Three days before his second show, Conner Ives is impressively cool-headed. “The last gig was a bit of a control freak type A, and I could take lessons through my work,” says Ives. “But I know that at some point in the process, I’m going to have to accept that this is what we’re showing — and then a lot of the tension and pressure and feelings of imposter syndrome will go away.” Part of Ives’ composure is Because of his decision (firmly made before last year’s debut) to only show once every two seasons. The impetus for doing so is partly financial and partly to give him time to recharge his creative batteries. “It might sound rude, but if we’re going to throw all this cash into it, let’s make it a show,” he added.
While last season’s gorgeous performance of Eclectic’90 proved that Ives can do more than patchwork T-shirt dresses, which led him to the gained a following as a student at Central Saint Martins in 1999 – the veteran designer explained that he wanted to mature things with the collection. (Just a little bit.) “Magnolia,” named after Paul Thomas Anderson’s sprawling 1999 film that charted the lives and loves of a diverse group of Angelenos, contains All the biggest hits from the Ives collection so far: bodysuits fringed skirts made from upcycled piano scarves; breezy Lilith Fair slip dresses with sheer ruffles; yes, those vintage T-shirts turned here Bias cut camisole dress featuring black lace trim throughout. For Ives, some more grown-up techniques were also thrown into the mix, including a few vintage silk button-down shirts and tailored trousers, as well as muted tones of green and gray for Ally McBeal’s core minimalist tailoring. “I love the stuff that keeps my lights on, but I want to show more of what I can do,” he said.
There’s fun, too: especially on the dizzying soundtrack, where everything from Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss” to Psycho’s opening theme loops wildly. Like last season’s smorgasbord of references to everything from reality show and movie history, part of the excitement was Guess Who with Ives? A game of pop culture icons for decades. The second look is a Kate Moss-inspired ‘Glasto girl’ trudging through the mud in a fur vest and Hunter boots, while others pay homage to the ‘shiny suits’ of New York’s upper-class women, who always take part in Parisian couture show. Seasons such as CZ Guest and Nan Kempner. Craziest of all was the final bridal look: a tongue-in-cheek nod to the wedding dress in Lindsay Lohan’s remake of The Parent Trap (and the questionable top hat-veil hybrid, will leave an imprint on the retina) of all who have seen it). “That really made me think: This is so fucking ridiculous,” Ives added with a laugh.