R13 Fall Winter 2020
Words By: Katie Farley
Chris Leba, creative director of contemporary fashion brand R13, frequently follows a specific formula concerning his runway shows: Select an American subculture and translate it for his clientele of fierce females through a super edgy and effortlessly cool lens. In seasons gone by, Leba’s collections have been the product of one of the most pioneering proposals for avant-garde denim and new Americana.
This time around, R13’s show set out to be less referential, drawing inspiration from the black and white photographs of U2, shot by Anton Corbijn in Joshua Tree National Park, whose band members memorable outfits were comprised of thrift military coats and felt hats. Amid Leba’s previous fashion outings, the designer has focused mainly on western influences, in fall 2020 he exhibited a statement with denim and leather that had undergone an upcycled makeover. Experimental designs were displayed in the form of leather leg pants that featured a zipper which, when unzipped, became denim shorts or deconstructed jackets in large sizes that gave the illusion of double layering.
Silhouettes that portrayed an enveloping effect emerged as a pillar of R13’s quirky, albeit sophisticated aesthetic, which will unapologetically target men and women in equal measures. Leba rediscovered several voluminous statement coats, a wild shearling iteration initially grabbed attention, pursued by botanical and patent leather additions – each one carrying a lust-worthy and must-have appeal.
“You have to play with proportions to be interesting,” Leba explained after the runway show, adding: “It feels right for now.” It was the deep teddy pile and wild shearling textures that lined the masculine shapes of the jackets and cozily cocooned the body, shielding against the weather conditions.
Leather jackets that were lovingly upcycled additionally arose as standout pieces, which were cinched at the waist and flaunted shoulders of the amplified sort, reminiscent of Leba’s early idols Claude Montana and Azzedine Alaïa. The designer further embellished these attires with traditional Western accessories, which were equally as large, that included extended thin leather belts, elongated bolero ties, and big ten-gallon hats.
Patterns, which included sun-faded leopard prints, boyfriend flannels, and classic buffalo plaids, collectively illustrated a worn graphic quality. At the same time, velvets, which were adorned with pretty desert florals, carried an elegant girlishness to the fall-winter offering.
Throughout, a reimaging of western classics is what defines overall, intermingled with an urban zeitgeist. Swarovski crystals are seen sprinkled over monochromatic bandanas, and Laredo hats that appeared tall and felted supplementary finished off the seasonal aesthetics.