February 16, 2018 9:00 AM

Fall-Winter 2018 marked an amiable separation of the Linder design duo, with Kirk Millar leading the men’s collection and Sam Linder taking control of womenswear. When asked what he thought of the result, Linder felt it was a pleasant success. “Kirk is being more fully Kirk, and I’m being more fully Sam,” he said backstage, following the conclusion of the women’s New York Fashion Week runway show. 

The collection was shown at the St. Mark’s Church in the East Village, checking off an item from Sam Linder’s bucket list. “I’ve wanted to do a show here since we’ve been doing shows,” he said, and it was clear the venue was not only personal to Linder, but also very familiar. “I’ve been in New York for 25 years, and I’ve been hanging out around here the whole time. I’ve been to a wedding here. I know people that grew up across the street. I just felt like it had to happen.” The sanctuary boasts being the second-oldest church in Manhattan, and Linder’s show adds a small piece of history to it’s storied past.  

Fit for a church, the show conjured something of a pagan ritual. Oversized draping hoods, anatomically stitched white knits, and high-cowl necks created an enchanting fantasy, as a cinematic soundtrack evoked the ambient sounds of a forest. One model partitioned the show into three sections, each time wearing the same black sleeveless dress with a high-cut round neck, grasping a crystal-hemisphere emblazoned clutch. As Sam Linder put it, she served as somewhat of a “sorceress who presided over the whole ceremony.” Separated by the elements, the first grouping consisted of a teal palette with watercolor-esque prints, followed by a selection of woody floral pieces and grey plaids, and the final looks created a darker semblance, with unmistakably fire-inspired prints and a standout, metallic gold coat, trimmed with over a foot of leather fringe from it’s hem.  

Linder’s show notes named Artemis, the lunar virgin goddess, as the “animating spirit” of the collection, and recalls that when the hunter Actaeon met her gaze, he turned into a stag, only before being killed by his own hounds, and so it was only appropriate that leather handbags be suspended by chains from an archer’s bow. But while the Greek mythology served as the inspiration, it was not to shroud Linder’s motivation behind the collection. Beneath the magic and mystique, he designed the collection for the woman who does not heed the male gaze, saying “I just didn’t want to think about women’s clothes in terms of how somebody reacts to a woman. I wanted to think of them in terms of someone who was dressing for another reason– dressing for her own purposes, like what’s she’s going to be doing that day.” The show was mythologic in spirit, but Linder’s starting point for the collection was far from allegorical. 





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