Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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R13 Resort 2024

Nothing like a 60-second video to make you see things a little differently.

A few days ago Chris Leba of R saw an Instagram video in which a content creator broke down a brand, He noticed that many K-pop stars were wearing the brand. “Let me tell you about this brand you’ve probably never heard of,” he begins in classic clickbait fashion. Photos of the K-pop icon in distressed sweaters, bleached plaid flannel, layered leather boots and sneakers followed. “They loved it, they mentioned its name many times,” he continued. Questionable tags? R.

Leba and R exist in “if you know, You know” fashion and mainstream style. His clothes are niche enough that they won’t be everyone’s favorites, yet accessible enough that most people will find something on the rack that suits them. K-pop, it seems, has discovered that Leba’s grunge sensibility (and a style made up of ascension, in his words, “an iconic wardrobe staple”) has made R13 The perfect cool pop star uniform. Check out HBO’s The Idol – the show’s wake-up cheesy and would-be grunge aesthetic is an ode to the vibe of Leba’s long-standing R work .

Leba’s Resort 2024 collection is not affected by his recent discovery of K-popularity ; When he sees the video, the collection is complete. But it made him see the work in a different light. As he walks me through his SoHo showroom, he points out pieces on the shelves that he thinks will hit K-pop’s sweet spot, including the recurring flannel, this season splashed with gold paint; Distressed sweaters and micro cardigans, now screen-printed in gold leaf on bleached dots, or knit in loose spike-’60s-grunge specifications; and a pair of black pointed-toe boots with With O-ring strap detail. These details matter – they make the most modest clothes glamorous, they make the most famous look cooler than everyone else, even if they’re wearing just law Flannel shirt.

The real winner here, however, is the jeans with a different application of gold leaf: woven into the weft of the fabric for a delicate but supremely sexy shimmer (“Unpretentious luxury!” jokes Leba. said); applied to the reverse side of the fabric so it’s only visible when the hem is turned up; and screen printed throughout, with the creases of the fabric breaking up the color. These jeans are a classic R that is both punk and classy. Capturing both attitudes at the same time is what makes Leba’s clothing so desirable.

Elsewhere, he expanded on his usual structural experiments, this season including deconstructing and modifying oversized blazers and applying the coat’s back slit to the back of the trouser leg for an unconventional trumpet effect. The standout was a shirt that the designer described as “perfect if you like your date”—it featured a sheer organza under the placket, attached to tiny hook-and-eye closures, giving An opt-in sex appeal.

It’s unlikely that Leba intentionally started designing for the K-pop idol; what keeps R fresh and consistent is at least in part because His aversion to trends. But self-awareness is a strange thing, so come back next season to see what his latest discovery has to do with R. Either way, as Leba puts it in terms of development, “sometimes things just go their own way.”




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