Last month, Rachel Comey hosted a reading at her SoHo store. It was a gloomy January night, cold and rainy, but you wouldn’t know that from the throng of writers, readers and Comey patrons crammed inside. Among them was 87 year-old feminist critic Vivian Gornick, who wasn’t the kind of celebrity that other brands front row, but was still a star. This is what separates Comey from many of her fellow designers: She rejects the popular — accepted — ways of doing things and finds her own success.
Comey says fall is when her clients make big purchases. “It’s their time to invest, so they’re more thoughtful about what they’re buying. If you’re spending money, you want to make sure it works for you.” That means Comey’s thinking more about versatility and longevity here than about Impulse buying. It translates into simply tailored pieces in mix-and-match plaid patterns, including reversible sports coats and layered outfits like Milanese-stitched alpaca jersey tunics, T-shirts and pants that can be worn together or taken apart in a number of different ways.
The waisted denim button-down shirt with matching jeans confirms that Comey has some basic understanding of how we dress now, and the absence of more formal trousers on the runway seems to understand: pulled together is a Big yes, but not in tight clothes. This season’s must-have floral dress is also made for comfort. It’s made from printed mesh and drapes at the waist and hips for definition.
Comey photographed the lookbook during New York Fashion Week. She has a way of taking fashion shows on or off; sometimes she’s on the schedule, sometimes she’s not. Currently, she is more interested in building her own retail network. Writers, readers, and Comey customers in San Francisco and Chicago should keep their eyes peeled; she mentions these two cities as prime locations for RC stores.