilen brand — and a fan club that includes Kylie Jenner, Charlie XCX and Kim Kardashian West. (The brand is co-owned by her former Yeezy boss, Kanye West.)
This season was supposed to be her first big New York Fashion Week moment. “I was hoping to have a runway show,” she said from her Studio City apartment/design studio. We all know what happened next.
But even with just a look book, Schloss’ collection makes a big visual impact — and that’s the point. “In the last year, I have had a new opportunity to see my work in customer pictures on the Internet, and one comment that has resonated is the clothes photograph beautifully, customers love photographing themselves in the clothes,” she said. (Kardashian-Jenner Instagram queens, especially.)
“So I thought, ‘How do I take this opportunity and play with it?’ And it ended up being such a quarantine perfect inspiration, now that we are mostly seeing clothes in photos and not real life.”
The result is a collection of eye-catching, kaleidoscopic checkerboard and swirl prints, crinkled metallic textures and body-con cutouts that jump off the screen, but doesn’t make the wearer look too much like a walking canvas.
She looked to trompe l’oeil for inspiration for the peach and cream checkerboard asymmetrical sleeveless silk minidress that’s the first look. “That’s my favorite — it has a layered top that looks like it’s peeling away from the body, and shows a bit of skin on the hip,” said the Parsons grad. On another minidress, she plays with shadows creating an airbrush effect. Athletic-looking leggings and cat suits are made from eyelet set on a technical fabric, sweatshirts and boxy button-down shirts come in trippy florals or snowy mountain peak prints, and trucker jackets and tiny skirts with a wet look are actually matte-finish terrycloth.
Schloss used a synthetic material resembling crumpled tinfoil but backed with a lightweight woven that “makes a sound when you walk,” she said. (Perfect for TikTok!) A silvery va-va-voom wiggle dress made of the stuff is just one of the pieces in this collection that should be destined for Instagram greatness.
Nothing is exactly what it seems, making the reality that this collection can only be seen in pictures all the more meta. And the designer welcomes the chaos: “It’s sad why we’re here, but I think it is fun to see everyone’s creative solutions.”
Launch Gallery: Maisie Wilen RTW Spring 2021