The Row is an elegant, understated and acutely focused brand, established by Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen in 2006. On Tuesday, they held an intimate presentation as part of Paris Fashion Week, where the Spring Summer collection for 2016 was shown. A short film of the finale was posted to Instagram by I-D magazine, and it’s difficult to not be impressed by the seamlessness of the collection, paired with toned down makeup and hair. There were a few pairs of round, black sunglasses (the product of a collaboration with Oliver Peoples) and a few wide-brimmed hats, all concealing the identity of the models wearing them. This anonymity is reflective of the Rows focus upon minimal clothing, and the importance of the clothing itself, but also how it falls on the person wearing it.
There was a little controversy around the show, as it is the second time that the Olsens have chosen to cancel a showing from The Row in New York in favour of Paris. It happened previously in 2011 when the spring collection was shown in Paris at the last minute, rather than New York, where it had been expected. Why the Olsen twins felt it necessary to change to host city is unknown, but it is possible that Paris, as the more classic and elegant of the fashion week venues, was the more appropriate choice for a collection of neutral tones and interesting shapes.
The collection is definitely in line with the iconic style represented by the Olsen twins, of beautifully understated, oversized and functional clothing. A particular favourite is the camel coloured, full length jumper, paired with matching trousers, and held together by the model as she walked in the finale. The piece can be seen in the background of the photograph posted by The Row yesterday. A feature of the show; layers of neutral, free-flowing fabrics, creating unusual shapes, is prominent amongst other fashion houses, including in Calvin Klein’s selection of nude dresses in their Spring/ Summer collection. (seen below)
Although the Rows items all cost upwards of £1000, the pieces are something that you could begin saving for, and by the time you had actually saved enough, the piece would still be as relevant and alluring as it was when you first spotted it. This may be due to the fact that the designers draw inspiration from primarily art and architecture, as can be seen from their well put together Instagram account, “therow”. The account is compiled of minimal, well lit shots of their pieces, architectural design work and the occasional inspirational piece of art, e.g. Henri Matisse; “Standing Blue Nude”.
Regardless of how the company managed to achieve such a desirable collection, they managed it, and confirmed The Row as showing one of the best collections of this Paris Fashion Week. It’s exciting to see what the brand will do next, and for updates on what is happening at various fashion weeks across the globe, follow I-D magazine and “suzymenkesvogue” on Instagram!
Written by Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins