The Elder Statesman goes back to basics—and it’s important to note that the LA-based label is anything but basics. “[The resort] is a holiday, so we tap into a lot of our traditions, our traditional motifs,” says Bailey Hunter, the brand’s creative director. “Florals, tie-dye, stripes—all the things we know—we reinvent them in a way; and we use a lot of new weaving materials that have been brought into our library.”
Materials – especially yarn – are king among the Elder Statesmen. Walking through the SoHo showroom is like visiting the Please Touch museum. “It’s a handwoven cotton fabric with crochet flowers on it,” Hunter said, showing off a brown sweater embellished with handfuls of flowers. It hangs next to a selection of cream and tan checked pieces, “we hand-knit the cashmere each season and make it on strap looms in Central America,” she explains. Exclusive “100% cashmere castle stripe” matching jacket and high-waisted pants, “reverse Fair Isle” sweater and matching mini-shorts, floral wrap coat and felted cashmere zip-up jacket wool — You want to put your hands all over it.
The yellow suit that opens the lookbook is made in Italy in cashmere cotton wool twill that feels like the softest, lightest denim. Another suit – they call it “loose fit ” – Made of Italian 50/50 cashmere and wool, available in three colours: rosehip, dark green and tree bark, and available in men’s and women’s styles. A highlight of the collection is of course the Donegal wool made on vintage looms in Italy with colorblock squares of grey, navy and burgundy. In the Lookbook, it appeared as a wrap dress, fastened with oversized safety pins, and worn with a hand-painted crewneck sweater in cashmere. Together they are youthful and timeless.
A collaboration with another SoCal brand, Uggs, is The Elder Statesman’s first foray into footwear. Clogs, mules and boots in paneled sheepskin and embellished with “darned” embroidery are sure to be must-haves when they release later this year.
Sporty Tanks Handwoven Alpaca and Cotton Miniskirts in various shades of blue, wave pattern knit cashmere shirts and pants, and a pair of mixed bouclé Knitted striped cargo pants in woolen yarns proved that the knitwear experimentation here is unparalleled. Bouclé cargo pants are worn with a black sweater embellished with eye intarsia and “eye to eye it lasts,” a design by Chait’s grandmother, Thelma. Chait said, “I think [the phrase] is about the series.” Hunt closed the idea: “It’s about seeing things in person and how it feels better to see everything.”